My NHS Letter to the Prime Minister
Below is a letter that I have sent to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, regarding the current state of the NHS and its future.
Dear Rt Hon David Cameron MP,
The NHS is in crisis – five years ago you promised that the NHS was safe in your hands; that there would be no more top down reorganisations; that frontline services would be protected and health spending in real terms would increase.
I am writing to ask you to stand by your promises to protect the NHS and to:
Protect our NHS: Stop the privatisation and fragmentation of NHS services. Private profits have no place in our national health service
Stop wasting our money on a big top down reorganisation, and carry out a full consultation of the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012
Invest in our NHS: For a start you can provide the real increase in NHS funding you promised.
Stop using our NHS savings to pay off the deficit and recycle it back into improving servicing and investing in NHS staff.
I have previously worked in the NHS, and seen first hard the destruction and chaos caused by your NHS reforms. In the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust there are huge waits for key services, including Accident & Emergency – something which is replicated up and down the country. Patient care has slipped into a second place priority with cost becoming the main driving force. As one example, I’m sure that you will understand that patients, who are nearing the end of their life, do not deserve to be stuck on Acute Assessment Units, where themselves and their families cannot have peace and a final bit of quality time to spend together due to the hustle and bustle of these units – unfortunately, this happens more than you might like to admit due to a lack of staff and lack of beds on appropriate wards.
Access to treatment is restricted based on ‘cost-benefit analysis’ with seemingly little to no consideration to individual circumstances or quality of life. Your government claims to want to help ‘hard working people’ succeed whilst simultaneously placing barriers, through treatment restriction, to disabled people across the country. Your government is throwing people on to welfare, demonising them and then removing what little support they have left.
Your government has taken an NHS that had difficulties, but was stable, to a National Health Service which is now on the critical list, in serious danger of collapse. Increasing pressures, compounded by failures in primary care, have taken the NHS to the brink – and the only reason that it is still functioning in any way at all is due to the sheer determination and dedication of NHS staff who, day in day out, continue to do an excellent job, treating an ever increasing amount of patients, some with ever more complex medical conditions, whilst having substantially less resources to work with.
Prime Minister, the NHS is not about small percentage increases and party political posturing by the Conservatives. The NHS is about people, the patients as well as the staff. Your government is presiding over a completely failed NHS policy in the name of austerity.
And what have we achieved? Well, by strangling the economy, you’ve failed to hit your deficit targets whilst simultaneously ensuring that access to a GP is harder than ever, A&E waiting time targets are being regularly missed across the entire nation (this despite you, during the previous Parliament, lowering the target from 98% to 95% within 4 hours), increasing numbers of people are dying sat in ambulances outside hospitals, response times to emergency 999 calls are getting longer, elderly people aren’t getting the care they need, patients in general aren’t getting the quality of care that the staff want to provide.
For all your speeches on the NHS, and your insistence of its importance to you, it is not words that the NHS need and it is not words that convince me that you are doing the right thing for the NHS. It is your actions and your results.
Whilst the need for fiscal constraint in these tough times is acknowledged, the choices that your government has made have indicated, no matter what you say, that you have prioritised policies such as tax cuts for millionaires over properly funding our National Health Service.
Mr Prime Minister you have a choice. Turn back and save our NHS for future generations or go down in history as the leader responsible for the destruction of the NHS.
I implore you to make the right decision and stop your systemic destruction of the National Health Service.