After months of worry about what is happening to our NHS, on Saturday March 4 I joined the NHS March in London.
It was a truly inspiring event with people of all ages joining in, but it did not have any impact on a government that is determined to set up a private health system by stealth.
The reorganisation and the privatisation that has been taking place since the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 has largely been ignored by most people who find the tangle of acronyms: CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), STP (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) for our NCL (North Central London ‘Footprint’) and now the AEBM programme all a bit too much to take on.
I wonder how many residents realise the extent of the privatisation taking place or even care, because we have always felt that if our NHS is in good hands with our doctors in charge, all will turn out well in the end! How wrong we can be.
Privatisation will mean profits going elsewhere and we will not be the primary focus of care anymore.
Publicity tends to blame the NHS itself for what has been going wrong, but in circles where the truth is known, the NHS is still considered to be one of the very best health services in the world.
Most patients are still very satisfied with the care they receive and we all expect it to continue as a free service at the point of need. The truth is that it is being starved of the funds it needs and any extra money being spent is to streamline it into a semi-private service.
More cuts are planned all over the country not only in the closure of A&E centres and loss of hospital beds but also access to operations we may need. Even the death rate is starting to rise.
Some CCGs are carrying out an exercise called AEBM, or Adherence to Evidence Based Medicine. These are consultations to ask us, residents, to agree many ‘unnecessary’ operations can be cut so our local health service can ‘live within its means’.
Decisions to defer treatment will be based on how much pain we are in and if we are a smoker or overweight.
Sue Davies Address supplied