Saturday, 21 January 2012

The beginning of the end?

The Health Bill is now opposed by the BMA, the NHS Consultants Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives.
A further blow has been struck to Andrew Lansley and David Cameron. The extremely influential Health Select Committee (chaired by the former Conservative Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell) has produced a damning report on the dangers of the Health Bill.
This must surely be the final nail in the Health Bill coffin. It now has virtually no support outside of the coalition government and it is time the politicians listened to the health professionals. Who do you trust more - your doctor or your politician?

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Heroic Effort

The running is over, the feet are sore, the muscles are tight and the efforts of two people to highlight the dangers of the Health Bill to the NHS has been truly momentous. Bevans Run is over and it has done so much to highlight how the coalition Health Bill will privatise much of the NHS.
Here is a photo of them at their final destination - the Dept of Health on Whitehall. Dr Clive Peedell and Dr David Wilson. A large rally took place of around 300 people and listened to speakers talk about how the NHS is under threat by this Bill. I spoke and said that doctors do not support the Bill (BMA Council representing all UK doctors voted to oppose the Bill) and who do you trust - your doctor or your politician? Mr Cameron repeatedly says doctors support these changes - they do not!

We also went to Mr Cameron's constituency in Witney, Oxfordshire and delivered a dossier of concerns to his office and here is the photo of us outside the door - from the left Professor Ian Banks (President Mens Health Forum), myself, Dr Jacky Davis consultant radiologist and founder of Keep Our NHS Public, Dr Clive Peedell consultant oncologist and running hero and Dr Allyson Pollock public health doctor and amazing campaigner against privatisation of the NHS.
We will all continue to campaign against the Bill and show how it will lead to an NHS that will have enormous private sector involvement, with increased costs and bureaucracy and increased inequity when we should have an NHS that is there for everyone no matter what your background or income is.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Campaigning

Over the past 18 months I have been campaigning heavily for the NHS. Ever since the coalition White Paper was published in July 2010 I knew immediately it was an utter disaster for the NHS. I opposed it completely from the outset. It is a threat to equitable care across England (it is an England only Health Bill). No matter what your background, your income or your status in society is the NHS is there for you at the moment. This may not be the case in the future. Private firms will increasingly move into healthcare, there will be fragmentation of care, increasing bureaucracy, introduction of insurance based systems and personal health budgets which will mean if you can afford to 'top up' your budget and buy better care then you will be able to do so. It is already happening all around us in social care and in care of the elderly.
This is why over the past 18 months I have written articles about the damaging Bill, spoken at many meetings to patients and doctors about these changes, debated on platforms with MPs about the legislation and set up this blog to try and get across the message that the changes we see before us will irreparably damage our NHS  possibly forever.
This week I will be travelling down to Oxfordshire to support my BMA UK Council colleague Dr Clive Peedell as he undertakes his mammoth 160 mile run to the Department of Health in London.
I will speak in Mr Cameron's own home town of Witney and try and get across the anger that GPs feel at these changes to the NHS. Mr Cameron and Mr Lansley repeatedly state their Bill and their enormous changes to the NHS have the backing of GPs - THEY DO NOT. Just because GPs are trying to improve healthcare by being involved in local commissioning groups does not mean they are right behind their Health Bill. Indeed the BMA has now voted to fully oppose the Health Bill - so the body that represents the UKs 150,000 doctors opposes completely the coalition health policy! That doesn't sound very supportive to me. The medical profession does not support the Health and Social Care Bill Mr Cameron - you have lost the trust of the medical profession - a medical profession that wants to look after every patient they see no matter who they are or what their income is.
On Sunday 15th January I will meet many others at the Department of Health in Whitehall, London to protest about the Health Bill and speak about how patients will lose all the faith and trust they hold in their doctor because of this Health Bill. The coalition are seeking to destroy the doctor patient relationship and I will speak more about this in London.
We really do have a very worrying time ahead for the NHS and we need to do all we can to inform as many people as possible because once this Bill becomes law it becomes very very difficult to reverse it.
Please speak to your friends and colleagues about the Health Bill and raise awareness so we can fight to save the NHS that has served us so well since 1948.