Is this really the future we want for our NHS?
A&E and maternity units forced to close, growing waiting lists, cut price services doled out by global corporate giants more interested in profit than people’s health. I am sure that just like me you have no doubt the NHS is a marvel. I’m equally sure that you’re utterly dismayed to see it being dismantled and sold off. Soon, £20 billion of NHS contracts will be in private hands, and with GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups now forced to put NHS services out to competitive tender joined-up working between different services will be much harder to achieve. Profit first people second. You can’t rely on this fragmented NHS to provide the care you need. David Cameron’s had to put a £500 million pound sticking plaster to try to fix the damage his government’s reform has inflicted. Had there been no NHS reform we would not need to spend that money. Waiting lists hitting their highest levels in nine years and now our local A and E is under real threat. Walk in centres and out of hours care is being withdrawn leaving people who fall ill isolated and at risk. The new NHS 111 non-emergency hotline is meltdown. Never mind the providers will still have their profits. They will of course be able to keep up their donations to the Tory party. In 2010 over 13 per cent of Conservative party funding came from private health care firms desperate to get their hands on the NHS. That’s a scandal that’s hard to stomach. Andy Burnham, the shadow Health Secretary, criticised the Government’s response so far as “woefully inadequate”. “David Cameron has left A&E on the brink of a serious crisis. We are already in the middle of the worst year in A&E for a decade and now it looks like the coming winter could be even worse.” Almost a year to the day since Jeremy Hunt was appointed Secretary of State for Health, research has found that Type 1 A&E units (24-hour, consultant-run units) in England have missed their waiting-list target for 41 of the previous 52 weeks – the worst results in a decade. The research also revealed that in the past year, the number of patients waiting in ambulances for more than 30 minutes to be admitted to A&E has doubled to 200,000. Now they are talking about losing our walk in centres and even our A and E department. It’s time to stop. The NHS has saved so many of us and now it needs us.
Anthony John Rutherford
Finkil St Brighouse