Press release: 30 thousand ops YEARLY cancelled under the Tories, not 3!

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[Wednesday 10 February]

The Department of Health’s claim – used by Jeremy Hunt today to pile blame on the thousands of junior doctors striking – that 3,000 operations were cancelled “because of the strike” is an act of monstrous hypocrisy. Because, under the Tories, close to THIRTY thousand operations thousand extra operations now have had to be cancelled EVERY YEAR by the NHS compared with 2010, A 64% increase*. And the increase shows no signs of slowing, as budget cuts starve the NHS year on year have had to be cancelled by the NHS since 2010*. And it shows no signs of slowing, as budget cuts starve the NHS year on year.

This inexorable rise in avoidable suffering at the hands of the very government which once claimed “the NHS is safe in our hands” would be bad enough, were it not for the repeated claims that the paltry “rises” in NHS funding were even making up the ground lost (they are not) and that the current dispute was about improving the service to avoid suffering (it is not; if imposed, the new contract will make the service less safe – but easier to run elective clinics on weekends with, and privatise them). Is there no end to the hypocrisy? A recent poll showed massive support for the doctors’ case

[]. The market has spoken, Mr Hunt. Loud and clear. Will you listen? “Hunt stopped as public backs prey”?

 Dr John Lister, Secretary of campaigning organisation Keep Our NHS Public said:

“Mr Hunt has a bare-faced cheek blaming junior doctors for 3,000 cancelled operations: Tory-led government since 2010 have pushed up the numbers of cancelled NHS ops in England by a staggering 64% from 2010-11 to 2014-15, and they seem to be rising again in 2015-16.

“By my reckoning more than 25,000 extra cancellations a year have come as a result of the Tory freeze on NHS budgets and the squandering of billions on bureaucracy and contracting out services since Andrew Lansley’s disastrous ‘reforms’.”

*Cancelled operations in England under Tory coalition have gone up from 46,385 in 2010-11 to 71,752 in 2014-15 (up 64%!). See full data



Editors’ Notes

Keep Our NHS Public was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are 46 local groups, plus a national association. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation [1,2] and privatisation of the NHS by campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is opposed to cuts in service which run counter to these principles. Further details:


KONP’s Campaigns and Press Officer is Alan Taman:

07870 757 309

[email protected]

[email protected]



Facebook: Keep-Our-NHS-Public

[1] Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigely, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.

Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin

Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press

Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.

Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.


[2] The belief that ‘competition is always best’ does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models

[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.

Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.

Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]

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