NHS campaigners, concerned patients and NHS staff are launching a national #VoteNHS Roadshow to highlight the unprecedented crisis the NHS faces under the Conservative Government and to convince the public: ‘Don’t vote Tory, #VoteNHS’.
The NHS Roadshow was first launched during the election of 2017 and played a key role in shifting public opinion onto the NHS. For example we caused the outgoing Conservative MP, Gavin Barwell in Croydon to lose his seat. (See Betting The House 2017, Tim Ross and Tom McTague). The Roadshow has been relaunched this election by a group of passionate and concerned NHS staff and NHS campaigners who have decided to speak out about what is really happening in the NHS under the Tories. And two years on from the 2017 election, our NHS faces a worse crisis: 4.5 million face ever longer waiting times and the number of cancelled operations due to 100k staff shortages is still on the rise.
What is the #VoteNHS Roadshow?
The #VoteNHS Roadshow will be a series of street events and public meetings up and down the country with the clear message: ‘Don’t vote Tory, #VoteNHS’.
We're asking you to set up a street stall in your local area, something visual, loud and eye catching, and in some places, a public meeting which can bring the community together to hear more. In either case, we can offer help.
To get involved, please fill out the "Get Involved" form!
#VoteNHS Roadshow Events
16 November (Saturday) / Southend-on-Sea (Shoeburyness)
“Save Shoebury Ambulance Station” protest with election literature.
16 November (Saturday) / Loughborough
Protest rally organised by Leicester campaigners, Dr Sonia Adesara speaking.
23 November (Saturday)
Uxbridge (for more details, contact: email@example.com)
25 November (Monday) / Canterbury
Public meeting, with Keep Our NHS Public speaker.
25 November (Monday) / Canterbury
Public meeting, with Keep Our NHS Public speaker.
7 December (Saturday) / Margate
Open-air campaign rally.
Southwark KONP – HCT distribution sessions
HCT election special distribution sessions - contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
28 November (two sessions) 29 November
Check out the leaflet design here:
We hope the roadshow will help voters make an informed decision about who they put their cross next to in the general election.
With the NHS ranked as the number one concern of the public, the roadshows will shed light on what is really going on in their hospitals, GP and community services. It’s up to them with the major exception that the NHS can only be safeguarded by voting out this Conservative Government.
The winter crisis is here once more, with overloaded hospitals and 1000s of trolley waits leading to even more unnecessary deaths resulting from Conservative Party policy. This election couldn’t be more crucial for the future of the NHS as a universal, publicly funded and provided service for our children.
NHS Roadshow campaigners are urging everyone who wants to save the NHS to come along to an event and hear what NHS staff, patients and campaigners have to say, pass on experiences, and spread the word.
There are five weeks to reach as many people as possible.
There are five weeks to persuade the public to #VoteNHS.
For more info: email@example.com
NHS Roadshow - Organiser’s pack
Here is a simple guide to getting up and running with a #VoteNHS Roadshow event in your area.
You can download and print this organisers guide here
Find some friends and allies - You don’t need to do it alone!
Ask friends and family, colleagues and other local campaigners to see if they’ll pitch in. If you’re not already involved with either a local Keep Our NHS Public group or Health Campaigns Together group, then take a look at their local groups pages here and here. These people can give you the support for your event.
Also, the #VoteNHS Roadshow team can network you to other people nearby who want to help who might not know. If you want some help, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first step is to meet up as soon as possible and decide want kind of event you think you can pull off. Building for a Roadshow event is a great excuse to get out and about doing leafleting sessions, publicity stunts (e.g. dressing up in scrubs, doing a banner drop, picketing a local MP’s constituency office) and other things – we’ve got loads of ideas, so do get in touch if you’re looking for inspiration!
If you don’t think you can pull off a full meeting with speakers, you can always do leafleting sessions etc. as a free-standing campaigning activity.
Find a venue or pick a location – then set a date
If you want to do a public meeting you will need to find a venue. If funds are an issue, you could ask around if a local trade union branch has any facilities they can make available to you, or you might also ask local churches or other community spaces. If you’re doing a street stall with a table, or some kind of fun activity in your local area, just pick a spot where you think there’s the largest amount of footfall and go for it!
If you’re doing a public meeting, decide who’s going to speak
Keep Our NHS Public has a large pool of experienced NHS staff, health campaigners and other allied activists who will be more than happy to speak and we are happy to put you in touch with them. However, having local voices speaking is also really important and persuasive to attendees, so try to think if you know of anyone based locally who could speak.
It’s also a good idea to approach organisations in your area, such a local Trades Council or union branches, or other allied campaigns, such as a local People’s Assembly groups or Docs Not Cops group, for help promoting (and if necessary, funding) the event. If you’re not already a member of, or in contact with, a local Keep Our NHS Public or Health Campaigns Together group, that’s always the best place to start. You can find out where our groups are here and here. If you’re not sure who might be able to help or send a speaker, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Publicise your event
There’s lots of ways you can publicise your event. In our experience it’s always best not to rely on only one form of promotion. You should be aiming to do at least some of these things, preferably all of them at least once:
- Hand out leaflets: It may seem old fashioned, but it still works as a really good way of engaging with the public. Even better than simply standing on the street on your own is to set up a pasting table (easily bought from any hardware store for about £10) with two or three of you (or more!) and have some kind of branding visible. If you’re in a local NHS campaign group you probably already have a banner or something similar, but other things work too (e.g. health workers could dress up in scrubs). The point of the exercise isn’t just to give out the leaflets, but also to engage with the public and have conversations with them about the campaign and the NHS situation.We can provide leaflets: we have a general one which makes a very clear case about why voting for the Conservatives is such a bad idea when it comes to the NHS, which you can download and print here, or order to be delivered here. We also have a #VoteNHS Roadshow leaflet with a blank space so you can add your own event details, you can download that here. If you’d like us to add your local event details for you and then deliver, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Promote online: Spread the word using social media and other online tools. Use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, post on your own timelines, in groups you may be a member of, and ideally set up a Facebook event to advertise it. It’s also always a great idea to send emails to any contacts and supporters lists you may have access to, and approach other organisations to ask them to do the same.
- Contact the local press: It’s a great idea to contact your local newspaper and your local radio stations; while national papers and national radio stations can be tough nuts to crack, their local manifestations are often hungry for a story. And this campaign has the potential to be a big one!
Use the event well!
Remember the more people who come is always a good thing, but it’s also really important that your use the opportunity of promoting the event to spread the message about the NHS. The success of your meeting may not only depend on the numbers of bums on seats, you may have also met some amazing new people along the way and had a big impact locally via the process of getting your material out there.
Also, it’s absolutely vital that the people who do come, find a well put-together event, are able to take actual materials away with them (e.g. the general leaflet here and any local literature you have), and that they hear clear arguments that they can make in their own communities and workplaces. If you’re doing a public meeting, make sure you have a chair and make the speakers keep to time and allow questions to be asked from the floor, though please try to limit questions and contributions from the floor to a reasonable length too so everyone gets a chance to have their say.
Mostly though, have fun! While the NHS is under serious threat, we always believe that campaigning can be inspiring, empowering and fun. Good luck!