From the TUC

We need a properly funded NHS – make your voice heard

11 Aug 2016, by in Public services

This week’s news that United Lincolnshire Hospital’s NHS Trust will be closing its A&E department in Grantham in the evenings due to staff shortages is, in the words of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, “disappointing, yet unsurprising”.

The TUC and health unions,  campaigners and think tanks like the Kings Fund and Health Foundation have been raising increasing concerns about the impact that the government’s unprecedented funding squeeze is having on health and social care services.

Conservative-led governments have embarked on an austerity drive across the NHS since 2010 with a devastating impact on NHS finances that has led to staff shortages and deteriorating performance in every area, from cancer treatment, to treatment waiting times, delayed discharge, ambulance call outs and A&E delays.

Calling for “urgent action to increase capacity in A&E departments” Dr Clifford Mann of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine paints a grim picture of staff on the front line:

“It is now routine for many staff to arrive at work faced with congested and overcrowded departments in which it is impossible to deliver best care. Similarly many leave work, hours after their agreed finish time, exhausted by the scale of the task.”

Even on the right of the political spectrum, it is acknowledged that the gap between demand for services and the resources available has become untenable due to a government spending profile that will see a decade of barely 1% annual funding increases by 2020, against an historical average of closer to 4%.

Worryingly this has led to increasing calls for a shake-up of NHS funding with a view to increasing US-style insurance schemes and charging for services. The Daily Telegraph today is calling on an ascendant Tory government to use this opportunity to “make the argument for a mix of social insurance, direct taxes, top ups and charges”.

So it is incumbent on those of us who care passionately about the NHS to press the case for our tax-funded, free and universal health service and to call on the government to provide the sustainable funding that our health and social care system needs.

You can help by joining our campaign for fair funding for the NHS.

Health unions and campaign groups are today launching a new campaign to put pressure on the government to use the “fiscal reset” that new chancellor Phillip Hammond has alluded to this autumn to provide the kind of public funding our European neighbours enjoy and put our health system back on a sound and sustainable footing.

Visit our new Fund Our NHS website, contact your MP using our on-line tool, tell us about your experience of rationing, cuts and under-funding in the NHS and contact your friends and family to ask their MPs to commit to our five key campaign pledges:

  • Give the NHS an immediate and urgent funding boost as part of the government’s plans to re-set their spending plans
  • Lift the pressure to make unrealistic efficiency savings which are causing problems for patients and cuts to services
  • Set out a long-term settlement for the NHS, a commitment to public funding that will help the NHS plan properly and create a sustainable health and social care system for the future
  • Invest in the staff who are the heart of the NHS, with fair pay, improved training, safe staffing ratios and strategies for improving the recruitment, retention, involvement and morale of the NHS workforce
  • Spending public funds wisely, restoring the benefits of a collaborative NHS and limit the waste on PFI and marketization

12 Responses to We need a properly funded NHS – make your voice heard

  1. Graham. Warwick
    Aug 11th 2016, 6:14 pm

    Is it any wonder that we’re in this position when a man who wrote a book on how to privatise the NHS has been given the job as health minister? Make no mistake, the Tories are out to destroy the NHS by whatever means are at their disposal

  2. Maureen Taylor
    Aug 11th 2016, 8:01 pm

    Everyone needs the NHS if not for themselves a friend or a member of their family. It is there for us at our time of need BUT it MUST be financed. I suggest that the larger companies should pay in a percentage of their turnover maybe 0.5% in addition to individual contributions. Companies here benefit from the NHS as it keeps their staff at work. These companies may well provide private health cover for higher staff grades already so they have accepted the benefits of providing good health care. The amount of money going into health care should be set at at least equal to the same GDP which other countries pay in

  3. nick wareing
    Aug 12th 2016, 7:48 am

    we need to keep up the pressure on any government to fully fund OUR NHS otherwise we will be cap in hand to privatisation who will only give appropriate treatment if you have the funding to pay for it.
    this tory government must be pressurised into putting more money and resources into the system and get rid of the privateers who are threatening the survival of our NHS

  4. phil shute
    Aug 12th 2016, 5:14 pm

    GP partners taking home 70% less under Jeremy Hunt. How will we ever recruit? So end of service which deals with 90% of NHS consultations for 10% of the budget.

