Mar 18th, 2015
The biggest NHS sell off ever: Gail’s story
By India Thorogood
This is a guest blog from Gail, a 38 Degrees member from Staffordshire (who is third from the left here!)
The biggest-ever sell-off of our NHS has just been announced – and it’s happening here in Staffordshire. Cancer treatment and end-of-life care is being privatised to the tune of £1.2 billion.
I live in Gnosall. Twenty years ago, I lost my mother to a rare form of bone cancer. Throughout her treatment and in the last few months of her life, the care she got from the NHS here in Staffordshire was exemplary.
Eight years ago, my husband was diagnosed with the same condition – and he’s still here. He had two stem cell transplants and quick treatment from the NHS. Now I want to fight to save the doctors, nurses and hospitals who saved him.
Cancer patients and people at the end of their lives need to know that the staff caring for them are there to provide life-saving medical care, not make money. We can’t let private companies take over.
I’ve started a petition calling on NHS bosses in Staffordshire to stop the sell-off. They’re trying their best to push this deal through before the election – the last thing they want is a huge public outcry. The more of us who sign, the more chance we have of scrapping this deal. Will you add your name?
This sell-off was agreed by stealth, with a sham consultation. If it goes through, we’ll be locked in for 10 years – with no way out, even if the standards of care fall. The money in the pot is capped, so if more people need cancer treatment it will just have to stretch. The whole thing is ludicrous.
The reasons for the sell-off are murky. But what we do know is that the people in charge of Staffordshire’s NHS are taking a public service, owned by all of us and run for all of us, and giving it to private companies to run for profit.
Privatisation isn’t working in the NHS. The list of horror stories goes on and on:
Private healthcare company Spire denied liability for a consultant’s errors because they weren’t his direct employer.
ATOS healthcare pulled out of a contract in Tower Hamlets because it wasn’t making money.
Hinchingbrooke Hospital has been handed back to the NHS because Circle, a private healthcare company, isn’t turning a profit.
The Staffordshire sell-off is an untested 10 year experiment with our beloved NHS, and we have to stop it. We can’t let Staffordshire blaze a trail for privatisation. The bigger the campaign here, the stronger the message to politicians: we won’t stand idly by while you sell off our health service. Click here to sign my petition.