Friday, 24 February 2012

Guest post: Feeling lonesome at number 10? #savethenhs

Time for my Friday post on the NHS.  This week I have a guest post from my colleague Bet Tickner who is lead councillor for Public Engagement and Health in Reading.  Outside of her council duties and trying to make the best of a bad job for local people in Reading on the NHS she's been campaigning consistently for the NHS bill to be dropped:
Never let it be said that I don't try to be balanced so I'll also link to our local Conservative MP's view on the NHS published yesterday.  I think it's fair to say that the letter he wrote to me last year saying that opposition to the NHS is based on 'myth' is still his view.

If you agree with Bet make sure you've signed the number 10 petition


"Opposition to the Tories’ NHS bill mounts by the hour. Lansley’s thinly
disguised attempts to open up the whole NHS to competition from
predatory private healthcare companies is at last meeting strong resistance
from where it matters, from those who will be made to implement these ill-
conceived changes.

It would be somewhat pathetic, if it were not so serious, to see Cameron
and Lansley meeting Monday with half a table of supporters, when he
can’t be in the same room with:


  • British Medical Association
  • Royal College of GPs
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • College of Occupational Therapists
  • Faculty of Public Health
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • Royal College of Pathologists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists

Surely any reasonable person would conclude this bill must be dropped,
given the massive opposition to it among the public (who trust their doctor
6 times more that any Tory minister according to a You Gov poll) as well as
vast majority of Health professionals and workers.

As one London GP said during the demo outside Downing St : "Cameron is
misrepresenting us by saying he has GP support. He doesn't. You could get
the number of supporters into a telephone booth."

And this Bill can be dropped now. Dame Shirley Williams, who has worked
tirelessly on trying to amend this bill, has proposed dropping the whole
section on competition and privatization. That could serve to stabilize the
NHS, but it’s a pity that the Lib-Dem party as a whole, including Reading’s
Lib-Dem group, can’t join the noble few Lib Dem MPs and peers who have
summoned up the courage to stand up for the sort of social values they

habitually trumpet and demand this Bill be dropped , because that would
kill it."