Tag Archives: Save our NHS

NHS Demonstration on Tuesday – Lansley Visiting Birmingham

Andrew Lansley is speaking at a NICE conference at the ICC on Tuesday 15th, and there will be a demonstration from 5pm in Centenary Square, called by Keep Our NHS Public and Save Our NHS West Midlands.

Lansley is responsible for the Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently passing into law, having been voted through by the Tories and Lib Dems, despite the legislation not being in either manifesto, and David Cameron having said that there would be no top down reform of the NHS.

Already the vultures are circling, with Virgin Health and Serco picking up contracts to run NHS services. The cap on private patients in NHS hospital has been raised to 49% and the responsibility for the provision of healthcare services has been removed from the Secretary of State for Health (they now only have to “promote” healthcare services – creating the legal space for the complete privatisation of our healthcare, and the reduction of the NHS to a brand or insurance provider).

Lansley has vetoed the release of the risk register, which examines potential problems with the legislation. This is despite court orders to release it as the information is in the public interest so we can better understand the effect that the changes will have on our healthcare.
Has this been blocked because it reveals that patient care will suffer, as it has for dialysis patients in Birmingham following the outsourcing of the service, or because it reveals the huge risk of healthcare companies going bust, like Southern Cross did in social care – leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill.
Are they refusing to release it because it shows that the cost of health care will spiral as we hand money over to shareholders in the form of profits, and as administrative costs rise. In the USA, they pay more than twice as much per person for healthcare as we do.

The NHS is the most efficient healthcare system in the world, with among the best patient outcomes. It is not perfect, and can be improved. We need to examine how we can pay for rising healthcare costs associated with an aging population and with ever increasing medical knowledge that finds new treatments. But every single NHS workers organisation – all the doctors and nurses that deliver healthcare – are against the bill, repeatedly calling for it to be withdrawn in its entirety.
These reforms are not the right way to go – moving towards a privatised healthcare system modeled on the expensive and ineffective US model of private insurance with minimal state provided cover.

Join us on Tuesday to continue the fight for the NHS. The bill has not yet passed into law, though the changes it creates are already being implemented. We can make this issue the coalition’s Poll Tax, and reverse the changes that have been made before consulting with NHS workers about how to change the NHS for the better, and not in order to line the pockets of private companies and consultancies like McKinsey.


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2 NHS Petitions You Should Sign

2 petitions have been posted on the government’s e-petition website that we would encourage you to sign.
The first is a call to recruit 5,000 more midwives. This is particularly relevant in Birmingham, where the womens’ hospital recently turned away pregnant women due to staff shortages.


The second is a petition to drop the NHS reform bill, in the light of recent refusals by the government to release risk register reports because they would have had implications for the success of the policy getting through parliament.
Given that the full implications of the NHS reform bill were not available to MPs or Lords, the bill should be dropped.
The BMA have stated their further opposition to the reform bill after draft guidelines on commissioning were released, which they say will remove power from GPs, and hand it to private organisations.


You can keep up with NHS news and campaigns locally with Save Our NHS West Midlands

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Block the Bridge, Block the Bill – Sunday 9th October

UK Uncut have called for mass civil disobedience in protest at the Health and Social Care Bill, which goes to the Lords next week.

The government is just weeks away from destroying the NHS forever. This is an emergency. On Sunday October 9th at 1pm, join UK Uncut on Westminster Bridge and help block the bill.

A free coach is available from Birmingham – email BrumUncut@Gmail.com, call Kerry on 07835 602 575 or attend this facebook event, and Kerry or Tom will be in contact this week to confirm and give final details.
Additional: a free coach will also be going from Telford. Email shropsfightback@virginmedia.com to book a space on that.

On one side of Westminster Bridge is Parliament. On 7th September, MPs in the Commons voted for the end of the NHS as we know it. Yet the coalition’s Health and Social Care bill was not in the Lib Dem manifesto. It was not in the Tory manifesto. None of us voted for this.

On the opposite side of the bridge is St Thomas’ Hospital, one of Britain’s oldest medical institutions. If the bill passes, hospitals like St Thomas’ will be sold to private corporations, the staff put on private payrolls and beds given over to private patients. Despite the government’s lies, this bill represents the wholesale privatization of the NHS and, with it, the destruction of the dream of comprehensive healthcare provided equally to all.

