This website has been set up by patients4nhs – a group of patients, unaligned to any political party, who want to find out and share information about how the NHS is changing and why. We are not a membership group but work alongside other groups and campaigns that are defending the NHS.
What is happening to the NHS?
The NHS has been one of the best and most cost effective health care systems in the world.* However, it is becoming increasingly clear that its future is in serious danger.
Our health services face many challenges, such as changes in disease patterns and populations. But the most significant threat to the future of the NHS is the way that it’s been seriously undermined by government policies and legislation over many years. Among the more recent and damaging of these have been
- The Health and Social Care Act (2012), which largely dismantled the NHS, brought about massive restructuring, accelerated the privatisation of the NHS and opened it up as a competitive market;
- Lack of funding, on top of financial cuts and demands for crippling ‘efficiency savings’;
- The use of the Private Finance Initiative, creating unmanageable debt for many NHS hospitals;
- The introduction of NHS England’s plan, the Five Year Forward View, calling for major reorganisation based in part on ‘integrated care’, and raising concerns that the NHS is being moved towards a US-type insurance based system.
The NHS is now facing further, rapid restructuring on a huge scale, through a “Transformation” of the entire NHS in England that attempts to cut costs by introducing new untested ‘models of care’. At the same time, NHS functions and assets are to be devolved to cash starved Local Authorities, threatening ‘ring-fenced’ NHS funding and observance of national healthcare standards.
Opening up the NHS to competition has made it vulnerable to being included in trade and investment agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the extraction of NHS funding by US-based corporations. Investment protection measures in such treaties may also make the privatisation of the NHS virtually irreversible.
Whatever the motivation, a new, fragmented way of providing health care is being set up without the awareness or agreement of the public. This is not just a re-organised health service but one that is being built on very different principles – where privatisation is encouraged and comprehensive health care is no longer funded from general taxes and equally available to all.
How can we stop this?
This website aims to provide patients (and potential patients) with up to date information about what is happening to the NHS in England. It also gives details of campaigns and organisations concerned with reclaiming the NHS that you might want to join – such as the campaign to support the NHS Bill 2015, which aims to reverse the HSC Act and other measures that are dismantling the NHS.
We hope you will support us by passing on the website link to others.