Local members meet the Health Minister

Below is a blog written by Andy, a 38 Degrees member in Norfolk. Andy and other local 38 Degrees members were in North Walsham on Friday to deliver the 38 Degrees Section 75 petition against NHS privatisation to the Health Minister, Norman Lamb, outside his constituency office.

The day began with an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk about the important petition hand-in. There was a lively discussion about waiting times at the local hospital, gearing me up for the event later that day.

The minister unexpectedly changed the location of the meeting, but luckily the owner of the venue where members were congregating was a 38 Degrees supporter and happy to accommodate us. Local member and members of the 38 Degrees office team overwhelmed the local café, sharing their opinions over cups of tea before heading to Norman Lamb’s office.

We were only expecting a small number to be allowed into his office, but after seeing the amount of people gathered with their placards in the cold, the minister came outside to talk to all of us. Norman said he was very pleased to meet us (despite him being a little late!). He talked a lot about protecting the NHS from privatisation, the importance of “integration” of services and gave us reassurances that Section 75 would be revised. The crowd didn’t let him off lightly though and he certainly received a thorough grilling, being challenged on the disastrous experiment of private companies running public services.

38 Degrees members finished the day feeling that they’d had their say and resolved to keep up the pressure on the government’s privatisation plans. We left invigorated with plans to reconvene at a Defend the NHS demonstration in the North Walsham Market Place the next day.

If you’d like to be involved in the local NHS campaign in North Norfolk please do get in touch – andycairns67@gmail.com

If you haven’t yet signed the petition against Section 75 you can find the petition and more information here – https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/nhs-section-75