My, and my wife’s, submissions on the NHS Agenda

Another day, another attempt to slow our government’s dismantling of everything of value in this country. Yesterday it was freedom of information, the day before it was the BBC; today it’s the NHS.


Turns out the Government has proposed “a new mandate to NHS England for this Parliament“, and asked for comments … but very, very quietly, in case someone hears and actually submits some.

Once again, 38 Degrees provided an easy way to respond, (Whatever you think of them as a campaigning organisation, they are certainly good on easing the path to being heard.)

This time, I and my wife both sent responses — both of them short and sweet. Here’s mine:

Well, that came out very silently. I want to tell you that the direction currently being taken by the NHS is simply unsustainable. In population of more people, with higher average age, it is a simple fact that the proportional cost of running a health service WILL rise, and indeed IS rising. The only rational response is to recognise this, and increase funding proportionally — not to keep expecting to be able to trim fat forever. Instead, we are now trimming muscle, and the NHS is weakened by it, with real and tragic consequences.

If we want to know how a privately operated health service would differ from the one we have now, we need only look across the Atlantic the the USA, where privately provisioned healthcare costs 250% as much the NHS, and results in worse outcomes. The very last thing the NHS needs is further privatisation.

Fiona’s is much more personal, and I think rather better:

I’m deeply grateful to the NHS for the cancer treatments I received a few years ago, which included chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The outcome has been positive, and I was extremely impressed by the care, dedication and skill of the NHS staff who treated me. However, because of a consistent lack of sufficient staffing, nurses were unbelievably stretched, waiting times for chemo appointments were frequently 5 hours, and several nurses came back off leave to treat people, I understand unpaid. They explained it was because the oncology department was underfunded. It must be an absolute nightmare to work for the NHS.  The government is relying people’s good nature to work under unbearable conditions. What happens when they crack? We’ll have an NHS that can’t treat cancer. For me, this is a question of life and death.

Please consider making your own submission — it only takes a couple of minutes.

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