A sad day for the NHS

Last Wednesday saw Andrew Lansley’s controversial health bill find its way through the house of Lords.

It was also our demo outside Haxby and Wigginton Health Centre. Who just last week had jumped the gun (with questionable legality) and issued a letter telling their patients to go private for ‘minor’ treatments such as the removal of cysts and ingrowing toenails. Some of these treatments can cost a couple of hundred pounds and if left untreated can cause more serious conditions. This private price tag is dear to many pensioners (and anyone who is already struggling financially) and will mean many people not being able to obtain the treatment they need early on. The end result is greater suffering for those who don’t have the money, and a greater burden on what is left of the NHS when these minor ailments turn into serious conditions.

The demo was well attended given its short notice, with upwards of 40 people making it in time for the speeches. Many people gave speeches with several stirring and heart braking stories from people in the crowd. Far from losing hope the atmosphere was that of determination to resist this attack on the NHS. The new legislation isn’t likely to become law until the end of the current parliamentary session next April (in fact, it could take longer than that), so there is still time to resist these changes. (It will now be debated by committee in the house of Lords, before going back to the upper chamber and then to the commons.)

Continuing the fight – York Welfare Campaign: Stop York Mental Health Cutbacks

York Welfare Campaign is hosting a couple of events this week to stop the closure of another ward at Bootham Park Mental Hospital. We’re worried that closing the intensive care ward will mean all inpatients being in “locked wards”, and will leave no staff dedicated to caring for the less critical patients. Bootham’s wards are already running over national capacity standards, and we risk having to send patients to Leeds, away from the friends who are often important in the recovery process.

Lobby of Hugh Bayley MP this Friday 14th, 5pm outside Mill House, North Street (off Micklegate). We will be pressing Hugh for his support in stopping the closure. We will have a banner to hold and we hope to get him to have a photo taken with us!

Afternoon Tea and letter writing this Saturday 15th, 4-5:30pm at Space 109, Walmgate. Come and join us to write letters to the decision-makers behind the plan to close the ward. If writing a letter to an NHS bureaucrat sounds complicated, we’ll be providing everything from paper and pens to information and campaign letter writing tips! (Please feel free to donate some cakes!)

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