Who we are
The Patients4NHS website is run by a small group of NHS users who are deeply concerned about the way the founding principles of the NHS are being overturned, not least through underfunding and privatisation.
We support campaigning organisations like Keep Our NHS Public, Health Campaigns Together and the National Health Action Party, but are not members of any of the main political parties.
Admittedly, our approach is biased in that we want to see a comprehensive NHS that is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable, and available to all. However, we try to present information as dispassionately as possible. We welcome comments for improvement (See our Contact Us page).
Why we set up the website
We’re concerned that there is little clear-cut information about the changes that the NHS is undergoing and that, as a result, many patients and prospective patients, health care workers and even some MPs are unaware of how and why the NHS is gradually being destroyed.
The website was set up as the Health and Social Care Bill was being considered by Parliament in 2011. We were alarmed about what this legislation would mean and how few people knew what was taking place. Our concerns were justified and much of what is happening now to the NHS can be traced to to the enactment of the Bill.
Once passed, the Health and Social Care Act (2012) allowed massive restructuring of the NHS and, through introducing compulsory competitive tendering, increased opportunities for private companies to profit from public funding. The Act removed the legal foundation of the NHS and the duty of the Secretary of State for Health to provide a national health service throughout England. At the same time, it created NHS England (NHSE), an unelected body at arms length from the government.
NHSE is now implementing further massive restructuring of the NHS through its Five Year Forward View. The difference this time is that change is being made without the scrutiny and agreement of Parliament, as well as without informed public debate.
The NHS has never been at greater risk. We are already seeing serious underfunding of the service. We spend less on health and social care than other countries with similar economies, such as France and Germany, while precious NHS resources are being squandered on management consultants, lawyers, accountancy firms, PFI contracts and commercial contracting.
As a result, NHS services are being cut, tens of thousands of operations are being cancelled, waiting lists are reaching a 10-year high, and treatment is increasingly rationed, pushing a growing number of those who can afford it to seek private healthcare. NHS workers are under serious pressure and some services are dangerously understaffed.
The way things are going, by 2021 we are looking at the very real possibility of the NHS becoming little more than a number of local concessions managed by profit-seeking corporations (see, for example, our pages on ‘integrated care’).
If the public is going to have any say over the future of the NHS, there is now more need than ever for straightforward information about what is happening. We hope this website offers this.
Thank you for visiting our website. If you find it useful, we hope you will support us by passing on the website link to others.