S.O.S. NHS summit this Saturday

Article published: Tuesday, February 12th 2013

Everyone sick with worry for the future of the NHS has been invited to an emergency summit this Saturday to bring together Greater Manchester’s campaigns against privatisation and cuts to the health service.

gmatuc nhs demoThe Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils (GMATUC) is holding the one-day meeting at the city centre’s Friends Meeting House to unite the region’s campaigns and share skills on how to fight cuts in their area.

NHS Manchester’s current “healthier together” review has only guaranteed the future of five out of the 11 A&E units as part of moves to concentrate services in a smaller number of sites.

Up to 500 jobs at Royal Bolton Hospital Trust could be going and there have been protests against A&E closures at Trafford General.

Walk-in services at Ancoats and Wythenshawe have been closed and moved into hospitals since the beginning of this month.

And one of the largest shakeups in the NHS’s history is underway as control of Greater Manchester’s health services is passed from Primary Care Trusts to 12 GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups under the terms of the Health and Social Care Act, seen by critics as a prelude to privatisation.

Speakers at the event, intended by organisers to build toward a “week of action” throughout the region, include local GP and Keep Our NHS Public activist Dr David Wrigley and information director of the national Health Emergency campaign Dr John Lister.

GMATUC President Stephen Hall said, “This is the biggest threat to our NHS in Greater Manchester since it was founded here by Nye Bevan in 1948.

“We want to build a broad-based mass campaign to defend local A&E units and NHS services which are now under threat in the name of efficiency and cost-cutting.

“Local community campaigns have already started across the city region – we want to bring them together to share their experience, pool resources and make the strongest possible impact.

“The NHS belongs to local people – we urge them to come and join us in the fight to save vital life-saving services which we all value. The NHS is a much-loved public service. Now the public need to stand up to save it. People power can save our NHS.”

Richard Goulding

The Emergency NHS Summit takes place at 

12 noon, Saturday February 16th, 2013

Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester city centre  M2 5NS

More: Cuts, Manchester, News, Welfare


  1. I see two doctors are fronting the event.

    Couldn’t you find two concerned members of the public to do it instead of people who sell their labour very expensively to the NHS and could therefore be seen to have a vested interest in the current NHS model?

    By the way, it does seem odd to have a GP holding a meeting to highlight the dangers of privatisation in the NHS.

    Nearly every GP is a private contractor to the NHS and not a NHS employee.

    Comment by pete on February 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm
  2. Why would that be odd? MY GP is NHS through and through.
    pete, you seriously have a problem with EVERYTHING don’t you? If GP’s are standing up for the NHS, it’s nice- especially if you have such a low opinion of them to start with. Celebrate if they defy your negative expectations!

    Comment by sarah on February 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm
  3. Your GP is probably a private contractor selling his/her services to the to the NHS, not a NHS employee.

    Why not ask him or her to find out?

    I don’t have a low opinion of GPs. I saw mine for the first time in about 5 years a few weeks ago and he treated me in a satisfactory manner.

    As I said above, it seems odd to ask a GP, who is probably a private contractor providing services to the NHS in return for a fee, to front a meeting campaigning against private contractors providing services to the NHS in return for money.

    Most people are happy with their GPs, demonstrating that private provision in the NHS can work.

    Those who claim it will be a disaster if extended are usually NHS employees who fear competiton for the work are are scaremongering.

    Comment by pete on February 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm
  4. He is not, I assure you. We usually have long conversations about the evils of privatisation in the NHS (amongst other public bodies) and how it has affected the health service. It will not do, because when you start privatising, you find that money is deemed more important than people. No one fears competition, they fear cuts for the sake of profit which is dangerous territory. Also, what’s with the use of the word ‘competition’ all the time? It’s not a contest! No should be competing over anything! They should be co-operating. It’s health care, not the premier league. Using the term ‘competition’ to justify privatisation is a vile slander upon the good name of logic.

    Comment by sarah on February 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm
  5. Sarah, competition is already at work in the NHS.

    Why do you think GPs can sell their labour to the NHS for £100,000 plus per year, while cleaners can sell it for £6.19 per hour? In nearly all cases the cleaner and the GP will both be private contractors to the NHS rather than being an NHS employee.

    The answer is that the market for labour means GPs have to be paid a large amount by the NHS because not that many people are bright enough to become doctors. Anyone can do a bit of cleaning, and the NHS exploits that fact by paying a stingy amount to private cleaning firms, resulting in poverty wages for hospital cleaners.

    So Sarah, don’t pretend that the NHS is some egalitarian paradise about to be ruined by competition.

    Many NHS employees are afraid of competiton because they think it will mean people undercutting them and taking their work.

    They simply want to preserve their near monopoly of a certain industry. Monopolies always work in favour of those who work in them, never those who need their services.

    Comment by pete on February 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm
  6. I never said that ‘competition’ and free-marketeering wasn’t at work in the NHS, I said I didn’t agree with it, and don’t you type that patronising tone at me.

    Comment by sarah on February 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

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