Mar 8th, 2016
By Kahra Wayland-Larty
Can you take a moment to think of all the local NHS services you or your family use? It could be your NHS walk-in centre, the A&E in town or a specialist service local to your area. Imagine if that service was handed to a private company like G4S or Serco. Decisions about your health could become about profit, rather than the care you need.
A growing number of our local NHS services are being shut down or privatised. But lots of them are still standing proud and serving our communities.The difference between the services that get shut down quietly and those that continue to save lives is us. People. Across the country, doctors’ surgeries, A&Es and cancer services are all still open for everyone, thanks to local people working together to stand up for them.
The UK government make the big policies, but it’s local decision makers who decide whether it is the NHS or Serco who run our health service down the road. So it’s locally – area by area – that we can stop it being handed to profit-hungry companies.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Small groups of us are going to meet for coffee mornings, an evening drink or pub lunches all across the country. We’ll talk about the best parts of our NHS and the steps we could take to help protect our local services. Together, we’re going to build a national movement of ordinary people ready to stand up for our NHS.
So, please can you join a NHS meetup with other 38 Degrees members in your area? It could be at a cafe, a pub, your living room, a church hall – whatever works best. The 38 Degrees office team will give you all the support you need to get the word out and make your event a success.
To get started, please click the button below to chat to other local 38 Degrees members and help decide on a date and place that suits you best: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-meetups
At the 38 Degrees meetups, we could make plans on how to keep our local NHS walk-in centre out of Serco’s hands. Or we might decide to write to our local NHS hospital and ask them to meet a group of us to talk about changes they’re making. Or we might simply agree to stay in touch, or even hold a street party as the weather gets warmer to celebrate the NHS.
Just coming together to have these chats will make politicians and private companies nervous. This starts with you. You can be part of the conversation our communities are waiting for.
Please can you come along to a meetup with other 38 Degrees members in your area who care about our NHS? Here’s the link again: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-meetups
NB. Joining a chat like this is more difficult for some people than others. People can be shy, really busy or hesitant to jump in. It’s easy to hope that some charismatic local expert will step up to the plate and offer to kick things off so you don’t have to. But all of us have something to offer, even if it’s simply the fact that we know someone who has used a local NHS service.
There are so many wonderful 38 Degrees members just like you who don’t want to see this national treasure of ours starved of funds, managed poorly or privatised bit by bit. People who believe the NHS can and should serve all of us.
If you’ve got any other questions, chances are the answers can be found here: