banner unionsafete

Campaigners Celebrate The 63rd Birthday Of The National Health Service

Today (Tuesday 5th July 2011) it is 63 years since the NHS was founded. Across the UK health professionals are celebrating the NHS' birthday whilst warning that the government's proposed reforms will fundamentally alter the health service and undermine the basic principles on which it was founded.

Throughout the UK health professionals in their communities will be celebrating the NHS to remind MPs and Peers that they need to safeguard the future of the health service.

Despite the government's response to the recent NHS Future Forum report, unions still have key concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill. These include fears about a vast and damaging extension of competition, and concerns that the abolition of the private patient income cap will see NHS patients pushed to the back of the queue as waiting lists grow and trusts prioritise care for paying patients.

Unions also have concerns relating to the clinical commissioning process. Many groups of staff will still have no voice within the process and it is also likely to mean mass subcontracting to private companies, and an overly complex system at local level.

Transparency and accountability remain a concern. Although the Bill requires trusts to hold their meetings in public, no such requirement will exist for private and voluntary sector providers of health services.

Commenting on the birthday celebrations, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Despite some amendments to the controversial NHS reforms, many of the most damaging aspects of the Health and Social Care Bill remain. The changes presented to us by the government after its recent listening exercise amount to little more than smoke and mirrors.

'The government's proposals go against the very principle of our National Health Service, in which care is based on need not ability to pay. They mean private providers will be able to increase their role in the NHS, simply cherry picking the most lucrative parts for their own private profit to the detriment of the overwhelming majority of patients.'

Campaigning aginst Thatcher's NHS policies - nothing changed then!Events taking place across the UK today include:

In Trafford, the birthplace of the NHS and the location of the first NHS hospital, health workers will be outside the hospital with banners, birthday cards and birthday cake to raise awareness and to campaign to keep NHS services local and free and fair for all.

In Wallsend NHS campaigners will gather petitions against the reforms at the local shopping centre.
In Southsea union activists and campaigners will be hosting a street party for the NHS and are encouraging the local community to attend.

At St Phillips Cathedral in Birmingham local campaigners will be distributing birthday cake and petitions to the public, as well organising a stunt to mark the NHS' 63rd birthday.

In Torbay it's all about birthday cakes and muffins, where union members will be cutting a large birthday cake and distributing it and 1,000 muffins to various NHS locations in the area.

In the East Midlands campaigners are presenting Secretary of State for Justice Ken Clarke MP and Anna Soubry MP giant birthday cards at their constituency offices to ask that they help to protect the NHS.

Later today Brendan Barber, TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady and health union leaders from Unison, Unite, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, the GMB and the Royal College of Midwives will be delivering a giant birthday card to the NHS at the Department of Health. The union leaders will be accompanied by frontline workers and will meet Department of Health officials to present the birthday card on behalf of the TUC's All Together for the NHS campaign.

Source: TUC

Find out more about the history of the NHS here

Designed, Hosted and Maintained by Union Safety Services