November 23, 2016 by Protect Our NHS
Dear #Bristol, please sign this petition opposing the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire STP.
We, the undersigned, urge Bristol City Council to campaign against any aspect of the local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan that will result in cuts to: publicly funded health services; hospital beds; numbers of frontline health staff or in their terms & conditions; free access to locally-delivered services.
NHS England states that STPs should command the support of local government – in our view, Bristol City Council therefore have an opportunity to campaign to safeguard our local NHS and help prevent further cuts in services
The NHS is in crisis and desperately needs more money (1). But the prime minister, Theresa May, has stated that the government will not give the NHS any extra money and that it must fill the £22 billion hole in its finances by cutting back on spending (2). Over the past year or more local health chiefs, led by NHS England, have been planning how to achieve this. These plans are called Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and they aim to limit NHS spending to £22 billion less than is needed to maintain the current service. By rejecting calls to spend more, not less, on the NHS, the government ignores the fact that the UK spends far less on health than most other Western European countries. The truth is that the UK would have to spend £43 billion more on the NHS to match the average health spending of Western European countries.
The local planners, including Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, must soon publish their Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). By law, they must engage in a proper consultation with Bristol City Council and the public. Our voices must be heard and acted upon. To date, the plans remain secret* and no consultation plan has been published. Let’s not make the mistake of waiting to be asked for our views – the NHS is depending on us. We are petitioning Bristol City Council because NHS England states that STPs will need to be supported by local government before they can go ahead. Bristol City Council therefore has an opportunity and a duty to safeguard our local NHS and prevent further cuts in services.
This petition is part of a campaign being organised by a local activist group called Protect our NHS: https://protectournhs.wordpress.com. If we can secure 3500 signatures, we bring the petition and debate to a full meeting of the Council. Please sign the petition to play a part in saving the NHS for friends, family and future generations.
* The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire STP was finally published on 21st November. Full details here.