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999 Call for the NHS

A grassroots NHS campaign. Not affiliated to any of the political parties.

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By 999 Call for the NHS, Feb 6 2018 10:12AM

Marching through London on Saturday 3rd February


...with thousands of others was, surprisingly, a pleasant and inspiring day. I wasn’t looking forward to it if honest. Weather was cold and rainy. The streets would be lined with damp bemused tourists and yet again the mainstream media would ignore us.


So standing outside Euston Square tube station at 11.30, already getting soggy in the drizzle I was a little apprehensive of what the hours ahead would bring. But you know what? Within minutes I was glad I made the effort. Smiles like canyons, hugs and embraces that only shared struggles can bring, laughter and wide eyes at seeing familiar and unknown “know the name oh my god you’re...!” faces - you’re not just marching you’re stepping into a community. Something like a family.


NHS UPRISING
NHS UPRISING

As more and more placards and overcoats...

...poured out of the tube station the police began to move us. I was proud to shuffle along Gower Street with the Fighting 4 Life Lincolnshire crowd and the handmade NHS UPRISING banner they have taken to events from Louth to Grimsby, Grantham, Lincoln, Barnsley and now London.


Proud to stand with campaigns from Bedford, Milton Keynes, Chorley, Huddersfield. More hugs, more loud laughs. Proud to laugh with NHS Staff members who know a whole different experience from those of us fighting on the outside. With strong principled Trade Union reps who are frustrated with the faults in their organisations and are determined to challenge them from within.


Talking is good, chanting...?

Waiting for the off was a chance to talk but I’m not a natural chanter - although I have been accused by some of having a big mouth. But I’m an actor in past life and hollow words don’t fit in my mouth easily. You have to feel words, words have to mean something and today - more than ever before we were keen to try new crowd shouts. The old familiar ones are always great for morale but the story has moved on.



Say NO to ACO
Say NO to ACO

This was going to take a while.

But following the trial run three people asked what an ACO was. Explaining in simple terms our understanding of the fixed whole population budget that would radically alter the funding mechanisms currently in place; explaining that NHS Improvement were looking into how they could legally allow non-NHS bodies to become controllers of NHS & social care budgets; by the time I was half way through “and it’s suggested that they will be able to keep unspent money every year...” eyes and mouths were open wide and all 3 sang the same tune “but that’s the American system!”.

Welcome to our world.



Our NHS?
Our NHS?

By the time we’d reached Covent Garden confidence was growing. Megaphone piggybacking was the name of the game and in full swing. Again more people asking and turning to their fiends once they understood. A few more people knew what an ACO was and why we have to scrap the whole idea. And that is fantastic because the more I was forced to explain - the brighter the lightbulbs shone.


One member of the Ageing population tapped me on the shoulder. And I have to thank her for her demand. With tears in her eyes she wanted to know why we weren't shouting about privatisation and getting the private companies out of the NHS. "It's not ours anymore, they've taken it, I cant shout Our NHS anymore." I have to thank her for reminding me that there is so much to shout about you sometimes forget the important messages. And if the collapse of Carillion has taught us nothing this last two weeks it's that allowing private companies any control of our public services is a potential life threatening disaster - other companies are embedded in the management and control of our NHS - so we began to chant some more truths...



Privatisation the important message
Privatisation the important message

To quote the Prince song... there is joy in repetition. It’s sadly what we have to do. Not get bogged down in it but enjoy repeating the truth to our friends, our neighbours and to power.


The messages coming out of the establishment right now indicate they are battoning down the hatches because they know we are onto them and laying seige to their plans, and their hollow announcements are nothing but red herring distractions and misleading propaganda, and we even had a song for that on Saturday. We even smiled as we sang. Listeners smiled and joined in because they got the (sick) joke... we can see through the bullshit.


(to the tune of La Bamba)

It’s the Ageing population!

It’s the ageing population with complex needs

They’re all to blame, they’re all to blame


It’s the Doctors and the Nurses!

It’s the Doctors and the Nurses, they’re to blame

Making cups of tea in A&E


What is it?



Propaganda is a difficult word to deal with
Propaganda is a difficult word to deal with

Next step is washing it away. There is joy in repetition...


Drip Drip Drip...

