The Face Of Future Tragedies In A Privatised NHS?

Below are the words of an email from Linda, a woman who's baby dies as a result of the privatisation of her local GP out-of-hours practice. The photograph above is of her and her baby Axel. She wrote this ealier this week and prior to her handing over a 38 Degrees petition today 8th March to the Health Minister.

"My name is Linda. I’m a long-standing 38 Degrees member, and I’m sending this email because I know first-hand why it matters so much to stop the privatisation of our NHS.

On Friday afternoon, I will deliver a copy of the petition against NHS privatisation to the Health Minister. When I hand the petition over, I will tell the minister about what happened to my baby. He died when he was just seven weeks old whilst receiving care from my privatised GP out-of-hours service.

Last week was a hard one for me. It was the inquest into the death of my baby son, Axel. He died last November from pneumonia. His illness went untreated despite repeated calls and visits over the course of five days to my NHS out-of-hours doctors’ service, which had been recently privatised.

I feel the inquest left many of the biggest questions unanswered – like what role NHS privatisation may have played in the mistakes which led to the death of my baby boy.

After hearing evidence of how that private health contractor had acted, I feel determined to do all I can to stop further privatisation of our NHS. That’s why I’ve decided to get more involved with 38 Degrees, and why I’m going to see the Health Minister this Friday. I’d really appreciate it if your name was on the petition when I meet him.

We had a bit of a breakthrough with this campaign yesterday. The government announced that because of all the pressure they would withdraw and rewrite their NHS privatisation regulations.

The petition which I’d signed, along with 240,000 other 38 Degrees members, was mentioned in Parliament. That shows we can make a difference.

But I remember, as I’m sure that you will, that when the government promises to rewrite a plan, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the new version will be any better than the old one. We need to make sure they genuinely drop any attempt to force GPs to open up services to privatisation."

Source: 38 Degrees

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