All out for demos and rallies 7 March

More Lords a leaping over the NHS

Yet more amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill are being discussed in the Lords today and tomorrow. Now, not only care can be privatised, but even patient representation, as outlined by Lord Toby Harris here.

There are several events planned tomorrow:
A human chain around St Thomas’s Hospital – 12-2pm
Lobby your MP in Parliament 1-5pm – just fill in a slip and ask to see your MP about your concerns
Join the Doctors’ Educational march from BMA headquarters at 5.15pm to
TUC rally at Westminster Central Methodist Hall, 6-8pm

Two major GP supporters of the bill announced in the Guardian they’ve (finally) figured out that in fact the National Commissioning Board and Monitor will have more power than the Clinical Commissioning Groups over health spending. Number 10 even did the dirty on Lansley over the weekend, complaining via the Times about his lack of diplomacy in dealing with criticism of the bill and even hinting that he should be shot!

There is still time to write to a Lord (a list is here, and another here) and remind him or her – preferably on paper and posted but if not, online – that this bill destroys the last vestiges of the NHS as a unified public service, which will increasingly not be free at the point of delivery – whether that’s in up front charges or fear of them driving people to buy extra (private) health insurance. And send a copy to your MP while you’re at it.

There is also a 10 Downing St petition to simply ‘Drop the Bill’ which has nearly 170,000 signatures but has been so far ruled out for debate. You can sign it here, would be great to get it to 200,000 and force the government to reconsider.

Keep Our NHS Public has been working overtime on this issue, please donate via their website. Without a cohesive NHS, Finsbury Health Centre’s position as a public health centre will be in danger, whatever the planning regs now say – and really I’d rather be raising funds for a full refurbishment and update of FHC than fighting a takeover by BUPA or some such.

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