One year ago the people of Wirksworth crowded out the Memorial Hall to attend a meeting held to discuss what the proposed Health and Social Care Bill would mean for our NHS.
The Bill is now in its final stages of travel through the parliamentary system and, although it is not yet law, the changes have already started to be put in place. The results of this premature implementation are being seen in reduced scope and quality of services. It is just going to get worse.
Among many of the professional health organisations there is widespread opposition to the Bill.
Of course, there is always room for improvement in the provision of health care in England. Managers and health workers are willing to work together to look at ways of efficiently commissioning care; GPs and hospital doctors are happy to together improve how systems work to provide optimal services.
A total re-writing and complete re-organisation of the health service in England is not needed in order to improve on already excellent services. Certainly the money that it is taking to re-organise could be far better used to make the necessary improvements.
There is no evidence that re-organisation will result in longer term savings. At the same time as the government expects these changes to be made, they are also insisting on £20 billion savings in NHS expenditure!
Now is the time for all of us to take action to save the NHS in England from being irreversibly damaged by the government’s changes, which include far greater involvement of private enterprise. Remember that private companies’ prime aim in becoming involved in health care is to make money for their shareholders. I feel that any money that can be made out of the NHS should be re-invested in it.
We should all write to our MPs to insist that the Health and Social Care Bill is dropped, as advised by the British Medical Association, the Royal College of GPS, the Royal College of Nursing and other professional bodies. Add your name to the 38degrees on-line petition for Parliament to debate throwing out the Bill.