The Health and Social Care Bill has just started to emerge in the media again after what seems like a long few months of silence from politicians and the media. However, other important issues, like pensions, threaten to divert our attention from the proposed destruction of our NHS. The Bill has already progressed with startling speed through the Commons and will reach the Lords for its second reading on 11th October.
There has been relatively little public outrage, considering the devastating consequences that the Bill will have. We really need to be awakened to what stage the Bill is at, the very real dangers of what the Bill will actually mean, and to really step up our actions – locally and nationally – to stop it.
The Health and Social Care Bill threatens fragmentation and privatisation of the NHS through the abolition of PCT’s, the introduction of Commissioning Groups and through the introduction of a body called Monitor to oversee aspects of access and competition in the NHS. The Secretary of State is also trying to get rid of his responsibility to provide a National Health Service which will remove accountability at Government level.
The recent Panorama from Gerry Robinson really highlights the dangers of the Bill:
Who’s going to be managing that big picture? For me that’s the question that remains and unless somebody really does grab this thing in the centre and actually have the courage to make the decisions that are right but unpopular, I think it could be the end of the NHS.
The Bill is going through the House of Lords so we really need to make an impact here and get our concerns across.
TUC Adopt a Peer. This will assign you to a Lord so you can write to them and express your concerns. As Peers are less used to receiving post compared to MPs, this could make a real difference.
The more public awareness we raise and the more people we can get on board with this campaign, locally and nationally, and the more chance of success we will have.
We are currently in the process of planning a public meeting in York to discuss the issues around the Bill and come up with ways to challenge it.
Visit 38 Degrees website to help get involved with the national campaign.
The Defend Our NHS group will meet next Thursday (22nd) 6.30 in the Lamb and Lion (in the Snug) please do come along and help us come up with ways to organise, stop the Bill and save our NHS.
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We need to Act Now.
Once it’s gone, we won’t get it back.