A delegation of health professionals met Fabian on Friday 20th May, 2011 to discuss shared concerns about the implications of the government proposals for the reform of the National Health Service. The group included Dr John Puntis a consutant pediatrician at Leeds General Infirmary and Liz Williams a former patient who works for the Anglican Diocese of Ripon and Leeds.
Fabian learned that not only that the plans to the way that finance is managed have major implications for future availability of treatment, they also fundamentally undermine the concept of the NHS being a public service. An NHS does not simply mean that treatment is free for the patient, it also means every last penny of the money available is used to buy service and should not be in any way creamed off in the form of profits by private companies supplying services.
Not only are health service workers being asked to envisage fundamental reforms they are also having to cope with many cuts due to the government not increasing the NHS budget in line with inflation and growing patient expectations. Fabian was informed that the Leeds General Infirmary has to save a staggering £60 Million, there are currently 570 unfilled vacancies and there have been 133 bed closures including 36 in pediatrics. All this is leading to huge and disquieting levels of staff stress and low morale.
A demonstration is being held on the 28th May in Leeds. Dr John Puntis invites all concerned to join in. Large numbers of people stating by their presence that they oppose these alarming proposals can make a difference.
NHS Campaign Demonstration
Dr John Puntis asks for your support on the 28th May.
Fabian has pledged his opposition to the current proposals and has said that he will work with his colleage Labour MPs to expose the risks to the National Health Service and for the changes that could permanently damage provision for all those needing care both now and in the future.