Medics Act to Save the NHS: National Health Action Party Launch, Thursday 15 November
A new political party – National Health Action (NHA) – will be launched at Westminster. Its aim is to protect the NHS, which is currently being dismantled by the government’s unpopular health reforms.
- We will announce the ‘top five’ high profile seats we intend to target at the next General Election.
Photo Call: 9.45am. Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JY. NHA co-leaders Dr Clive Peedell and Dr Richard Taylor will be there with other health professionals and supporters, many wearing stethoscopes and scrubs. The party banner will be displayed.
Press Conference:10.30 -11am, the Maurice Barnett Room, 1st floor, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, SW1H 9NH (Refreshments available afterwards).
Speakers: Dr Jacky Davis – consultant radiologist and NHA designate executive, Dr Louise Irvine – GP and NHA designate executive, Dr Clive Peedell – cancer specialist and NHA co-leader, Dave Skidmore – NHS ambulance technician, Dr Richard Taylor – former Independent MP for Wyre Forest, retired hospital consultant and NHA co-leader.
National Health Action
Formed by a group of healthcare professionals, including hospital doctors, a GP and professors of public health, primary care and paediatric epidemiology, NHA is totally committed to promoting policies that ensure high quality patient care.
Despite their promises to protect the service, all three main parties have betrayed the public’s trust over the NHS. A&E units are being closed or downgraded, some hospitals are on the brink of collapse, services are being broken up and contracts given to profit-making corporations. Thousands of NHS jobs will be wiped out by 2015.
This top down reorganisation is undermining the founding principles of the NHS – a defining element of our nation’s shared values for generations rightly celebrated at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. But current market-driven health policies are destroying the NHS and placing it at risk.
NHA believes that policies are being pushed through in the absence of full independent consultation and without consideration of the risks they pose to lives and health. The NHA supports changes only where they bring genuine improvements to patient care.
Our party can be trusted to look after the NHS and value its founding principles. Our elected members will fight to restore the NHS as the high quality, comprehensive and equitable NATIONAL health service that is known and loved by all.
Prospective parliamentary candidates will stand in up to 50 carefully chosen general election constituencies. The party will also field candidates in local council elections. It will not stand against any candidate who shares our goals for the NHS.
Dr Clive Peedell ran from Aneurin Bevan’s statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health in London in February to protest against the Health and Social Care Bill. He says: ‘NHA will send a clear message to the public that the NHS will be increasingly dismantled and handed over to the corporate sector unless we fight to maintain it as a public service, dedicated to the public interest.’
Dr Richard Taylor’s electoral victory in 2001 was based on a campaign to improve services at Kidderminster General Hospital. He says: ‘There is a desperate need for doctors, other health professionals and patients, independent of the main political parties, to take a lead in restoring and protecting the original ideals of the NHS.’
Dr Louise Irvine, a GP in South-East London, says: ‘The government’s reforms reduce patients’ access to quality health services, turn GPs into healthcare rationers, increase bureaucracy and waste billions of pounds that could instead be used to fund vital health services.’
Despite its record I still think that Labour holds out the best hope of saving the NHS
I think that New Labour’s introduction of PFI, which will bankrupt many hospitals and of “choose and book”, which takes patients away from NHS providers for low-cost work (keyhole surgery etc) but still leaves the NHS responsible for high-cost work (intensive care) both demonstrate that the Labour Party has a very poor track record when it comes to protecting the NHS. Just think of Patricia Hewitt and of what she is up to now that she has retired from Parliament!
I agree with Mr. Squires and the New Labour governments, for all their faults raised spending to levels comparable to other European countries. However, this new party is neccessary and in constituencies where Labour cannot win, it will be a highly valid party worth voting for. The Liberal Democrats could have stopped with vacuous attack on universal healthcare but they are a pointless party in Westminster so we need a party like this. Both the domestic and foreign healthcare organisations looking to swipe the NHS from under our noses need to be brought to book and banished forever.