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.
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 being gradually destroyed.
We set this website 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 about this. Our concerns were justified and much of what is happening now to the NHS can be traced to to the enactment of the Bill. The Health and Social Care Act (2012) allowed massive restructuring of the NHS and increased opportunities for private companies to profit from it. One of the ways it did this was by removing 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 rapidly implementing more immense and relentless change through its Five Year Forward View, and further radical restructuring of the NHS. 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 – much less than what’s spent on healthcare by many other countries with similar economies. As a result, treatment is increasingly being rationed, healthcare workers are under serious pressure and some services are dangerously understaffed. Not only this, but 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 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.
Admittedly, we are biased in that we want to see a comprehensive NHS that is publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable. However, we try to present information as dispassionately as possible. We welcome comments for improvement (See our Contact Us page).
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.