Aneurin Bevan, the Labour Health Minister who created the NHS, famously said: “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it”.
On 16 August 2014 a group of mothers from County Durham will set off from Jarrow to march to the Houses of Parliament, following in the footsteps of those who marched the route in 1936 to protest against mass unemployment. They did this as a bold but peaceful protest against the current NHS policy.
Whilst the Government can clearly influence the State media, it might also be true that the NHS will last as long as there are folk left in the social media and also those willing to show their democratic stand against the undemocratic demolition of a publically-owned NHS.
That people care about NHS issues, for example, is shown by the enormous affection held by many for groups such as the “NHS Action Party” and “Keep our NHS Public”, as well as the trades unions.
There have been some Labour MPs, especially, who have served in an outstanding way to represent the views of their constituents and beyond over health and social care policy.
The lack of credibility from the Department of Health is demonstrated in their statements below:
The first statement read, “We’re committed to an NHS which continues to be free at the point of use for everyone who needs it.”
Evidence of a postcode lottery in surgical provision has especially become clear in the lifetime of the current term of office.
The critical thing for the next Government not to do, of whatever political variety, is to introduce compulsory unified personal budgets and a system of co-payments, as that will torpedo in an onslaught against the free-at-the-point-of-need principle.
It clearly is a problem if one part of the system which is means-tested is soldered onto another part which is not means-tested, like a dodgy banger.
The second statement read, “By taking tough financial decisions elsewhere, this government has been able to increase the NHS budget by £12.7 billion during this parliament.”
Last year, the UK Statistics Authority upheld a complaint by Labour about government claims the NHS budget had increased in real-terms in the past two years.
And members of the current Government keep on lying about this.
The current Government took the public for granted in inflicting on them a £1.5bn top down reorganisation, turbo-boosting the awarding of contracts to the private sector.
It is conceded that the extent and speed of NHS contracting under the current Coalition have been a disaster.
Lynton Crosby, PR guru of the Conservative Party, does not want to talk about the NHS, it appears.
But now it is clear that people should make clear what type of NHS they wish to have.
Furthermore, the next Labour government will be seeking to fuse the NHS and social care, and to pool their budgets. This will be a huge step, and could have massive implications for the national roll-out of a shift from hospital to community care to promote wellbeing and health rather than acute crisis management.
People who have had their local hospital services shut down will also have a chance to make their opinions known. It is well know that many people do not want a ‘platinum service’ miles away, if they do not have ready access to an emergency service on their doorstep.
These are indeed testing times for the NHS and social care, but Jeremy Hunt fails to command a leadership necessary to lead the NHS beyond 2015, many feel.