30 years ago - the first moves to marketise the NHS
As Tories, LibDems and some misguided academics back away from calls for proper funding of the NHS through general taxation and once more regurgitate the tired old call for a "hypothecated tax" to pay for the NHS - "perhaps replacing National Insurance" - it's time to remember some of the crazy formulae dreamt up by Backwoods Tory MPs back in 1988 as Margaret Thatcher commenced her "review" of the NHS ...
Read the full item, and other breaking news
NHS in Crisis: Fix It Now!
Day of action February 3
More than 60,000 people marched through London on 3 February. There were 54 other events across England and solidarity events in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Full details of February 3 events here
Issue 9 now available
order yours to avoid disappointment
Health Campaigns Together 12-page tabloid newspaper has been published quarterly since January 2016.
It’s packed full of information and analysis
for campaigners and union activists. Its circulation has steadily grown to over 10,000 per issue.
Order ONLINE HERE
LHE is actively supporting all of the work of Health Campaigns Together.
Barts strikers back out and need our support
The hundreds of cleaners in Unite who have been on strike at Barts, the London, Mile End and Whipps Cross hospitals are not just fighting for fair pay, but also against the privatisation of our NHS. They deserve our support.
SERCO have so far failed to budge and give into the strikers’ demand of a 30p an hour increase. The hospital staff have so far held 22 days of strikes. They have announced a further series of strike dates. These are 18-22 Aug, 25-29 Aug, 1-5 Sept, 8-12 Sept and 15-19 Sept.
You can support them by
- Joining the picket lines every day 6-10am at Royal London, Barts, Mile End and Whipps Cross Hospitals
- Sending a message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inviting a speaker to your meeting
- Making a donation or a collection By electronic bank transfer: account 20344885 Sort code 60-83-01
Or cheques sent via: Willie Howard, Unite the Union, 33-37 Moreland St, EC1V 8BB. Cheques payable to: “Barts NHS Health Branch” A collection sheet is available here.
Link to Facebook event
NHS Birthday Events
On Wednesday July 5 campaigners and unions celebrated Our NHS with a 69th Birthday Party.
Health Campaigns Together and the TUC worked together to coordinate events in hospitals all over England.
Pictures of some of the dozens of events are available HERE
It's #OurNHS, and we will fight on to defend and restore it.
Challenging the STPs
Conference held in Birmingham on September 17
The conference was a real success. 150 campaigners from all over England came to discuss the latest top-down reorganisation of the NHS and the challenge we face in defending local access to health services.
Speakers included Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Health Secretary. Download her speech HERE
- Statement agreed by campaigners present – download HERE
- Full text of (shortened) speech by John Lister, Secretary Keep Our NHS Public - HERE
- Full text of (shortened) speech from Caroline Bedale on Manchester Devo and STP process – HERE
- Speech from Su Lowe, Unite activist and health visitor – HERE
- Key points from the workshop discussions on how to develop campaigning
NHS for Sale
by Jacky Davis, John Lister and David Wrigley
Myths, Lies and Deception
In 2010 David Cameron's coalition government discarded pre-election promises about the NHS. Instead they imposed savage spending cuts and pushed through 'reforms' which put at risk the health and lives of all of us. As a result the NHS is now in crisis.
NHS for Sale challenges their myths and lies:
- The NHS is efficient and affordable and didn't need radical reform.
- The private sector is not cheaper or more efficient than the public sector.
- The government is privatising the NHS.
- The NHS market is wasting billions of pounds while harming the service.
- The coalition's Health and Social Care Act:
Has not put GPs in the driving seat
Has reduced patient choice
Has reduced community control over healthcare priorities
Has increased bureacracy and waste
NHS for Sale: Myths, Lies and Deception is a brilliant account of the shocking story of the Health and Social Care Act: how its true purpose was concealed from the electorate (with the assistance of the media asleep on the job), how it was sold to Parliament, and its appalling consequences ... Reviewed in The Lancet
Further details here
Available at a special price directly from Keep Our NHS Public
The People's Inquiry website
A complete archived copy of the People's Inquiry into London's NHS website is now available here
, including all submissions and background material.
Dissecting global health
John Lister's book Health Policy Reform: Driving the Wrong Way
, published in 2005, was hailed as "the definitive critique of market-oriented health care 'reforms' that the World Bank has been promoting at least since 1993".
