The Patients Speak – What Bristol’s people really want from their Clinical Commissioning Group

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January 28, 2014 by Protect Our NHS

Charlotte Paterson, a retired GP and member of Protect our NHS will tell Bristol’s Clinical Commissioning Group today that:

“I wish to present to you a petition, calling on The CCG to keep NHS services out of the hands of the private sector, which has been signed by over 1000 people. We have here a paper petition signed by 681 residents of Bristol and a further 460 people signed a similar petition on-line, some adding comments which I have here for you.

I don’t know if any of you have done any voluntary or charity work out on the streets – but if you have you’ll know that usually it is difficult to engage people who are hurrying about their daily business.

Not so with the NHS – we have maintained regular street stalls in Southmead, Bedminster and Bishopston and once people saw they were about the NHS they have flocked to hear what is happening and to support the NHS. They have been extremely keen to do something to turn back the movement towards making profits out of health services. Especially making money out of vulnerable people’s mental distress and ill health. It has been a bit like those cartoon shots where someone walks past, registers what they’ve seen and scoots backwards to engage with it!

We have heard stories of both excellent and very poor NHS experiences. And there have been a few people, a few, who said how they held out hopes that bringing in a private company to run a service would somehow increase the money available and improve the service. However, they had to agree that putting taxpayer’s NHS money in and allowing the company to take out profits for their shareholders didn’t really add up to an increase in resources.

From our experience of this engagement with patients and the public – and we have talked to all of the 460 people whose signatures you see here – we would like to pass on the following main messages:

1. Residents of Bristol are very poorly informed about the local situation. The news that Bristol mental health services are in the final stage of a commissioning process that includes profit-making organisations both surprised and appalled them.

2. They are sure of one thing – that they don’t want our integrated health services broken up into separate contracts and passed over, in whole or part, to the private sector.

3. That they want all their taxpayers public money, and more, to be spent on improving services and not on expensive commissioning processes or passed on to company shareholders. Summed up by one petition signature as: I want my taxpayers money spent on services not on shareholders

So here is the paper petition, and details of the on-line one with comments – we would be grateful if you would take these residents views seriously and place this on the agenda of the next meeting for discussion.

I have also printed a few comments out for each committee member to look at now.

Thank you for your attention.”

On-line petition at
“Keep NHS services out of the hands of the private sector”

The NHS has been there for years and I have used the services which have been excellent. People care about the services they provide, rather than just doing the service for the money they receive. (LG)

I want to see the NHS remain a public service and not pave the way to privatisation. (RH)

Because i don’t want our free at the point of delivery and very efficient NHS torn up to satisfy corporate greed and self serving “free” market dogma. (NJ)

The NHS is paid for by the people for the people it is not and never should be a money making business. (JK)

Part of the NHS operating costs becoming profits for private investors and high pay for executives is simply wrong. (AC)

Because providing healthcare, whether physical or mental, really is life or death. And peoples’ lives shouldn’t be sold for profit. (KR)

Because privatising the NHS will ultimately cost the tax payer more, with no guarantee that quality will be improved. (HK)

I am a clinical psychologist who has worked in the NHS for over 20 years. I passionately believe in a true NHS. It breaks my heart to witness the piecemeal breakup of the NHS. The harm this causes to staff and service users and carers. (JD).

Health shouldn’t be about profit. (JS)

I work in the mental health system and I care about the service users. (ML)

Because I have used, and will use again, Bristol NHS services, have been satisfied with the care received and feel that the proposed changes may worsen the service. (AB)

NHS should be run for the people and not for profit. Mental Health services are amongst the most poorly funded and recognised services in the NHS yet are so crucial to so many. (MP)

It’s just so wrong (SR)

Privatisation will have a profound impact on services; which will create health inequalities, with only a select few affording specialist treatment. Anyone who disagrees please watch a documentary by Michael Moore (Sicko) (DB)

Healthcare should not be a profit making business. (KC)

I work in the health service and have seen at first hand how co-operation works better than competition in terms of patient care. (AO)

Health care needs to be planned strategically and with proper public accountability otherwise we will end up with unfair provision based on market forces not human needs and rights. (AE)

Privatising the NHS takes finance out of where it is most needed and into commercial profit. The NHS can be as ‘efficient’ as the private sector. Furthermore the poorest lose most by this shift to privatising health care. (BS)

I’ve been lucky enough to receive fantastic NHS care in Bristol through 2 pregnancies and births. Health care workers should be motivated by the well-being of their patients, not the need to turn a profit. (EC)

I oppose all privatisation of the NHS, for which I paid my NI for over 40 years. This terrible coalition has no right to privatise it in any way. (CK)

I believe NHS services are totally unsuitable for private enterprise (JD)

Because the rich and powerful are taking it from us. (PM)
Everyone has the right to health care and we have seen what happens in countries where the poor suffer unimaginably. We are all called to respect the dignity of the person ‘Give and Receive and Not Take’ We are all accountable for each other. (VR)

Companies should not be making profit from people’s ill-health. (BS)

Private companies cherry-picking the easy profits from the NHS is the last thing we need! (JB)

Accountability, public, competition inappropriate and paying dividends to investors in private companies. (HL)

The NHS is for patients, not shareholders. (GT)

I do not want the NHS to be run for profit. (TM)

I have been fighting to keep our local NHS services out of the private sector for the last 9 years and I don’t intend to stop now! (BH)

Went to medical school in 1950, at the neonatal period of the NHS, My wife and I both worked in the NHS, she much longer than me. I worked in Physiology for the most part. (TB)

Because all the evidence is that privatisation leads to profit becoming the main motivation of the provider rather than public service. (CT)

I want my taxpayers money spent on services not on shareholders (JB)

Want to keep all good work on health pathways done previously. (LD)

Health care is a public issue (LH)

Of all vested interests the worst is the vested interest in making money from Ill-health (MC)

People should be at the centre of the NHS not profits for shareholders. Treatment should be based on need not on whether a company can make money out of it. (PP)

It is immoral to make a profit out of treating people when they are sick & at their most vulnerable. The monies we gladly provide through National Insurance & taxation is for those who need it and NOT for shareholders & directors. Remember it is for the PUBLIC good not for private bank accounts! (JD)

Keeping NHS provision essentially supported by public funding is unquestionably the right approach. (DK)

Bristol Primary Care Trusts put good time, energy and effort into devising care pathways in order to provide integrate, efficient and cost-effective treatment for patients with most health needs. Commissioning service by service is likely to return us to the previous non-integrated health provision, to patient detriment as services become fragmented. (MV)

Because during the last almost 70 years I have been proud of the NHS which has always been regarded by the world as THE MOST WORTHWHILE INNOVATION FOR OUR COUNTRY. (DL)

Because if we allow further inroads into the NHS by private companies, particularly large corporations whose main obligation is to their shareholders, we are in danger of losing the NHS altogether. (DL)

No private profits for a public (and supremely altruistic) service. (NH)

Access to healthcare is the number one priority without health we are limited in what for ourselves and others in this life. It should be a universal right and not for profit. (HW)

Because I am not a client, I am a patient and I do not want choice, I just want an excellent local free national health service. (FR)

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“That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.” Noam Chomsky

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