#NHS in England is being fragmented & dismantled. Only changes to the law can stop the damage. #Bristol>18 May we’ll look at what this’d involve

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March 31, 2017 by Protect Our NHS

NHS bill flyer

Book your tickets now for the #Bristol #NHS event of the year @TrinityBristol. Make sure you’re there – be part of the solution for the NHS! 

Why did an estimated 250,000 people march through London on 4th March 2017 to defend the NHS? What needs to be defended?

All the evidence shows that the NHS in England is being fragmented and dismantled. That really only a change to the law can stop the damage. Now more than ever. And there is an answer – the proposed NHS (Reinstatement) Bill that aims to return the NHS to full public ownership, something destroyed by the Coalition Government’s 2012 Health & Social Care Act that enforced a commercialised model throughout the NHS.

And we now face the added threat of the current Government that is prepared to offer up access to the NHS to American private health care companies, as a bargaining chip in securing a UK – US trade deal, a deal made by Theresa May and Donald Trump.

In response, Protect Our NHS Bristol is stepping up its campaign for an NHS that works for people, not for profit – publicly-owned, publicly-funded, and publicly-run. We believe that campaigning to reinstate that founding vision is now critical.

Public Meeting (tickets here)

Building on that mass demonstration for #OurNHS on 4th March, we’re bringing together on a public platform some of the key people working to reclaim that NHS: 

Caroline Molloy is Editor of OurNHS and a freelance writer. In 2011/12 she was part of a successful campaign which reversed one of the largest planned NHS privatisations in the country, involving 9 Gloucestershire hospitals. Since then she has been campaigning alongside local and national groups to defend the NHS.

Peter Roderick is a legal researcher now at the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. With Professor Allyson Pollock he co-authored the NHS Reinstatement Bill (www.nhsbill2015.org), currently being taken forward in the House of Commons by Margaret Greenwood MP. He has over 30 years’ experience, as a barrister in private practice, the oil industry, academia and with public interest environmental organisations.

More speakers to be confirmed – watch this space

We want to 

  • to raise awareness of the crisis in the NHS & to explain why we need an NHS Bill;
  • to get people contacting their MPs & putting pressure on them to support the Bill;
  • to get more people locally involved in campaigning for the NHS;
  • to promote thinking about the kind of NHS we want for the future.

The founding vision

The National Health Service has been one of the UK’s greatest achievements. For 65 years it has provided a cost effective, universal health service, free at the point of need to all people irrespective of their background, circumstance or ability to pay. Yet over the last 25 years, this founding vision has been slowly but surely eroded. And just today (31 March 2017) we read that the NHS is planning for worsening services.

But in the wider population, is there a majority on board with the campaigners, the activists, the protesters, those who run street stalls, who attend and challenge Clinical Commissioning Groups, who take legal action, who set up petitions, write to MPs and councillors? Are people convinced that the NHS is close to collapse? Certainly if you’re healthy you may not be, unless you have elderly parents or grandparents, or suffer from mental health issues or have experienced the impact of the cuts and rationing that are happening daily – caused by the funding cuts in health and social care.

When we campaigners talk about our fears about NHS privatisation or a drift to a US-style insurance-based health system, are people convinced that this is such a bad thing? Do they understand, or indeed care, about the political and legal aspects of the NHS, as long as for the time being they can rely on being cared for in an emergency?

population survey on the NHS revealed that while there is overwhelming support for the founding principles of our health service, British people do not have a strong preference whether NHS-funded hospital treatment is provided by the NHS directly, a private organisation, or a not-for-profit body. Though, tellingly, 89% of adults in Great Britain support a national health system that is tax-funded, free at the point of use and provides comprehensive care for all citizens. Our view – and that of many other respected bodies – is that once you privatise, commercialise, outsource (choose your preferred terminology) health provision, that is hard cash lost to the NHS for good. Private profit should not have a place in health care. That will be a key message of the Bristol public meeting.

Make sure you’re there – be part of the solution for the NHS! 

The date for your diary: Thursday 18 May 2017 at The Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol BS2 0NW. Free entry, tickets via Eventbrite. Doors open at 7.00 – bar will be open. The Trinity Centre is an accessible venue.

Meeting starts at 7.30 pm. Meeting ends at 9.30 pm.  Bar open – refreshments available – stalls for browsing – networking. Event ends at 10.30 pm

Trump May kiss

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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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