The world's capitalist system is on its knees. We believe that now is the time for you to denounce privatisation of our care and health services and stop this from happening. Privatisation of the health and care industries has had cross party political support over the past twenty years or so. We have seen privatisation of home care work, 'consultancy', training programmes, capital projects, GP services and the Expert Patient Programme to name a few. Wherever large companies think they can make a fast buck they swoop like vultures.
This privatisation has had a disastrous impact on the NHS. Services like privatised home care and the Expert Patient Programme are fragmented and not as effectively regulated. We argue that people have prematurely died and suffered as a result of this. And this is likely to get much worse, as money is cut from privatised budgets following the sweeping cuts to borrowing banks are making and will continue to make for the foreseeable future.
The drive to divide the NHS - which you have led - must stop. Even calling the different parts of the organisation 'divisions' is divisive. That's what the word means. You have ground down the 'provider' side so that 'commissioners' feel superior to 'providers'. 'Providers' is a very degrading term for people working so hard for the health and wellbeing of the nation. You have made these people (the nurses, doctors, hospital workers) feel inferior. The free markets don't work. They are failing. This approach works even less in health and social care - these are peoples lives we are talking about - not just a fast buck. Please stop the current push to privatise the NHS. Stop the 'Alternative Provider Organisation'. You are wrong - this will not be an improvement. Takeover the running of all your privatised elements - like consultants and cleaning. This is more democratic - as publicly elected Governors like myself and experienced managers, not to mention the local authority, like yourselves are better managers and motivators than the profit crazed capitalists.
The history of 'Keep Hackney NHS Public' is one we are proud of, although unfortunately its establishment, like many organisations and events was a reaction to political events. You probably remember a letter from the then, Sir Nigel Crisp (now Lord Crisp of course - sworn to secrecy on what happened then) to yourselves in July 2005 telling you to make cuts of 15%, in support of 'commissioning a patient led NHS'. We vigorously opposed this and immediately formed a political organisation which united trade unions, patients and the local community, linked to the national 'Keep our NHS Public'. In due course, Tony Blair and Patricia Hewitt who were the probable architects of the debacle were deposed, after I might say substantial lobbying from ourselves. The cuts as you know, were returned on the NHS balance sheets as a surplus. So just over two years ago, before Alan Johnson became Health Secretary, the NHS was facing a £2bn deficit. Now it is £2bn surplus. The local NHS has an extra £23m to spend. As a result of all this success I was elected public Governor of the Homerton in September 2007, Gill George was elected national executive member of UNITE last year.
We stand united, proud of our short past and we implore upon you to stop privatisation, bring back in-house outsourced services - such as cleaning at the Homerton and privatised home care services, stop your misguided 'APO' plans, and give your staff the appropriate pay rise - in line with inflation so that staff are not effectively getting a pay cut.
Keep Hackney NHS Public