Save Our National Health Service

Ealing campaigners call for co-operation not competition


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Did you know that our health service is under serious threat?

The NHS is fighting for its life; under attack from Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill which is now before parliament. If this bill is passed the guarantee of best available care anywhere in the UK for free will cease. Your cherished local NHS asset may “go to the wall” as private providers take over. The national system will be destabilised and fragmented. Costs will rise.

It’s inevitable that eventually we’ll have to pay for some services that are now free.

The intention is to increase competition. Competition costs. It costs in quality, wasted assets and the lost benefits of medical co-operation. Only the fittest survive. We’ll end up with an expensive USA-style profit centred service where shareholders’ dividends and board members salaries will come before patient care and a unified system.

Splitting up a unified system also means training will suffer. Current private health providers rely heavily on NHS trained staff.

It isn’t only competition that costs. Change costs and this is not the time to be seeking rushed, and fundamental changes with neither consultation nor mandate. Of course the NHS could be improved but this “sledge hammer to crack a nut” bill is a recipe for disaster.

Why are the Tories seeking to rubbish and change our universally acclaimed and cost effective NHS? Their friends in the private health care business have donated substantial funds to both Lansley and the Tory party. There is some managed private sector involvement in the NHS now. The difference is that the Bill if passed, will break open the protective “wall” surrounding the NHS allowing private companies to freely harvest the rich pickings.

We weren’t told that a Conservative Government in office would massively reorganise the National Health Service when we voted last May. If we’d known, the election outcome may have been very different. David Cameron told us he loved the NHS and budgets would be protected.

The bill appears to be a “chancer’s charter”. There have been minor changes promised but it’s difficult to confirm detail from tracking the committee stage that ends on 31st March. Some commentators declare the plan, laissez faire vandalism. This is because at its heart government will relinquish control to allow the body to be carved up by market forces. In a market will the quality be maintained? Will it remain free to all and for how long?

There has been anti NHS spin just like Blair’s “dodgy dossier” to brief Conservative and Lib-Dem MPs. Useful for hard pressed MPs seeking to justify the indefensible but systematically rubbished by academics. Labour and many Lib-Dem MPs oppose it although it remains to be seen how much they can influence the outcome. Every medical professional body and even a group of Tory MPs (notably an ex GP) have openly denounced this bill. This bill is madness.

Will you stand up for the NHS?

• Find out more at Sign the petition at
• Sign the petition at
• Send a letter or e-mail David Cameron and your MP expressing your disapproval of the bill.
• E-mail (Committee stage) with your views by 31st March
• Get involved. Email to help your local Save the NHS group
• Talk to your family and friends. Encourage them to participate.
26th March 11AM March to save our NHS. Meet behind the blue Fight for our NHS banner corner of Middle Temple Lane and Victoria Embankment (Temple tube station)


Arthur Breens
Campaigner and member of University College London Save the NHS Now


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21st March 2011


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