Petition against NHS shake-up goes to MP

Frances Deadman from the Calderdale branch of the 38 Degrees campaign hands a Save Our NHS petition to Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker at Halifax town hall

Frances Deadman from the Calderdale branch of the 38 Degrees campaign hands a Save Our NHS petition to Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker at Halifax town hall

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A NATIONAL petition against the government’s NHS plans has been presented to Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker.

The petition – which gathered nearly 400,000 signatures – was organised by national campaigning group 38 Degrees and a group of local residents volunteered to hand it to their local MP.

Frances Deadman, 55, of The Brook, Mytholmroyd, was one of those who attended the handover.

She said: “We have a particular interest in saving the NHS so we signed the national petition and offered to present it to Craig Whittaker.

“38 Degrees are aiming to try to present it to every MP.

“I just think that the NHS plans are a leap in the dark and are so open to the option of privatisation by the back door.

“There’s no evidence that what they are talking about is a better way forward.

“The main fears are privatisation and public accountability.”

She said where PCTs now hold public meetings, the plans don’t include an obligation for the new GP commissioning boards to do the same.

The privatisation concern stems from the competition element of the proposals which allow private companies to carry out services.

“The private companies could come in and scoop up all the profit-making stuff and take services out of hospitals and so on. Eventually it will all crumble and private companies will take over.”

A spokesman for Mr Whittaker said: “He welcomed the opportunity to hear views from his constituents and all the information will be fed back into the consultation process.”

TOMORROW: The views of one Halifax GP.