What we owe Harry

NHS leaflet

No, not that Harry … or that one, we owe this Harry…

This is an article about how to save our NHS.

For some years now, we’ve all seen the issuing of a crime number as a sign that the police don’t have the staff or the funds to actually pursue a crime. It seems to be almost standard now with house burglaries and similar. You phone the police, they give you a crime number, and you hear no more.

There’s a real danger the same is going to happen with the theft of our NHS. Most of the damage was done decades ago, and the blame lies with Westminster politicians of all the major parties. The reason hospital administration is so complex now, and that so many bits of paper fly to and fro as patients are handed from one department to another, often sent miles from home to attend this or that appointment, is that it’s already parcelled out, with parts of treatment processes in the hands of different companies. Consultants’ offices spend their own time making appointments and applying for funding to use each other.

The horse has bolted

The result of all this is that conniving politicians will tell you that you can’t reinstate the NHS if you start from here, that the easiest and most logical route is to take the final step into a business-based model. They make it less scary by calling it ‘the insurance model’ or a ‘partnership’. The supposedly lefty newspaper, the Guardian, is taking money from Big Pharma to run the PR exercise to sell this idea to you.

People are thinking (rightly in many cases) that they need to vote Labour at the next election as a sort of damage-limitation exercise.

Identify the thieves

But it’s vital that we learn to see more clearly than that, because whilst the current government are the most obvious NHS-destroyers, there is no viable party in Westminster that’s telling it how it is. A quick search of, for example, the leader of the Labour Party and his chosen health spokesman will show you that both have strong financial reasons to go with the ‘business model’.

They will tell you that lots of money is being poured into the NHS, and that we need to find a way of making it less expensive. Their ‘solutions’ will be the ones the Guardian is currently selling. The ‘partnerships’ and ‘insurance’ schemes.

We are with you ad


There is one sure fire way of making them show their colours. I’m going to say it lots of ways, so that we all remember when they come door-knocking:

Please keep asking politicians if they support NHS reinstatement.

A Reinstatement Bill would mean politicians once more taking direct responsibility for NHS provision.

Legal reinstatement is the only thing that will drive profiteers out of the NHS.

Politicians won’t support reinstatement willingly – Tory MPs have been draining billions out of potential NHS funds because they have avoided reinstatement. Labour MPs did their very best to avoid supporting NHS reinstatement when the Labour membership were demanding it during the Corbyn era, and they will work even harder to try and avoid it now, because it would give them major problems if they were in government.

It would mean them giving up some of their most generous donors, and it would mean them having to admit just how much of the NHS assets and services they have already sold off or contracted out – and it would mean them having to do the serious, long-term work involved in getting it all back, so they could actually restore the NHS they have not yet admitted they have sold.

Our NHS is now a mess of profiteers’ grabs and agreements, and our politicians are deliberately letting it all look bad, so they can sell you their way of ‘saving’ it.

In fact, if the current government have taught us one thing, it is that they can find vast amounts of money when they have something they want to spend it on. We must keep reminding them – MPs, canvassers, candidates, councillors – keep reminding them what the government has found money for – from wars through MPs’ pay rises, to subsidies, sales opportunities and tax let-offs for big business…

…. and when opposition politicians say they will put more money into our NHS, ask them to be precise – do they mean they’re going to reinstate the NHS and put money directly into NHS services, staff and resources, or do they mean more money for privateers and insurance schemes?

Don’t accept a crime number, demand an investigation

They just choose not to spend money on our NHS…

We must not let them get away with this. The terrifying, life-threatening situations we’ve seen recently, when our over-stretched emergency services have not been able to keep up with demands are just the beginning of a hint of what life will be like when the NHS is entirely gone.

Be clever, be precise, to save our NHS

It’s both frightening and infuriating, but we must keep calm, and be precise in our demands, if we want to beat the smooth-talkers and save our NHS. Don’t blame people who get family members out of messes by paying for this or that bit of treatment privately, but don’t encourage the idea. Sympathize with them, and ask them to help us restore our NHS. Support the striking nurses, tell everyone what’s happening and above all, please look for every opportunity to corner your MP, ambitious parliamentary candidates and councillors, and ask them, do they actually support NHS reinstatement, do they understand why it’s essential? Tell them your vote depends on their answer.


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4 responses to “What we owe Harry”

  1. Hi Kay, Thanks for another great article. I don’t know if you’ve seen the attached Commons report, but it is unbelievable that Jeremy Hunt chaired it. Here is an exerpt from a letter I wrote to my Tory MP Julian Lewis:

    “In July 2022 the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee issued a report on this very issue. I urge you to read it. The link to the report is https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5803/cmselect/cmhealth/115/report.html You may be interested to note the following quotes from the report’s Executive Summary (paragraphs are numbered): 1. New research by the Nuffield Trust suggests that the NHS in England could be short right now of 12,000 hospital doctors and over 50,000 nurses and midwives. 2. The Government has shown a marked reluctance to act decisively. The persistent understaffing of the NHS now poses a serious risk to staff and patient safety both for routine and emergency care. 8. Medical school places in the UK should be increased by 5,000 from around 9,500 per year to 14,500. 22. Pay is a crucial factor in recruitment and retention in social care. And these numbered paragraphs from the conclusions and recommendations of the report: 2. Without full and frank transparency on projected workforce gaps, the public and NHS staff can have little confidence that the Government has grasped the depth of the workforce crisis 3. The Government’s current target of recruiting 50,000 NHS nurses is not having any meaningful impact on the true scale of nursing shortages. The Government must introduce a new bursary scheme comprising full coverage of tuition fees. 19. The NHS must ensure that all staff have access to adequate facilities. At the minimum, all staff should have access to 24/7 hot food and drinks, free parking, and places to rest. And the chair of the committee making these comments? Jeremy Hunt. As chancellor, he is well placed to find the money to implement the recommendations. Many billions could be raised by taxing unearned income at the same rate as taxable income. There are many ways to increase resources, all that is needed is the political will.”

    I also got a letter printed in the Southampton Echo about this report. Nothing from the MP though….

    Best wishes, Helen

    Sent from Mail for Windows


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