In the run up to the lobby of Labour Party conference in Manchester on 21 September, we are circulating the following statement for support. It will be sent to the press, but continue as a campaigning tool after the lobby. We will post regular updates on the list of signatories starting on Thursday 18 September.
Please circulate widely. To add your or your organisation’s name to this statement email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information ring 07796 690 874.
DEMAND LABOUR REALLY COMMITS TO REBUILDING THE NHS
We are campaigning for a clear commitment from the Labour Party to saving the National Health Service.
We want to stop and reverse privatisation, and rebuild the NHS as a comprehensive public service providing for all on the basis of need – not a logo above a marketplace of profit-making companies.
We welcome Labour’s pledge to repeal the Health and Social Care Act and the key “competition regulations” promoting marketisation – and to restore the ministerial duty to provide a comprehensive service. We also welcome the pledge to exclude the NHS from international “free trade” agreements.
But to rebuild the NHS we need more. We need a major drive to undo the damage done by the Act, and before that by years of policies shifting the NHS towards a market system, like the obscenely wasteful “internal market” and widespread privatisation and outsourcing. We want a fight to bring contracts already in the hands of private companies back into the NHS. We want an end to cash-driven closures, reversal of cuts and adequate funding to rebuild the NHS as a genuine public service. We want an end to the Private Finance Initiative and liberation from crushing PFI debts.
Such policies are necessary to restore an NHS which provides a top quality health service for all, as well as decent terms and conditions for NHS workers. We support a Living Wage and a mandatory minimum staffing ratio of one nurse to every four patients.
We want reversal of the Coalition’s attacks on migrants’ access to the NHS. We want integration of health and social care to mean that social care becomes a public service.
We are supporting the lobby of Labour Party conference on 21 September, and want to build an ongoing alliance of NHS campaigners, Labour Party activists and trade unionists to fight for these goals.