Save our NHS – Tottenham meeting, 9 May

May 8, 2011

Our NHS is in danger, the government’s Health and Social Care Bill threatens to open up the whole of the health service to the private sector, putting our money into the pockets of shareholders rather than into the care of the elderly and infirm.

Come along to hear about the Bill, local campaigns and to discuss how we can organise locally to demand that patients and public health should come before profits.

Save our NHS – Public meeting
Monday 9 May 2011, 7.30pm at Chestnut Community Centre, 280 St Ann’s Road, N15 5BN
Tube: Seven Sisters or Turnpike Lane; Buses: 341 or 67

Speakers: Dr Ron Singer- President of the Medical Practitioners Union; Janet Shapiro – Defend Haringey Health Services; Kieran McGregor – Save Chase Farm Campaign; and other speakers to be announced on the night

(meeting organised by Defend Haringey Health Services)

Save our NHS

The government is planning to bring about wholesale changes to our NHS, changes no one voted for and changes that will damage our health. The Health and Social Care Bill, currently going through parliament, is a plan to take the NHS out of the public sector and hand it over to private sector, taking money that should be spent on patients and public health and handing it
over to shareholders as profits.

The Bill promises to award contracts for health services to ‘any willing provider’, this really means private health companies. The NHS will no longer be the preferred local provider, even if local doctors want it to be, because the Bill also promises to set up a new agency, Monitor, to ensure that competition takes place. The effect would be to end relationships that have been built up over years between GPs and hospital services. Rather than ensuring the best local services for patients, they will instead ensure that private health companies profit.

All hospitals will become ‘Foundation Trusts’ by 2014, allowing the government to drop any responsibility for their financial stability. The Bill would let Foundation Trusts make money by developing more services for paying ‘customers’; NHS patients come bottom of the list. GPs will form groups called ‘consortia’ to buy the services they think their patients need. This sounds good, but with £20bn of ‘efficiency savings’ to make by 2014 they won’t be buying anything, they will be cutting services. You and I won’t be able to do anything about it because these consortia will be making their decisions in private.

No one in the medical profession wants this Bill. The British Medical Association, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing have all told the government to drop the Bill. Even Liberal Democrats and Conservative MPs have expressed their doubts. Over 250 Haringey residents have attended our Defend Haringey Health Services meetings and, after hearing about the Bill, have signed the DHHS petition and supported the lobbying of Lynne Featherstone MP and David Lammy MP to oppose the Bill. Over 2,500 Haringey residents have signed the 38 Degrees petition urging the government to drop the Bill.

The government has clearly underestimated the feeling about this essential public service and has now announced a ‘listening exercise’. They hope that, by delaying the passage of the Bill through parliament,they can take the heat off the campaign and persuade everyone that they have made changes. But until this Bill is dropped in its entirety they will have to keep listening.

We need to come together to demand a health service that meets the needs of all the community, we need to say that all the cuts to public services are unacceptable.

Come to the public meeting on the 9th May and work with others to stop this Bill.

Links: Defend Haringey Health Services campaign

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