Leading party activists, trade unionists and health campaigners challenge Labour on future of NHS

As Labour Party conference 2013 prepares to open in Brighton, more and more people are demanding to know what Labour will do about the impending destruction of the NHS.

On Saturday 21 September, the Guardian published a letter from dozens of leading Labour Party members, NHS campaigners, trade unionists, academics and student activists calling on the Labour leadership to take a firm stand on saving the National Health Service from the Coalition government’s drive to destroy it. You can read the version the Guardian printed here and the final version below.

Increasingly, the views contained in the letter represent a consensus among labour movement and NHS activists. It is therefore alarming that motions reflecting these views (see here and here) seem to have been ruled out of order by Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee. We will let you know more information as we have it.

Activists from the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign and other NHS campaigners will be demonstrating at Labour Party conference on the morning and afternoon of Sunday 22 September – details here. We hope to see you there. And if you’d like to get involved in ongoing campaigning about what the labour movement and Labour Party are going to do to save the NHS, email nhsliaison@yahoo.co.uk

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Letter in the Guardian, Saturday 21 September

Last year’s Labour Party conference unanimously committed the party to campaign against cuts and privatisation in the NHS, and rebuild it as a public service. This year’s conference will again debate this vital issue.

As cuts and sell-offs spiral, the destruction of the NHS in all but name is now well under way. The growing struggle to save it needs more than warm words from Labour.

If the Labour Party leadership is serious about saving the NHS from the Coalition’s assault, it needs to make firm commitments on issues like outsourcing and privatisation of services, the use of markets, Private Finance Initiative debts, minimum staffing levels and reversing cuts. It needs to restore the Secretary of State’s duty to provide a comprehensive service, as Ed Miliband has promised, but go beyond that to rebuild a publicly owned, publicly funded and publicly run NHS providing for need, not a logo covering a marketplace of profit-making private companies.

We call on the Labour Party to show it is serious about saving the NHS by taking a clear stand.

Grahame Morris MP
John McDonnell MP
Sue Richards, Keep Our NHS Public co-chair
Anita Downs, Lewisham Hospital Unite the Union secretary
Dr Louise Irvine, Save Lewisham Campaign chair
Dr Kailash Chand, Tameside Healthwatch chair and Stalybridge CLP
Martin Mayer, Unite the Union Executive Council and Labour Party national executive
Caroline Molloy, OurNHS openDemocracy editor
Dr Jacky Davis, NHS Consultants Association co-chair
Colin Standfield, Ealing Hospital SOS chair
Jill Mountford, Save Lewisham Hospital steering group
Marsha Jane Thompson, Havering Unison secretary and LRC Vice Chair
June Hautot, Keep Our NHS public campaigner
Hazel Nolan, London Young Labour chair, Young Labour national committee
Pat Smith, Hull North CLP secretary and mover of NHS resolution at Labour conference 2012
Pete Radcliff, Broxtowe CLP secretary
Christine Hulme, Slough CLP chair
Councillor Gary Wareing, Hull City Council
Aisling Gallagher, Labour Party in Northern Ireland Executive and NUS-USI women’s officer
Jon Rogers and Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison co-secretaries
Waïda Forman, for Unison Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
Dr David Wrigley, GP and Keep Our NHS Public
Alison Brown, Sheffield Save Our NHS, ambulance worker
Mark Boothroyd, Katie Turner and Pierre Ellis, 4:1 Campaign
Doug Williamson, for Unite Oxford General & Publishing Branch
Phil Thomas, University of Bradford
Councillor Kevin Bennett, Warrington Borough Council
Matt Smith, Ruskin College SU president
Councillor Phil Rackley, Basildon Borough Council
Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, Politics of Health Group joint chair
Professor Paul Bywaters, Social Work and Health Inequalities Network
Michael Chessum, University of London Union president
Councillor Josh Jones, Birmingham City Council
Pat Murphy, National Union of Teachers national executive
Councillor Andrea Oates, Broxtowe Borough Council
Conrad Landin, Young Labour national committee
Dan Young, London Young Labour Trade Union Liaison Officer
Liam McNulty, London Young Labour committee
Hannah Thompson, London Young Labour committee
Councillor Matthew Brown, Preston City Council exec member for community engagement and inclusion
Beth Redmond, for the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
Dave Kirk, Unite 204/4 secretary and Leeds LRC chair
Eleanor Clarke and Pete Campbell, Students for the NHS
Colum McGuire, National Union of Students vice president welfare
Sky Yarlett, NUS LGBT officer (open place)
Kelley Temple, NUS women’s officer
Shreya Paudel, NUS International Students Committee
Arianna Tassinari, NUS National Executive Committee and ISC
James McAsh, NUS NEC
Rosie Huzzard, NUS NEC
Charles Barry, NUS NEC
Alan Milne, Wirral West CLP
Councillor George Barratt, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
Dr Jonathan Folb, consultant microbiologist, Liverpool
Rita O’Brien and Jean Fraser, East Kent Keep Our NHS Public
Professor Lee Adams

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