If we lose the NHS, this is our future

There’s so much negativity in the press, on TV and in government statements at the moment. Every imperfection of the NHS is magnified and held up for public ‘horror’ – a clear strategy to try to undermine public affection for our National Health Service.

So it seems like a good time to re-publish this post, which shows what a real ‘horror story’ looks like, to remind us that the NHS, though imperfect, is a boon and a blessing no matter how hard those who hate it try to denigrate it.

But the real horror is that the process of removing the NHS as a public institution with care provided ‘free at the point of need’, begins tomorrow, 1 April, as the new commissioning processes and enforced inclusion of private providers kick in.

If you’d like to help defend the NHS, there’s a very practical way to do so. Please take a look at www.ccgwatch.org.uk/launching-ccgwatch-org-uk-please-help-crowdfund-the-fight-against-nhs-privatisation/

and if you feel like supporting the work, consider giving a small donation and spreading the word to your friends. Thanks!


I and others have written at length about Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s catastrophic Health and Social Care Act and the disastrous effect it’s having on the NHS. I’ve written variously about the BBC’s near-criminal silence on the matter, the blackmail tactics the government has used on the BBC to force it to collude in this way, and on the BBC’s indolence and arrogance if anyone complains about it.

I’ve also written about the Tories’ real feelings about our National Health Service and their determination to break it up and sell it off along with the rest of the welfare state, and the origins and history of their ideological motivations for doing so.

And yet I still get a steady stream of Tweets, comments on this blog and email messages from people who’ve fallen for the government’s (and its media mates’) propaganda that the NHS is inefficient and wasteful (it…

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16 responses to “If we lose the NHS, this is our future

  1. while I agree wholeheartedly that we need and should nurture the NHS- in fact, I’d go so far as to outlaw private medicine so that all resources are available equitably- I don’t agree with the ‘free at the point of delivery’; prescriptions are not free, except for the very poor; when I went back to work in October 2011 I was faced with a monthly medication bill of at least £40, a sum I couldn’t afford on my low wages. It was only by virtue of an assistant at the pharmacy noticed one of my prescriptions was for metformin, a diabetic medication I was told I could have a medical exemption! Nobody else had bithered to mention this. I still have to pay for my spectacles, and should have eye tests every year, but because i cannot afford to pay for my glasses, I don’t bother. Free at the point of delivery? It is not.

    • Diabetics are entitled to free eye tests & you can get glasses for around £15 from Tesco. Shop around though – I got extra thin lenses & frames for £40 using an online optician.

      Here’s what NHS Choices say about eligibility for free eye tests:

      You qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:
      – you’re aged under 16
      – you’re aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education
      – you’re aged 60 or over
      – you’re registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)
      – you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
      – you’re 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
      – you’ve been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
      – you’re a prisoner on leave from prison
      – you’re eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement

      • Hi Kathy! I’ve been buying glasses for £4.00 (Four Pounds) at Dunhelms. I only need the 2.5 range and that’s good enough for me to type on the computer and read on the computer. I don’t need glasses for the TV. I wasn’t prepared to go through the various “offers” which never actually turned out to be good “offers” with the commercial spec people. I will go for an eye check next month but I doubt they’ll get me to buy their expensive glasses.

  2. Smiling carcass, your yearly eye tests, if you have diabetes, are the check for diabetic related permanent damage to your retina. Don’t miss out on your free screening checks. Best wishes. (I used to work in retinal screening to help people from going blind)

    • Yes, I go for my screening checks, but don’t bother with the sight tests because of the cost of glasses- and I have found these new, swanky salon-style providers aren’t interested if you’re looking for the cheap or free option. My old opticians closed which has left me high and dry; they were really good, sorting me vouchers etc. to keep my specs free or dirt cheap.

  3. “Every imperfection of the NHS is magnified and held up for public ‘horror’ ”
    The same is true for the Police. Shame you don’t work for the Police Federation, Steve, that has so far proved itself to be totally toothless (gutless?).

  4. I couldn’t wait to turn 60 to get free prescriptions, being long term disabled I had paid yearly prescription frees………….do I enjoy my free prescriptions? Hardly!! I’m getting so used to being advised to buy from the chemists medications which are as much use as a chocolate fireguard. The latest treatments doled out are mainly psychology based, a waste of their time and mine!

  5. Apart from the “horror” approach and systematic
    de-professionalisation over the years, there is another problem for those trying to be positive about the NHS. At any one time, the number of people using the NHS is large in number but a small proportion (ie most people are well (hooray!) Those that are using the service know very well how valuable it is and are mostly getting a very good service or occasionally miraculous help with seemingly impossible predicaments. The rest of the population (the vast majority) only have the press and general comment/rumour to go on – hence the ignorance. Hence the problem.

    You are right that even if you lack common humanity as a reason for liking the NHS (a pretty good reason, surely), it makes huge economic sense; and if you believe in opportunity cost (as I do) then wasting public money on a project to divest HMG of the responsibility for Health Care simply because it annoys you is absurd and obscene – and a cause of having less money for other worthy projects (more swimming pools and playing fields, good personal care for the disabled and clever gismos for them etc etc)


    (Pasted from another part of this blog-site which may have been wrong – I’m not a Pro at these things)

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