The government must step in to save lives and end needless suffering now.
People are dying on record high waiting lists and going too long without urgent treatment – but it doesn’t have to be like this. The current crisis in the NHS is unnecessary and avoidable. It arises from government policy and not inherent problems in our NHS.
We demand Health Secretary Steve Barclay takes urgent action to:
- end the staffing crisis, including paying staff properly
- train and recruit more staff by scrapping tuition fees and bringing back the NHS student bursary
- ensure the NHS has the funds it needs (to the level of comparable countries) – this is affordable for the fifth largest economy in the world
- stop the flow of cash to the private sector and invest in rebuilding the NHS instead
SIGN AND SHARE NOW:
Surveys of public opinion show the vast majority are in favour of a publicly funded and provided service, paid for through general taxation, free at the point of use and providing comprehensive services.
The NHS is not failing because it’s a poor system but because it’s being failed by the government, starved of funds, modern equipment, and staff. They blame covid, but the NHS was in dire straits before the pandemic, with 20,000 beds cut and 100,000 staff vacancies pre covid. We have 110,000 staff vacancies now. There has been no workforce plan since 2003 and government ministers even rejected an amendment to the Health and Care Bill requiring regular independent assessment of staffing need.
Lack of staff means that services such as diagnosing and treating cancer simply cannot be delivered. Falling numbers of GPs and rising workload are making general practice unsustainable while promises to provide additional staff have been broken.
Lack of social care provision frequently prevents hospital discharge of patients and means an already inadequate bed base is overstretched. Those needing admission from overcrowded A&E departments have to wait on trolleys while more queue outside in ambulances. Too many are dying waiting for attention.
All this adds to stress and sickness among staff both in the ambulance service and those working in casualty, as well as putting patients at huge risk. In addition the Dangerous state of mental health services is letting down the population, including children and traumatised NHS staff.
It does not have to be this way – until the recent past the NHS was rated as the best among highly developed countries in international comparisons.
We cannot let the government put the clock back to before we had an NHS – it can and must be rebuilt.
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