When my good pal Dermot and I started a little campaign six weeks ago against NHS reorganisation in our area, including government cuts, legislation and local management we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. Since then we have managed to untangle a web of miscommunication and lack of understanding about the transition from NHS to national health provision.
Realistically I would say we have played the first quarter of the campaign and the preliminary results are in.
1) That we the public are under educated about what the how the health and social care act will change our health care provision
2) that politicians have failed to make the arguments of what will happen, including the likely need for private for those who can afford it provision from 2017
3) that the £99million cut to our local NHS budget is unsustainable (it started at £90m 6 weeks ago)
4) That the cuts are disproportionate in comparison and that due to the unique challenges faced Hull & East Yorkshire such as inequalities in social, financial, employment and health we should make the argument for a reduction in the £99m government cut, or a rebate, to allow us to continue to face our own unique challenges
5) That there are serious failures inside the local NHS, specifically in communication which have stifled the debate about the need for required reforms, leading to discontent in staff and ensuring that best practice and a debate about alternative reorganisation and cuts may have been missed.
From this basic analysis I am now more convinced than ever that a two pronged approach is what is needed for the campaign. Firstly, we must educate the local public about the reforms which are taking place in local health care, from cuts, reorganisation and health care provision. We must then get the public to support us in the second part of the campaign, which will involve making a direct argument through our Parliamentarians to the Secretary of State. We must argue that due to the unique difficulties we face we must see a reduction in our unfair, unproportionate cut in health care budget. We must go the Secretary of State directly and call for a rebate. Just as Thatcher did for Britain, we must now go with the best interests of our people to the powers that be and say “we the ordinary public, the big society, do not accept this level of health care cut, think again.” No matter what your politics, it is the role of the state to help and support the needy, this cut, is a direct attack on the needy.
Remember we are all NHS patients, just some of us haven’t checked in yet.