Wandsworth Save Our NHS Delivers Massive Petition
Save our NHS – that was the message delivered to the Tory-led government last week. Wandsworth campaigners staged a street spectacle with an NHS ‘patient’ on life support when they handed over a 400,000-strong CD e-petition at Tory MP Jane Ellison’s Battersea High Street surgery on Saturday.
The petition calls for a rethink on the coalition government’s Health Bill. Protestors urged it not to break up the health service and hand it to private providers. They want the government to listen to the fears of doctors, nurses and patients and protect patient care and say the reforms will lead to a loss of hospital beds and staff.
‘The reforms are too much, too soon and too fast,’ said campaigner Will Martindale. ‘The government says it will ring fence the NHS budget but already we are seeing 300 front-line staff being cut at St George’s Hospital, Tooting.’
Suzie Poston said: ‘I’m concerned about the effect on the morale and efficiency of the health service. Privatisation will add to costs, not reduce them, and I fear the service will be fragmented.’-
NHS humanist chaplain, Jeanne Rathbone, added: ‘Privatisation is about competition and profit – look at the cost of using agency nurses. How can profit be a primary motive of the health service? It’s essential that this is not used as a way of reducing the pay and working conditions of the staff.’
The petition was organised by campaign group 38 degrees. http://www.38degrees.org.uk/