A Thousand Thank Yous to the NHS – Campaigning Group to give 1,000 sweets to NHS staff in Bristol and Weston1
March 21, 2014 by Protect Our NHS
Thank You NHS Week – 24th to 28th March
A Thousand pieces of Rock with the words ‘Thank You’ embedded in them will given away to NHS hospital staff by Protect our NHS volunteers across the week.
Everyone in the UK has at some time benefitted from the NHS and some of us owe our lives to NHS doctors and nurses. As part of a week of action from 24th – 28th March, the local campaigning group Protect Our NHS is organising ‘Thank You events’ outside Weston General Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary and other hospitals in Bristol to thank the many dedicated, hardworking, caring and compassionate staff who work in the NHS.
Campaign co-ordinator, Mike Campbell commented: “We all know that NHS doctors and nurses have been under immense pressure during the last year. They deserve our thanks, because they have had to deal with a huge increase in patients while making savings of £20 billion and facing a barrage of criticism and now a pay freeze. We think this is a terrible way to treat people who could be saving our lives tomorrow.”
On Monday 24th March, we will be launching the Protect Our NHS manifesto outside Weston General Hospital at 8 am. Steve Timmins, the campaign’s North Somerset co-ordinator said: “Our group is not aligned to any political party, but we are keen to find out how committed each party is to retaining a comprehensive national health service which is free when you need it. Our manifesto sets out the measures needed to achieve this and we will use it to probe the stated intentions of the parties.”
On Thursday 27th March, members of Protect Our NHS have been invited to attend a meeting where the Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, will explain Labour’s policies on the NHS. We will present our manifesto to him and ask for confirmation that Labour will offer a credible alternative to the widespread privatisation of NHS services that is currently taking place.
On Friday 28th March, we are delighted that Nathan Filer, winner of the Costa book of the Year, will be joining us at Easton Community Centre, Kilburn Street, Bristol BS5 6AW at 2 pm to talk about mental health services, which are currently out to tender in Bristol. Nathan is a registered mental health nurse and his award-winning novel, The Shock of the Fall, is about loss, guilt and mental illness, so he is well placed to understand these issues.
Protect Our NHS has been campaigning to keep Bristol’s mental health services out of the hands of private companies. But Mike Campbell said: “The recent decision by NHS England to cut funding for mental health services by 20% more than that for acute hospitals will put lives at risk. Young people especially are being affected as half of early intervention programmes aimed at young people have been cut in the past year.”
Nathan Filer added: “Mental health services must be properly funded. If not then we have a real crisis on our hands, where both patients and staff are trapped in an ever-shrinking resource pool. The current trend of cuts is taking us in entirely the wrong direction. We are failing the most vulnerable of our society.”
Protect Our NHS has developed a range of campaigning materials – posters, leaflets, postcards and car stickers – which we will be launching at the meeting on Friday 28th March.
The timetable for our week of action is attached to this press release.
For further information please contact:
Mike Campbell on 07891 432224 or Steve Timmins on 07841 238588
Notes for Editors:
Protect Bristol and North Somerset NHS represents more than 8,000 local people who have signed petitions organised by the online campaigning group 38 Degrees to oppose privatisation of NHS services.
The Protect our NHS blog contains information on many of the private health care companies bidding for health services in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on mental health service cuts see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-26530733 and http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/12/risks-deep-cuts-mental-health