Why am I walking around 300 miles and NHS campaigning in general?
According to a friendly Scottish person I know, it’s downhill all the way from Scotland ;-)
But that’s not the reason.
I am not a mum but I do have a niece and nephew and family who aren’t getting any younger either. What kind of a future is in store for them ? I can’t wait and see. Campaigning has been a strange journey this time round, gain / lose friendships along the way, I only ever used to shout with ‘kihaps’ in training, now I have more stuff to shout about. I am angry. I don’t like being lied to repeatedly. We deserve better than this.
I have spent time in conferences, meetings over the last fifteen or so years amongst people in the private sector who didn’t show how they delivered a different quality against the costs of their services when compared to public sector and repeat urban myths about what a private organisation delivers (neglecting to mention about the need to keep investors happy). I have worked in all kinds of roles in private, public and voluntary too so feel comfortable expressing this opinion as it’s not without some substance. It’s not a case of who can win the highest moral ground either, something that doesn’t belong to any human.
This was before I knew what was happening with the NHS (found out somewhere in 2012, the price of ignorance…) The reaction that I’ve frequently experienced during campaigning is – we should take to the streets – well yes ! Why not join in the march ? It’s recreating the Jarrow route – 21 days, 23 locations across the UK, ending in London, loads of options for taking part.
I do not believe local is a magic word and neither is national. I do not want to sit through another year of politicians making promises they can’t keep in the run up to the general election, nor do I want to see politicians use media to cover things up and oppress others. I do not want to hear shortly after the next election that they and their supporters are getting contracts – private / voluntary, are owning more land, owning more property, owning more anything that doesn’t belong to them which rather conveniently their policies are being designed for, in preparation. Or that they are moving more money out of the economy and away from people who could contribute if they had a chance.
It’s heartbreaking when people come to our stall and say they or their relatives are leaving nursing sometimes a year after qualifying. Their dream jobs. Leaving because of the cuts, the attack from politicians and the media, they find it hard to cope.
Thousands of staff are delivering fantastic NHS care, treatment and research. In Leeds they are performing a double hand transplant for the first time in the UK.
People tell us all the time, they don’t want cuts, they want the NHS funded properly so their friends, families and neighbours can have great healthcare. Affording the costs (who decides what health is worth from the outside!) is a terrifying nightmare for everyone, with many horror stories being shared from visits to the US. They don’t want to rely on private providers who can’t deliver the quality based on over 60 years of great clinical care and research which is improving all the time.
It’s not just the majority of us in the UK, the trend is towards universal healthcare provision freely available.
The Commonwealth report is another study which shows the NHS at No 1.
Let’s keep it that way.