On October 11th, the bill moves to the Lords, and a huge Liberal Democrat rebellion is brewing. We have one last chance to save our NHS.
On Sunday 9th October, just days before the bill moves to the Lords, join UK Uncut in a spectacular act of mass civil disobedience to block the bill. By blocking Westminster Bridge we symbolically block the bill from getting from Parliament to our hospitals. Yes, it will be disruptive. Yes, it will stop the traffic. But this is an emergency and we have to shout as loud as we can.

Get to the middle of Westminster Bridge shortly before 1pm. When Big Ben strikes one, pick one of the tactics below and help block the bridge:

  • Bring some fake blood and play dead
  • Bring hospital radio to the bridge with some music and comedy
  • Bring a nurse for a resuscitation skill-share
  • Dress up in scrubs and perform an operation
  • Enjoy a picnic overlooking Parliament
  • Share stories about the the NHS
  • Invite a friend from across the pond to describe the reality of a privatised healthcare system
  • Invite older generations to describe a time before universal healthcare
  • (if you’ve got other good ideas, email them to ukuncut@gmail.com)

Invite everyone you know to the Facebook event, and make sure you click ‘attending’. UK Uncut will be in close contact with St. Thomas’ before and during the protest to ensure access for emergency vehicles.

It is really important that as many people as possible attend this protest, we cannot let the NHS get destroyed without a big demonstration. In Birmingham, we held a demo at QE hospital, and Save Our NHS West Midlands were busy lobbying local MPs in August in the run up to the commons vote, but the only national demo was a rather underwhelming candle lit vigil called by the TUC.
This is the last opportunity to stop or change the health care bill, and we have to take it.
A free coach is available from Birmingham – email BrumUncut@Gmail.com, call Kerry on 07835 602 575 or attend this facebook event, and Kerry or Tom will be in contact this week to confirm and give final details.

Join the free coach from Birmingham, and take part in this action.

Please be prepared for a kettle. Hopefully the police will allow people to leave at 4pm, which is the time that UK Uncut have said the protest will finish, however everyone who goes should be ready to be stuck on the bridge well into the evening. As such, please make sure that you take warm and waterproof clothing, food and water, and be aware that toilet facilities may not be available. If there is a Kettle, Birmingham Uncut (who are running the coach) will be in contact with the driver to ensure that the coach will wait. Th return time is provisionally set for 6pm, but will leave as soon as everyone is back.
It is really important that we are not intimidated by this prospect and that we do not allow the police to prevent us from standing up and saying loudly and clearly that we did not vote for these reforms, that we do not want them, that we stand with the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, UNISON, UNITE and over 400 public health experts who today wrote an open letter calling for the bill to be withdrawn, as well as pretty much every other professional medical association, in calling for the bill to be scrapped in its entirety.

You should also write to Peers. Save Our NHS West Mids are gathering a list of local peers, but for now you can use the TUC Adopt A Peer website to get details of someone to write to – they also have a model letter for you to use, although it is always best to write your own if you can.

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Save the NHS Demonstration at QE Hospital

Around 30 people were able to make it to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham to demonstrate about the cuts the NHS is facing.

This demonstration was called on Saturday following the front page news story from Birmingham Mail that 700 beds are going to be lost from hospitals around Birmingham and Solihull as trusts seek to find “efficiency savings” (remember, the NHS budget is ringfenced!).

The QE Hospital is facing 17% budget cuts, which will lead to the reduction of admissions and outpatient appointments by 3,000 and 37,000 respectively.

Elsewhere, the Heart of England trust is cutting 20% of jobs (1,600 posts), and Sandwell and Dudley trust is facing £12m cuts.

Birmingham Mail have posted a video report of the demo

The NHS faces challenges from both budgetary cuts and the Health bill whose reforms open the NHS up to private companies coming in to make profits from taxpayers and move it a huge step towards being fully privatised.  The Blood Service is already facing part-privatisation, and had originally been proposed to be fully privatised.

The tories will privatise the NHS if they can, but we can stop them.  There are two events coming up concerning the NHS that could go to, and we are hearing of a local campaign being setup by members of 38Degrees, which we hope to have more news on soon..

On Thursday, John Lister from Health Emergency will be talking about the campaign to Save The NHS at our public meeting in Birmingham

On Saturday, UK Uncut have called a national day of action titled “Emergency Operation: Transform the Banks, Save the NHS” to draw attention to the cuts and the Health Bill reforms that will end what we currently know the NHS to be. In Birmingham, the meeting point is 11am, by Waterstones, near the Bull Statue.


Filed under Cuts, Events