  5. Bernard Grant
    Aug 13th 2016, 2:35 pm

    I wrote these comments a long time ago and they still tell the story of the drip, drip loss of OUR NHS.
    Many people have read my posts on this subject. Over and over I have warned about the strategy of the Tories, to run the service down, causing negative headline news, wearing away the publics resolve to fight to save their NHS. Thatcher wanted to privatise it but could only privatise the dentists, the opticians, the cleaning and catering, which gave us MRSA and poor nutrition. She sold off all the trainee nurses residences, she closed our laboratories and let the U.S. Pharmaceutical companies take them over, so now the NHS is paying massively over the odds for medicines, instead of producing and selling our own, giving us more leverage in negotiating price. Cameron and Hunt have deliberately run it down, they connived the Junior Doctors contract, purposely in the hope they go on strike and then blame them, in the hope it will be the final straw for the public to give in and let them privatise it. They should be challenged but the people that run the media stand to make a fortune investing in a privatised NHS.

  6. Hazel Craigie
    Aug 13th 2016, 5:46 pm

    I’m afraid if the Tories carry on with their plans for the NHS it will eventually their downfall. I beg them to stop this devastation and fund the NHS properly and let it serve the people as was intended in the first place. They need to BUILD and not tear down. They are sending out entirely wrong messages. Can you imagine an England without Europe and the NHS?

  7. Margaret Morgan
    Aug 15th 2016, 6:24 am

    Our NHS is a jewel in the crown of the UK .It has been underfunded for very long time .I would like the government to fund it properly.We were able to to manage just after the war when we were bankrupt it is more than possible now , if the will was there.

  8. Lynda Preston
    Aug 15th 2016, 9:27 pm

    Privatisation only benefits those who can afford it…..those who cannot will die. Which was our last non corrupt government??????

  9. Sandra
    Aug 16th 2016, 12:49 pm

    We all need the nhs at some point during our lives it is meant to be cradle to the grave. Let’s keep it that way we aret all on mp salaries

  10. Joanna
    Aug 16th 2016, 9:36 pm

    You are absolutely right about the state of the NHS and I am seriously worried about its future. I think the NHS is at breaking point. From my own personal experience my father, who was diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago, still has not been able to see a consultant at his local hospital to discuss his treatment as his appointments keep getting cancelled and he has now been told that they are not arranging any more clinics due to lack of available staff. Also my husband, who has an aneurysm, was due to have an operation but after queuing in the hospital ward for 2 days waiting for it, he was told there was no bed for him as other patients were blocking beds as they had nowhere else to go due to social care cuts and closures of other hospitals. These personal examples show me that the NHS cannot continue like this as it is demonstrating a complete lack of duty of care to its patients. It urgently needs to be properly funded by the government with proper training and recruitment of qualified and experienced NHS staff, not agency staff.

  11. David
    Aug 27th 2016, 1:03 pm

    We all rely on the NHS at times. It is very expensive but it can be afforded if the government has the will to do so. This conservative government is determined to privatise the NHS. The TUC must stop trying to reason with this government and asking it to rethink its plans. The TUC needs to show some bottle and actually do something about it.

  12. hatch
    Aug 30th 2016, 6:42 am

    The tories must be made to stop this irresponsible attitude towards the NHS …if it was one of their family ,if be a different matter ,the Tory party has no sentiment ,they can all be bought,they are the profiteering accountants in office,shrinking the NHS of funding,we all know their game.
    Everyone’s important and poor alike they all have a role in keeping our country running,a healthy nation is needed.if your ill you need care,and good care..time to step up,and put their profiteering away…start funding the NHS properly,increase tax if needed.