Our statement on the 2019 General Election:
Make no mistake - the NHS is in danger in the hands of Boris Johnson and this Conservative Government. Neither the NHS nor our population can afford a further five years.
Our NHS has now suffered a decade of gruelling austerity and piece-by-piece privatisation. Campaigns have halted many attacks and won many victories, but the fact is that the NHS will never be safe as long as the Conservatives remain in office. From charging migrants for care through to dodgy trade deals, lies about NHS funding, and evasion over the mental health crisis, this Government and Prime Minister Johnson have shown themselves unfit to stay in charge of our health service a single day longer.
That is why Keep Our NHS Public will be campaigning against a vote for the Conservatives.
Keep Our NHS Public is not aligned to any party – our loyalty is solely to a public NHS and social care service. Our public services are vital for a healthy, educated, safe and secure population.
Since the inception of the 2010 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, successive governments have told lie after lie about the NHS, with Boris Johnson's phantom "40 new hospitals" being only the most recent example. For instance:
- David Cameron's promise of "no NHS reorganisation" and no privatisation – followed by the largest, most un-democratic, and most destructive top-down reorganisation in the history of our NHS - the Health and Social Care Act - which has introduced virtually compulsory competitive tendering of all NHS contracts. There are now over 50,000 small contracts awarded to private providers - meaning the dis-integration of care.
- The recent claim to be "reining in privatisation" – meaning the consolidation of these smaller contracts into a smaller number of massive contracts, such as those for specialised cancer imaging services (in Oxford, for example) and pathology (£2.25 billion over 15 years, in South East London). The threat of another massive consolidation, into "Integrated Care Provider" contracts, has been held off so far only by vigorous campaigning
- Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's unforgivable attempt to blame doctors and nurses for patient deaths on weekends
- Boris Johnson's promise of "40 new hospitals" - turning out to be just SIX existing hospitals getting new blocks, sometime in the future - while hospitals everywhere in the here and now are in dire disrepair, facing a £6bn backlog of maintenance costs, including his local hospital in Hillingdon.
- The most dangerous lie of all: that "The NHS is not on the table" in US-UK trade deal negotiations. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme on 28 October exposed this as untrue, revealing that UK trade negotiators have already begun discussing a deal not only with US Government officials but with US pharmaceutical giants.
In 2017, with Health Campaigns Together and our allies, we shook the Tory HQ with our NHS Roadshow meetings, our social media campaign, our leaflets, posters and the powerful video ‘So you’re thinking of voting Conservative?’ We helped protect the NHS by weakening the Tory campaign, with the party losing its majority on election day.
Now our task is even greater. We want to build a huge campaign across the country that will plant the NHS firmly at the top of the political agenda and hold the Conservatives to account for the impacts of their decade of destruction. In the days to come we will release more resources and information to our campaigners and supporters - please continue to follow this website and our Facebook and Twitter pages for all our election updates. Our aims are clear:
- We must save the NHS from UK-US Trade deals.
- We must save the NHS from Johnson and his government of free-market ideologues
- We need to replace Johnson with a new government that believes in public services and is willing to invest in making them work.
For all these reasons, we're saying: