The NHS constitution – a new weapon in our defence of our NHS

15 Dec

On Monday 10th December, I joined many other ambulance workers, unison members and ordinary members of the public like myself in going to London to lobby against the edition of the government to allow Arriva to run greater Manchester’s Patient Transport Service. This was a decision based purely on cost, and Unison are concerned that this move may affect the service as the company could cut corners to maintain profit.

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This was a day of high spirits from listening to Andy Burnham, Andrew Gwynne, Lucy Powell and Jonny Reynolds speak passionately against such a measure, to marching down Whitehall to the department of health to deliver a petition of 14000 signatures gift wrapped for Mr Hunt.

In his speech, Andy referred to the ‘NHS constitution’ , where one of the points maintained that as the NHS ‘belongs to the people’ and thus the people have a right to be consulted on changes to thir services. Afterwards, I asked Andy about the constitution and how the wider public are unaware of this. This got myself, and 2 other friends thinking. As a result we have set up a twitter account @nhsconstitution to tweet parts of the constitution as well as links to an online version of the document in order to keep the public aware of their rights.

This document not only informs the public on their rights with regards to treatment, but can also help people in campaigns to fight against changes to their services which they do not want, from campaigns to overturn the privatisation of patient transport services, to closures of hospital wards. This government has shown that it cannot be trusted with our NHS, and shows the importance of each one of us fighting to save it.

The constitution can be found here:

http://www.nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Documents/nhs-constitution-interactive-version-march-2012.pdf

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