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NHS at grave risk of privatisation

17th January 2023

Eighty years ago our NHS was born out of acute health danger that saw preventable early deaths and long term untreated sickness - unless you could pay.

Families had to borrow, sell possessions or rely on good neighbours or charity or, the good-will of some doctors and nurses who would freely treat and care for the ill or injured. Our NHS is the bright beacon that confirms our very national civilised identity and humanity. No one chooses to be ill or injured!

Today's 'NHS Constitution' (2015) begins "The NHS belongs to the people.  This Constitution establishes the principles and values .... rights ... with responsibilities ... for the public, patients and staff." It continues "The Secretary of State is required by law to take account of this Constitution in their decisions and actions". Clearly, for all to witness, the Government is failing not only the founding ethos of the NHS but its own Constitution.

Senior nurse Clare Nash who Co-leads Shropshire 'Healthy Greens' said, "Not enough clinicians [Ref 1], not enough social care provision [Ref 2] and those staff devotedly 'hanging-in there' stretched, stressed, undervalued by our Government and many underpaid and resorting to debt and food banks. Was the 'clap for carers' just a one handed clap?

'Healthy Greens' Co-lead John Crowe asks, "So, is this a strategy of the Conservative Party in Government 'to break it, to re-make it’ in privatised form? Because the spectre of private profit from people's illness and injury still offends many people and the moral principle which founded our NHS - free at the point of need and funded by general taxation. It is efficient too: the USA's mostly private system expends about $11,000 per head of population (17.1% of US total national earnings) for worse health outcomes than Britain. The UK
spends about $4000 (or 10.4% of our GDP)."

"Think about this; a good pal of mine broke his neck recently and his surgery, had it been provided privately, would have cost about £44,000. Hip replacement is about £12,500. Many of us don’t have that money."

"We need right now, as an emergency, funds to pay properly, train and offer career paths to attract doctors nurses and carers. More carers will allow people who can be supported outside hospital to leave hospital, releasing hospital beds, reducing A&E waits, enabling quick transfer from ambulances to A&E clinicians and relieving ambulance crews to attend to the next emergency. Simples. Government - Do it ! "

Ref 1: (133,446 short, ref, House of Lords Library, Sept. 2022)
Ref 2: (165,000 short, ref. Skills for Care, Oct. 2022)

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Published and promoted by Chris Davenport for the Shropshire Green Parties, 124A Battlefield Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 4AQ

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