Friday, 15 April 2011

NHS Reforms and Apparent Apathy of the General Public

This post is very different from the original draft and this is with thanks to Dr No and his recent post The Patient on the Clapham Omnibus

The draft focused on this interview with Andrew Lansley in which, when asked "Do you think you have done a good job of explaining these reforms?" he replied "... ... Yes" and later that he had "... absolutely engaged with people" and had indeed listened to all GPs! My!  That is a lot of conversations with GPs - how does he find the time?

How strange it is then that one week later on 13/04/11 he, Dave and Nick were holding a round-table session with voluntary health organisations to help reassure the general public that NHS reforms are "not about privatisation."

How strange it is that the afternoon of the very same day he apologised to nurses for poor communication of his health reforms.  How strange it is that he did not have the guts to address the RCN congress, instead meeting a select 60 for a Q&A session to 'listen.'

The rest of the post rambled on about the poor uptake (9%) of docs to the BMA commissioned Ipsos MORI poll, that it appears that GPs are to be frozen out of the NHS board and that there is no unity, no single voice representing 'health professionals' and because of this, I fear our fight is doomed.

However, my thoughts were diverted to Dr No's post and his last sentence: "Perhaps it is time we medical bloggers found a way to sing to a wider audience."

This is my proposition:  We email our concerns to   We email all our friends and colleagues and ask them to do the same and request (they) email their friends and colleagues and so on into infinity.

Below is an example of what your original email might be - but you can word it as you like:

Saving our NHS

As you must be aware, the very existence of our NHS is under threat, yet there does not appear to be a groundswell of resistance from the general public, that being US!

We take the NHS for granted as it is there when we need it - but what if it was no longer there?  Admittedly it may have a few warts, even several that are in need of treatment - but is an effective treatment to destroy the host?

Unless we unite we will lose our NHS, it morphing into some strange unfriendly beast that offers no asylum to those with complex and expensive medical conditions.

Please help save our NHS and email Andrew Lansley at and let him know your opinions.  Please forward this to all your friends and colleagues and ask them to do the same.

The only way to be heard is to speak out!  Please help save our NHS!

You could also start a petition limited to your street and send it to:

The Rt Hon Andrew Lansley,
Secretary of State for Public Health,
Department of Health,
79, Whitehall,

C'mon folks - lets do it!  Let's save our NHS!

Anna :o]

ADDENDUM.   Having received an automated reply from Andrew's constituency offfce - the above directions have been changed.  


NorthernTeacher said...

Good idea, Anna. Have gone through my email contact list and done it. Thanks.

blackdog said...

My problem Anna is that I don't really want to save it, well not as it is now that is. All of us who hate this Bill, and I'm one of them, have slid into the mindset, that these changes will make things worse than they are now, which they will. So we have to save it in it's present imperfect form, perverse and corrupt as it is. We are left pretty much with same choices we had at the election. Rock? Hard place?

Those that can save it are not us, but the JD's and Dr. No's, because without them it will not work. GP's have the power to influence this Bill more than any cohort in the NHS, but will they? I'm not holding my breath, there's too much cash at stake and Doctors have always been more influenced by pecuniary advantage than their patients plight, as history proves.

Found A Voice said...

Hi Anna, I thought it was time I dropped in!

I have to say that I disagree. The NHS model needs a complete overhaul as inefficiency and bad practices are rife - and many, many staff are completely demoralised. The patient outcomes (the most important part) are slipping further and further behind other countries with whom we should at least achieve parity (as a way of benchmarking).

Moreover, in terms of funding, it is basically a huge ponzi scheme (like our pensions) that is approaching (well, I would say passed) breaking point in terms of funding. It simply cannot continue.

It needs a shake up and hopefully this will be one of the first stage of a series of restructures that will leave us with a better NHS.

(Oh, and it can remain free at the point of use, just look at Singapore).

Embrace the change!


P.S. It is extraordinary that there is so much surprise about the NHS reform - granted the Tories have been woeful in communicating the plans but they were absolutely clear in their election manifesto that they would be doing this and one would expect those interested to have checked.

P.P.S. Most medical 'representatives' represent their professions first (i.e. are unions) and not the patients.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your comments folks!

Northern Teacher: Thanks again!

Black Dog: In a sense - I agree with you. The NHS is in a pretty abysmal state and reforms are needed - but not those which lead to its destruction.

I think all 'health professionals' bar of course those influenced by 'pecuniary advantage' - a gross generalisation to place all doctors under this umbrella, I think - understand the need to reform.

The NHS has never been financially viable, always underfunded and the attempt by New Labour to make it a market place, tariff everything, along with ridiculously highly salaried unnecessary layers of management has increased its dire financial state.

It is steady privatisation, pure and simple and the Coalition is just carrying on from where Labour left off.

Believe me blackdog - you have no idea of what the final outcome of these reforms will be - the NHS (free care for all) will cease to exist.

It is a cop out expecting docs alone to prevent the destruction of the NHS - we all must stand up and be counted. It is our NHS!

FAV: Pretty much the above with extra bits!

We will definitely not have a better NHS!

As a lifelong Tory voter I truly believed the NHS pledge - the draft manifesto very different than the White Paper! Makes me a bit of a twit, doesn't it?

If you changed the 'most' in your PPS to 'some' I would agree with it, as 'most' I can't.

Anna :o]

Shaista said...

The above makes for interesting reading for me, a Systemic Lupus patient, who has been part of the NHS since I was a young girl.
My biologic infusions have recently been cut in half, so the cuts are real and painfully stressful.
A learning process this... don't you think?

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Shaista: It is indeed. Cuts are in the pipeline or have already happened for many patients suffering from chronic illness or otherwise vulnerable and it is not right.
If you have not already - please start something similar to the above chain letter and let the people know. We have to take action.

Thanks for your comment!

Anna :o]