To “Save our NHS”…it needs “20% more by 2020” – cross/non-Party Campaign launched
A major campaign group of current and recently retired NHS clinicians, medical staff and cross/non Party campaigners have launched a campaign which calls on the Government to “Save our NHS” by significantly increase resources – “20% more by 2020”.
Headed by NHS campaigner and former MP, Andrew George and former Cornwall NHS Chief, Dr Colin Philip, the campaign has prepared a ‘Charter’ which demands dramatic improvements to protect and restore the NHS and to overcome the current pressures which they warn will mean the NHS will become “unsafe”.
Campaigners will take to the streets on Saturday 30th June, seek support through a petition in support of their Charter and will deliver 70th anniversary birthday cards to local hospitals and NHS services on the day of that birthday – 5th July – to celebrate the achievements of the NHS and to wish the service the support it deserves for the next 70 years.
Local medical professionals have published an open letter to the press (attached) and the campaign has launched its Charter (also attached) and petition, and which will be followed by plans for events on 30th June and 5th July.
Dr Philip explained, “Without an immediate and much greater financial injection, the NHS will continue to deteriorate. Our health service will become less safe.
“Safety is of the highest concern of any health system but the deterioration has already begun. Though the dedication of its staff has long compensated for NHS underfunding, those staff are now facing unacceptable pressure, sometimes paying personally for the inadequacy of the system within which they work.”
Andrew George said, “Cornwall’s NHS is more debt-ridden and more over-stretched than ever. Closures at Poltair, Edward Hain, Fowey and Saltash hospitals and withdrawal of doctor cover at Helston is symptomatic of the challenges the NHS faces, especially at a time when primary and community NHS services are needed to grow, not diminish.
“The problems we face are replicated across the country. Whether as a ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ (STP) or now “Shaping our Future’ programme the Government wants Cornwall to cut £270 million from our NHS by 2020. No one believes this is sustainable.
“That’s why we’ve come together across Parties and with the powerful backing of medical professionals to call on the Government to commit to make a significant cash injection. The NHS’s 70th Birthday in a month’s time is a very appropriate time to make this commitment.”
The Group came together and has developed its plans following a well attended public meeting in Penzance called by Andrew George on 26th January this year.
More information about the plans for rallies and petition gathering on 30th June will follow.
Spokespeople for the Campaign include Dr Colin Philip, Jenny Forbes (Labour campaigner) and Andrew George (former Liberal Democrat MP).
Open letter by west Cornwall Medical professionals:
Our NHS needs 20% more funding by 2020 – The NHS needs a significant cash injection now to reverse the decline in care.
The NHS is struggling, it is under extreme pressure. As demand continues to rise, it has endured years of underfunding. The consequence is clear to those who use the NHS, and who work within it. Last month, an Institute for Fiscal Studies report concluded the NHS requires 3.3 per cent growth for each of the next 15 years just to stay where we are, let alone manage the ever-increasing demands of an ageing population, costly cancer drugs and innovation.
Even 3.3 per cent is too little. Without an immediate and much greater financial injection, the NHS will continue to deteriorate. Our health service will become less safe.
Safety is of the highest concern of any health system but the deterioration has already begun. Though the dedication of its staff has long compensated for NHS underfunding, those staff are now facing unacceptable pressure, sometimes paying personally for the inadequacy of the system within which they work.
The result? The NHS is short of 100,000 staff, including doctors and nurses in the most critical posts. GPs are leaving the profession, patients are facing unacceptable waits for appointments. Some are seen only in emergencies. This is a dangerous situation. It risks our nation’s health in the short and long term. It creates unsustainable pressure upon hospitals. Long term prevention and Health Creation has been sacrificed to sustain acute care.
The bond of trust between patients and the government is broken. The government likes to pretend the NHS can continue to provide safe, comprehensive and timely care. As matters stand, it cannot. Patients and NHS staff are paying the price.
The NHS needs an immediate and significant cash injection, 20% by 2020, to halt the decline, to reverse the deterioration of recent years. It needs a long term plan, to give staff the confidence to invest their careers in the NHS, and, most vitally, to provide to the public a safe and caring service when they and their families need it.
Dr Colin Philip MRCGP
Dr Robert Marshall FRCPath
Dr Mark Russell MRCGP
Jill George RN
Carol Carne RN
Jenifer Paling RN
Dr Neil Walden MB BS
Dr Dan Rainbow MRCGP
Dr Rupert Morrall MRCGP
Dr Stewart Rutherfurd MB ChB
Dr Hasnain Dalal FRCGP
Lesley Cass MCSP Grad Dip Phys
Dr David Levine MD FRCP
Dr Robert Taylor MRCP FRCEM
Kandy Collings RN
Dr Sam Freegard FRCGP
Dr Margaret May MBBS
Dr Hugh Savage MRCGP
Dr Jane Bernal MB Ch B
Dr Jurg Ehmann MB BChr BA MRCP
Save our NHS
20% more by 2020
A CHARTER FOR OUR NHS
The NHS is struggling. We can all see that funding is not keeping pace with inflation and demand. Staffing shortages and unsafe working conditions mean more and more experienced staff are leaving and are not being replaced fast enough. We face longer waits for treatment. Local services that are working well are threatened. Your safety and care is being compromised
Our NHS cannot be saved without more money. That’s why we’re asking the Government to commit to increasing funding by 20%, by 2020.
Because our NHS:
- Must put the health and care of the public above short-term cost savings or private profit.
- Must be caring, safe, and see people in reasonable time
- Must continue to be available for future generations.
- Must have enough nurses, doctors and other staff. Safe staffing must be introduced across the UK, so that every health and care setting has the right number of staff, with the right qualifications and skills.
- Must recognise our mental health is as important as our physical health. The NHS should devote as much attention to staffing, funding, and improving mental health services as it does elsewhere
- Must value, train, and support its staff at all levels. All staff must be properly paid and given time to train and retrain, including for any new roles
- Must protect good local services.
- Should not permit private companies to select profitable parts of the service, undermining publicly provided ones; there must be an end to “Cherry Picking” of the NHS by profit making companies.
- Must be able to learn from its mistakes to prevent them happening again. It must be able to own up when something has gone wrong, without staff fearing they will have to take the blame for wider failings outside their control.
- Must provide fair funding for NHS services in Cornwall, taking account of our real needs.
Our NHS must continue to be available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, and must be comprehensive.
When our understaffed, over-stretched NHS services can’t treat us as well as they ought to, and as well as they’d like, they risk receiving critical reports from the Care Quality Commission. They and their patients pay the price for the system failing.
Isn’t it time the Government, and its decisions about our NHS, came under the same scrutiny?