This latest work, Health Policy Reform: Global Health versus Private Profit is a completely revised and restructured analysis of health policy in which John Lister brings his critique of health policy up-to-date. He continues to question whether the major 'reforms' which have been, and are still being, introduced are driven primarily by the health needs of the wider population or, in fact, by nonhealth considerations - the financial and political concerns of governments and global institutions.
Read further details here
Click here for video of John Lister speaking to launch the book
Interactive Hospital Millions game
As featured in HE issue 72
Play Hospital Millions
on your computer, with up to four players.
Experience the thrill of making a vast fortune at the expense of the elderly, sick and needy - or the exhiliration of trading while outrageously bankrupt, bailed out by government handouts!
This game is still being developed, but we hope you will enjoy playing it. Make sure the sound is switched on. If you have any constructive comments please contact us
Click here to play the game
Health journalism resources
to assist health journalists, working journalists, journalism students, editors and publishers.
Top up your specialist skills and knowledge!
Training materials on a wide range of health reporting issues, available free
online: simply register to access all content
Download a leaflet here
, explaining the EU-funded project that developed the resources.
Please also tell us what you think of the material and any other issues you would like to see covered.
If you want to link up with other health journalists in Europe and beyond, check out www.europeanhealthjournalism.com
or contact John Lister
Special FINANCIAL Appeal
Help us campaign to save our NHS!
The NHS faces its biggest-ever threat: a 'double whammy' of massive cuts year by year to 2014, coupled with the Health and Social Care Bill that could wipe out all public sector provision of health services.
The ConDem government has no mandate to transform the National Health Service into a national health market. But if there is no public challenge, the Bill could be forced quickly through Parliament.
Hospital staff have everything to lose and nothing to gain from the proposals which could see tens of thousands of jobs axed, and hundreds of thousands pushed out of the NHS workforce, with new threats to their pay scales and pensions.
Every cutback that is accepted will just encourage desperate employers to come back for more.
It really is do or die for those of us who want to defend the NHS as a public service, and who value the staff who deliver services.
To build a successful campaign requires resources, publicity, time and effort: and until there is a broad popular campaign established with the support of the main health unions, much of the work will fall to organisations like London Health Emergency.
But right now, we don't have the resources to cope.
We need help to keep the issue in the media, and work with local campaigners to get the message across in meetings, protests and local publicity. Just producing and distributing the latest issue of Health Emergency newspaper (out early September) will cost £2000.
We urge any readers or supporting organisations that can do so to make a donation, as large as you can afford, to ensure we have the resources to keep on fighting to scupper Lansley's Bill, keep our NHS intact - and keep it public.
You can donate by cheque (to 'LHE', at BCM London Health Emergency, London WC1N 3XX), or online here.
Pressure group in defence of the NHS
Founded in the autumn of 1983, London Health Emergency is the country's biggest and longest-running pressure group in defence of the NHS.
With over 150 trade union bodies, campaigns and community organisations affiliated at local, regional and national level, and many more subscribers, LHE issues a tabloid newspaper Health Emergency
which has a print run of 7,000 and a distribution reaching many parts of England, Scotland and Wales. Health Emergency
carries news and comment on the full range of health service policy issues, with a special focus on acute hospital services, mental health services, care of the elderly, and the impact of the government's marketising reforms.
LHE continues to act as a vocal defender of health services in London and across the country. Our Breaking News
service carries updates and flags up issues of concern to journalists as well as health activists.
Read more about LHE
London Health Emergency was set up by the GLC in 1983, but has received no funding from local government since 1998. It is not linked with any political party or group.
To continue to resource our campaign work we need affiliations and donations from individuals and organisations who support our policies in fighting privatisation and market reforms in the NHS.
Click here to affiliate to LHE or to subscribe to Health Emergency
Keep Our NHS Public
A campaign involving consultants, academics, MPs, trade unions, pensioners groups and campaigners was launched in autumn 2005 to challenge the government's accelerating drive towards privatisation of the NHS.
London Health Emergency, alongside the NHS Support Federation, was actively involved in the launch of this campaign which has endorsement from prominent individuals and trade union organisations and is gathering momentum daily.
For more details, and to register your support online, check out the campaign's website