• Paul Bell

My speech to Lewisham Full Council opposing the STP, full public disclosure



Here is the reality

  • The NHS and free health care is about to be taken from us

  • The Sustainable Transformation Partnership (STP) is yet another nail in the coffin with a £1bn cut disguised under the lies of "Our Healthier South East London". They will use accountants rather than clinicians to judge whether the NHS is a success on unrealistic expectations with "upper quartile performance" which is code for impossible targets to dismantle, fragment and replace with Virgin Care and others.

  • Don't just believe me, the King's Fund, Nuffield Trust and NHS Employers have said that these targets are impossible

  • It is about 30% underfunding of the NHS

  • Yet, Our Healthier South East London (OHSEL) have redistributed £5.3m of our money to consultants since December 2013, mainly to PwC

  • And this would mean Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust would no longer do elective orthopaedic surgery in our hospitals

  • Insurance will be brought in, where "pre-existing conditions" will become a well known dread

  • The life chances of the poorest, disabled, and low income families will be taken away

  • Those amongst us, lucky enough to have some fiancial resources will be forced into bankruptcy

  • The rich and tax avoidance private sector parasites will get richer

Here is the ask

  • The STP should be published in full by Lewisham Council, placed in Lewisham Life & sent to all residents

  • Lewisham Council should not sign it nor agree to services being decimated

  • Lewisham Council should ask other Labour councils to do the same

  • Lewisham Council - in addition - should express its disapproval of Greenwich CCG giving a £73m, 5 year MSK services contract to a not so good contractor - Circle Health

Those councillors - and the Mayor - charged with "health roles" should protect NHS provided, NHS delivered services, at all costs.

Health care is a human right. To create a market out of illness, disability and sickness and then make profits is morally wrong.

This motion does not go far enough. But it is a start. Lewisham Council can and must be the voice of the NHS when we have a government and private sharks circuling around the greatest achievement of a previous Labour Government. If we fail, we are not simply failing to stop govenment ideology. We are failing to stop the slaughter of the NHS and the consequences that will bring.

Colleagues, I stand before you in all my rotund glory, because NHS provided, NHS delivered, tax-payer funded health-care saved my life. The impact of those words: "It's cancer," should not be followed by "Here is the cost of treatment," so some scoundrel, Godless creature can make money out of other people's suffering.

I urge you to read the briefing from the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign & Lambeth Keep Our NHS Public, if you've not already done so.

I will finish by asking you two questions: what would you do if you, a family member, a friend or constituent could not get treated because the credit card was maxed? And are you doing enough to save the NHS?

#STP

© 2020 Paul Bell. All views are my own, unless otherwise stated