NHS: What next?

Just recently, together we’ve been campaigning against the Section 75 regulations, otherwise known as ‘backdoor privatisation’ of the NHS. Here’s what we did:

  • Over 360, 000 people signed the petition – a huge public showing of opposition to the privatisation of the NHS
  • 38 Degrees members gathered in Norfolk outside the Health Minister Norman Lamb’s constituency office to present him with the petition and voice their concerns about how the regulations might force Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to privatise the NHS
  • 38 Degrees members funded expert legal advice to scrutinise the regulations. The Department of Health responded to this legal advice. David Lock QC then gave his opinion of this response
  • 38 Degrees members and staff met with Norman Lamb at the Department of Health’s office to discuss the regulations and again show him the public opposition to the regulations. Following the meeting Norman Lamb sent a note to 38 Degrees members.

As a result of all this pressure, we convinced Norman Lamb to withdraw the regulations and re-draft them. A huge victory for people power! While the new regulations aren’t perfect, they are better than the original version.

For the final vote in the House of Lords, the office team sent briefing packs to Lords including details of the petition and the legal advice.

Unfortunately the new regulations were not defeated and are now law. Norman Lamb has promised that the guidance that will accompany the regulations will ensure CCGs that they will be able to keep services in-house if they so wish. Over the next few months, we need to watch carefully to see whether he keeps his word.

So the NHS changes are now in force. But that isn’t the end of the NHS campaign. Over 50,000 38 Degrees members participated in a poll and had their say on the direction of the NHS campaign. The office team are working up plans for how to progress the NHS campaign based on the poll results. We are keeping a close eye on the NHS and will be there to campaign on important NHS issues as they come up.

As 38 Degrees members consistently vote, the NHS is a big priority!

Alongside the national campaigns that the office team sends out, there’s a new campaigning tool that local members have the opportunity to use. There’s a new part of the 38 Degrees site where members can set up and run their own campaigns – it’s called Campaigns by You. It’s there to give members the opportunity to campaign on the many important issues, both local and national, that are too numerous for the the small office team to ever manage alone.

The new site has already produced some amazing wins! Such as stopping a nuclear dump in the Lake District, saving a local community library and protecting local heritage sites. All of these wins have come from 38 Degrees members like yourself setting up their own petitions on the new site!

Now that CCGs have taken over commissioning health care, this new site gives you the opportunity to campaign on local health issues. For example, if there’s unnecessary privatisation of services in your local area, or ambulances overstretched, or hospitals desperately understaffed, or a local A&Es closed, you can now start a petition on it and fight to protect local health services.

The office team have just made a video about the new site, which will give you some more information about what Campaigns By You is all about.

If there’s any issue, NHS-related or not, you’d like to start a campaign on, you now can easily get one up and running. Hopefully this new site gives your local campaign the opportunity to grow and create positive change for your community!