This website has been set up by a group of patients to 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 our 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.* But its future is now in serious danger.
Our health services face many challenges, such as changes in disease patterns, a rise in the number of older people with complex problems, and the increased cost of treatments. But the most significant threat to its future is the way that it’s being seriously undermined by government policies and legislation. These include
- The Health and Social Care Act (2012), which brought about a massive and expensive restructuring of the NHS, turned the NHS into a competitive market and accelerated privatisation;
- Underfunding and financial cuts, with demands for crippling ‘efficiency savings’;
- The use of the Private Finance Initiative, creating unmanageable debt for many NHS organisations;
- NHS England’s plan, the Five Year Forward View, calling for additional and major reorganisation that sets the scene for an NHS that’s more like a US-type insurance based system;
- New local health systems or ‘footprints’ that must develop new Sustainability and Transformation Plans to radically reshape and cut services.
Opening up the NHS to competition has also made it vulnerable to inclusion in trade and investment agreements (such as CETA and TTIP) and the extraction of NHS funding by multinational corporations. These deals may also include mechanisms that make the privatisation of the NHS irreversible.
How can we stop this?
This website aims to provide patients and the general public with up to date information about what is happening to the NHS in England.
The website also provides resources, such as a list of articles, videos and blogs that you might find useful, and an explanation of terms that you may come across. There is also a patients4nhs leaflet that explains what is happening to the NHS. This can be downloaded and printed off by anyone wanting to use it to campaign for the NHS.
We hope you will support us by passing on the website link to others.