January blues about the #NHScrisis? Keep the fight going!

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January 11, 2017 by Protect Our NHS

It is easy this month to have the January blues particularly when seeing all the bad news in the press about the NHS. Everyday I wake up and read another depressing and distressing story about the destruction being wreaked upon health services by this government and the demoralisation of dedicated staff in the face of this onslaught.
But at heart I remain an optimist despite everything. And in 2016 it was hard to be optimistic.
I can’t put it better that Nelson Mandela who said “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
The optimism of folk who are active in Protect Our NHS and hundreds of campaigns like ours up and down the country means we will not let the NHS disappear without putting up a fight.  Its survival depends on that optimism.
So, and whether you live in Bristol or not, here are some suggested actions to kick off 2017, a year when we need to fight even harder for its survival.
  1. Join the emergency NHS demo this week: Thursday 12th Jan 5pm outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Given the most recent events in the news, including the intervention of the Red Cross, Bristol People’s Assembly are organising an emergency demo this week outside the BRI. More info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1703826469927692/
  2. Book a bus ticket to join the national demo on 4th March in London against NHS cuts & closures:
    https://bristol2itsournhs.eventbrite.co.uk/
    http://www.ournhs.info/
  3. Join the conversation: “STP” plans are out… Complicated? It’s simple, the Government is forcing health managers in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to make local cuts or “savings” of more than £300 million!  We can’t see how they can do this without some hospital, A&E or service closures in an already struggling, underfunded NHS.  Because these plans are mainly about cutting spending, they do not consider what services local people need!  You can have your say here.
    See our press release
  4. Sign a petition asking for more NHS funding: this one is growing rapidly and with no wonder with our NHS struggling this winter:
    https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/1805
    We also had a specific petition for Bristol Council and the STPs:
    http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/community/petition/3694
  5. Write to your MP/councillor/Mayor: you could explain to them you don’t want NHS cuts and that you will hold them accountable if they don’t try to save NHS services. If we don’t kick up a fuss they will roll over, just what the Government wants.
    https://www.writetothem.com/
  6. Read this excellent summary of the issues written by a doctor and share/inform people who may not suspect this is going on:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/06/nhs-crisis-winter-deaths-worcestershire-private-sector
  7. Join a specific protest about STPs in London: Hands off our NHS – March & rally against STP – 28 January in London
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1599650713674010/
  8. Join us (Protect our NHS in Bristol) at our next meeting (we meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at the YHA, Bristol, on a stall to talk to others on the streets of Bristol: just email us and we can send you the info. Follow us on Facebook/Twitter and spread the word.
  9. Say thanks to and be understanding of all NHS staff: they are under a lot of pressure at the moment!
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Protect our NHS Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month at 7.15pm. Come along to Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6AY ALL WELCOME

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