This letter has gone out to local (Greenwich) and national media.
A group of Greenwich residents has met to discuss the serious threat to our NHS from the government Bill that will lead to businesses being in effective control. We want to keep our present NHS publicly provided and owned, so that it remains free at the point of delivery, and is based on need, not the ability to pay. Our NHS has made real progress with improving health care, while making significant economies.
These are our main concerns:
1. The public is not being consulted on these changes, or involved in the shadow Greenwich consortium, while hospital trusts are already sacking front line staff. It is already hard to get information, and businesses running a future privatised NHS would be able to simply refuse to answer questions which they say are “commercially confidential”.
2. Greenwich GPs should respond to the wave of community alarm, and call a public meeting to discuss the way forward before irrevocable steps are taken. The whole basis of trust between doctors and patients would be put at risk if money becomes a factor in our relationship. This is the Hippocratic oath: “I will use treatments for the benefit of the sick in accordance with my ability and my judgement, but from what is to their harm and injustice I will keep them.”
3. There has already been a shocking waste of public money to companies like Innisfree that have made fortunes building hospitals for the Private Finance Initiative. Many people want to put an end to the overpaid executive directors, and the expensive use of agency staff and private consultants’ advisers who have come from other private health providers, some in the USA.
Please support the petition of 38 Degrees, which also allows you to form or join a local group when you sign up. A loose alliance of other local groups across the UK is forming to stop the privatisation of the NHS and cuts in its services.