Citizens campaign to defend NHS in Bristol West
Monday September 24, 2012 13:16 by Bristol user
The largely web based citizens campaign '38 Degrees' (http://38degrees.org.uk) has initiated a campaign/petition to defend the NHS in Bristol West. The poster of this post to Bindymedia is aware there are many forms of action to take to defend our services from the grasp of profiteers, online petitions are just one of the tools in our box. Read on:
The government’s plans to privatise and fragment our NHS are taking shape in Bristol West.
Local doctors are forming a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the area. They’re going to get new powers to decide what health services you and your neighbours are able to access and who provides them. 
Whether it’s treatment for diabetes, skin conditions, a broken arm or depression, profit-hungry companies like Virgin Care and Serco are circling, ready to bid for contracts by promising to slash costs. 
The doctors on your local CCG will be under pressure from the government to hand out contracts to private companies. That could put vital services at risk.  But the last thing most doctors want is to carve up our NHS for private profit. Plus, the new CCG has a legal duty to listen to local people. 
So right now, we’ve got a big chance to ask local doctors to use their new powers to protect our NHS, not privatise it. Together, we can make sure they hear from hundreds of local people as they make these crucial decisions.
Can you add your name to the petition to your local CCG now?
Donations from 38 Degrees members have funded lawyers to prepare robust wording for CCGs to write into their constitutions - protecting our NHS from the worst risks of the government's plans. 
If we can get in early, while CCGs are still being formed, we can give doctors a better choice - one based on sound legal advice and the interests of patients, not private companies.
38 Degrees members will be able to work together to persuade their local CCG to write these safeguards into their constitutions. The government and the private health industry probably won’t like it at all, but there’s little they can do to stop people power.
First things first. Can you add your name to the petition in Bristol West?
Thanks for being involved!
PS: The website tool that links you up with your local CCG is new - you’re one of the first to test it. If you have any problems or questions, please let us know by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
 GP Online: GP and CCG relations: what are the challenges? http://insidecommissioning.gponline.com/2012/08/02/gp-and-ccg-relations-what-are-the-challenges/
 "Virgin Care...will take over integrated children's services in the south-west in March 2013 and will run frontline services for three years. Critics have warned that such deals herald the breakup of the NHS, with private firms cherrypicking services." Guardian: Virgin Care to take over children's health services in Devon http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/12/virgin-care-children-nhs-devon
GP Online: Services open to “any qualified provider” revealed by DH http://www.gponline.com/channel/news/article/1149786/services-open-any-qualified-provider-revealed-dh/
 “...plans for a radical restructuring of the health service in England, which will give GPs control of much of the NHS's £106bn annual budget, cut the number of health bodies, and introduce more competition into services” Guardian: NHS Reform Health bill passes vote
BBC: NHS - The shape of things to come http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17457102
 Telegraph: Scrap NHS Bill, say doctors who will run reforms http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9112448/Scrap-NHS-Bill-say-doctors-who-will-run-reforms.html
Pulse: More GP commissioners withdraw support from health bill http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/newsarticle-content/-/article_display_list/13604675/more-gp-commissioners-withdraw-support-from-health-bill
 38 Degrees blog: Top legal advice to save our NHS http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/09/21/top-legal-advice-to-save-our-nhs/