Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has signed a petition to celebrate the NHS’s 63rd birthday and ensure that the service is safeguarded for another 63 years.
The current reforms are the biggest in the NHS’s history, despite David Cameron’s election promise to stop ‘top-down re-organisation of the NHS’, and are coming at a time when the service is having to save £20bn.
Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill has caused huge concern from health officials and the public that the face of the NHS will be changed forever.
The ‘all together for the NHS campaign’ is an alliance of unions and supporting organisations from across the health service and has four main demands:
- Taxpayer’s money should never be diverted into shareholder’s profits,
- NHS patients shouldn’t be pushed to the back of queues while private patients are moved to the front,
- No postcode lottery,
- Decisions about NHS patients should be made on the basis of clinical need not price.
Bill Esterson, who has been a strong opponent of the government's NHS reforms, said: "Over the last decade the NHS has gone from a service on its knees to one we can all be proud of, thanks to the dedication of its staff and much-needed investment from Labour. But now, that world-class guaranteed care is being put at risk with unnecessary bureaucratic changes by the Conservative Government supported by the Lib Dems.
“Patients now face a future with no limits on waiting times for the care they need. It's not just waiting over four hours in A&E, or over 18 weeks for treatment - other key NHS standards like two-week cancer guarantee, could go too.
“At the same time, new postcode lotteries could spring up near you and around the country – meaning your level of care is determined by where you live and which one of the hundreds of new GP commissioning groups you and your family fall into.
“And the changes mean huge bureaucratic upheaval too - turning GPs into managers and forcing thousands of NHS staff to reapply for their old jobs in new organisations. This will cost the NHS £1.7 billion this year and more in future – money that could be spent on patient care instead.
“These changes will ruin Labour’s legacy on the NHS and have a negative effect on the healthcare received by my constituents in Sefton Central and across the country.”