General Election: raise the call – ‘Restore the People’s NHS’

This statement is from Keep Our NHS Public


After 14 years of Coalition and Conservative government, and nearly five years since the 2019 Johnson government was elected, there is a long-awaited opportunity for political change. The electorate has the chance to vote in the General Election 4 July. Keep Our NHS Public will be emphasising how much damage this government has done to the NHS and to social care. Injustices and heightened health inequalities have impacted on the majority of working people, disabled people, black and brown communities and groups vulnerable to exploitation, including undocumented people:

  • 14 years of damaging underfunding of the NHS, public health, social care and education
  • 14 more years of inviting private sector interests to parasitise the NHS
  • Record waiting lists – now at 7.54 million (up from 2.5m in 2010)
  • Worst ever cancer waiting times
  • 14 years of overseeing the rundown of social care services
  • Thousands stuck in hospital because of lack of community care and social support
  • NHS GP services underfunded, undermined and corporate business allowed in
  • Access to an NHS dentist almost destroyed
  • Wages and working conditions for NHS staff driven down, endangering staff morale and safety
  • Workforce planning neglected and NHS doctors and nurses being replaced by physician associates and nursing assistants
  • Staff vacancies of 120,000 in NHS and 165,000 in social care
  • 268 people suffering avoidable deaths each week from delays in urgent care
  • Ambulance service in crisis
  • 39,000 premature deaths in 2022 alone on waiting lists for cardiac care.
  • Scandal after scandal in maternity care involving avoidable deaths of hundreds of babies and too many mothers.
  • One of the worst covid pandemic outcomes among rich nations – 239,688 with Covid on their death certificate: 260 people dying weekly this last year.
  • Renewed cynical attacks on the benefit entitlements of disabled people.

The NHS needs a sea-change in policy from a new political leadership in government. Keep Our NHS Public will be highlighting the record of those in government to asking voters to select those who will best support a public and well-funded NHS, and move to establish a publicly funded national care, support and independent living service. This requires a fundamental change in perspective – one that regards funding of public services as an investment in human well-being and an underpinning of a productive economy. Good public services maximise the ability of people to participate in society and a productive economy – they are not simply a cost to be grudgingly accepted.

The new government, which it is assumed will be Labour-led, must change key policies on the NHS.

Our call to end private involvement in NHS-delivered health care is not just a question of principle: privatisation means fragmentation and undermining of safe NHS provision – starkly seen in the undermining of NHS eyecare (ophthalmology).

The NHS needs stability and urgent funding, not reform and further reorganisation. NHS staff and services need security to do their job and to treat patients safely and well. Primary and community care, hospitals and public health desperately need urgent support.

Our vision is to restore the people’s NHS

  1. a publicly provided NHS and an end private involvement
  2. an NHS funded to succeed – not defunded to fail
  3. respect, recognition & decent pay & conditions for all health workers
  4. re-invest in public health & tackle health inequalities
  5. a rebuilt, restored and expanded NHS

The NHS when funded to succeed has been and can be again one of the best health systems in the world. We are calling on political parties to back this vision – we need commitment to change. Please join us to make our vision for the NHS a significant part of the 2024 General Election campaign.

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