Trade unionist in the NHS and London Young Labour executive member, Gavin Sibthorpe, explains why he supports the lobby of Labour Party conference on 21 September:
The NHS as we know it will be gone in as little as five years if we don’t fight for it.
Private health providers received more than £10bn from the public coffers in 2013, and a further £5.8 billion is currently being advertised to the sector, a 14% increase on the year before.
With private healthcare providers booming, 35,000 staff have been axed, including 5,600 nurses. Half of our 600 ambulance stations are earmarked for closure. A third of NHS walk-in centres have been closed and 10% of A&E units have been shut. As an NHS worker and trade union representative, I’ve seen how this has affected staff morale from the front line.
Andy Burnham’s call to repeal the Tories’ Health & Social Care Act is warmly welcomed, but the time has come for Labour Party members to ensure this commitment to stop privatisation of the health service goes further and corrects the things we got wrong while we were in government.