That's what the government and the establishment have been doing for a very long time. Repeating over and over until our heads can think of nothing else. Their tap is on full but the water is running out. Our campaign reservoir is just beginning to overflow.


Keep filling it up... there is joy in repetition.


To find a Local Councillors Rough Guide to ACOS CLICK HERE


To find our more about our legal challenge to the ACO contract CLICK HERE


Thanks to all the campaigners out there.


Steven Carne

@ohstevencarne









By 999 Call for the NHS, Dec 28 2017 05:40PM


Another Christmas is over, the presents, the food, the snoozing in front the telly, no doubt a few family rows. Done and dusted.


As we edge towards another New Year and people are beginning to think about resolutions, new projects, new ideas, we're beginning to think about the symbolism of the turning of the calendar year with longer days of light ahead, dreams of Spring, new energy and that dangerous spirit of determination - HOPE


So where the hell is the HOPE?


Well... it lies in us, ordinary people putting ourselves back into politics with courage and determination to provide a healthier future for our children and generations ahead.


Hope lies in us gathering courage from each other to challenge the establishment and question the perverse Austerity logic of our elected representatives, the mechanisms of power, the media and big business. Drip down economics, tightening our belts cos we can't have what we can't afford... we can and will break that myth.


And here's believing that HOPE lies in our legal system. Because we are “marching” once more - this time to the High Courts to challenge NHS England. It seems sad and ironic that we are challenging the very institution that is supposed to be providing our healthcare. But we must and we need campaigners and public to march with us. We are challenging their decision to introduce an Accountable Care Organisation Contract which could allow USA style healthcare to end our NHS.


We're fighting through the courts because we believe the new contract will:


• threaten the core NHS principle of comprehensive healthcare for all who need it by restricting access to elective treatments - cataract removals, hip & knee ops etc.


• speed up the development of a two tier system where those with money pay to go private and the rest are left with a reduced NHS


• increase NHS privatisation, and potentially put private health companies in a position of control over local NHS and social care services.



Just 3 days before Christmas


Our lawyers, Leigh Day, contacted us with the news that a judge had considered our claimant papers and had (with little doubt it seems) seen the value of our legal arguments and granted permission for a full Judicial Review of the decision by NHS England to introduce their 'Draft' ACO Contract.


This was a genuine surprise. We'd been told that most likely any news would be after the festive holidays. But it's a welcome surprise genuinely filled with hope.  At some point, after February 16th 2018, a date will be set and 999 Call for the NHS will be standing opposite NHS England in the High Court .


Like many fellow campaigners, we firmly believe this ‘draft’ Accountable Care Organisation Contract radically changes the nature of the NHS. Strangely it's based on the USA Medicare/Medicaid system - globally recognised as the world's WORST healthcare system (expensive and rubbish!). Medicare only covers a limited basic menu of treatment leaving those who can afford it to pay for private healthcare and those who can't to go without.


What happened to the fundamental principles of providing a full comprehensive range of clinical care for everyone who needs it? The core of the once world-leading British National Health Service.


This Judicial Review is a huge Public Interest case


The judge obviously agreed because we were also granted a Capped Costs Order (CCO) which means,  if we lost, we would pay a fixed sum of £25,000 not the entire costs that NHSE could try to claim (they had temporarily successfully scared us with a threat of £170,000 and if we had not been granted the CCO we would have had to have pulled out).


We had fingers crossed that the judge would agree to the £15k we had already raised with the public's generosity but even though the CCO sum is £25k it shows that the judge has seen the merits of our case statements and we must take hope and courage from that. As a team we spent the day before Christmas Eve email-wrangling through the judge's decision. Could we afford another £12,000? Would the public join us in raising this extra money?


In the end it was a unanimous decision. Going to court, setting up another round of CrowdJustice fundraising was the only option on the table. We owe it ourselves, our fellow campaigners and the country.


"Hope lies in ordinary people putting themselves in extraordinary circumstances".


Well one of these extraordinary circumstances has arrived.


You can find out about the case on our Judicial Review page .


This case is for everyone. It affects all of us. We hope you can join us and help us.


LIKE and SHARE this blog. Tell your friends about the case and that we will be launching Stage 3 of our CrowdJustice fundraising appeal very soon.


Thank you.


Here's to Hope.





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