38 Degrees members don’t think Lansley’s NHS plans are a done deal

38 Degrees members have identifies the future of the NHS as their top concern, and are mobilising to challenge Andrew Lansley's plans as their top priority.

David Babbs is the executive director of 38 Degrees

38 Degrees is a member driven organisation – that means our members play the key role both in how we campaign and in how we decide what we campaign about. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been having an extended conversation about our campaign priorities for the next couple of months. This culminated in hundreds of thousands of votes being cast this week on a shortlist of the most popular options.

For those, for example in political parties, who are sceptical about the benefits of being driven by what the members want to do, the quality of the discussion and decisions among 38 Degrees members should offer some food for thought.

Key recent campaign successes, such as reversing the government’s plan to sell off England’s forests, came not because our three staff members were tactical geniuses, but because the campaign was identified and planned with input from thousands of 38 Degrees members.

Listening to our members isn’t only good because it’s what our members want and expect – it also tends to produce very sensible decisions about which issues are most significant and where people-powered campaigning could have the most impact. So when our members identify the future of the NHS as their top concern, and mobilise to challenge Andrew Lansley’s plans as their top priority, there is every reason to think they might be onto something.

38 Degrees has been exploring the implications of Mr Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill for some time. Since the proposals were published, 38 Degrees members have organised more than 50 get-togethers around England. We’ve been meeting up in front rooms, cafes, pubs and community centres to hear from health professionals, and discuss where we stand and what we could do. We have been discussing newspaper articles (and the odd Left Foot Forward blog post) among our 27,000-strong Facebook community.

Now we will need to shift from discussion and exploration to a more targeted campaign push to stop or significantly amend the proposals.

The focus of our campaign, for at least as long as the health bill is still going through the Commons, will have to be MPs, particularly coalition MPs who will be being whipped to support the measures. Right now we’re looking at those MPs currently sitting on the health bill committee – 38 Degrees members who live in their constituencies are gearing up to deliver the first batch of signatures to our new petition in the next couple of weeks.

None of those MPs now pushing these “reforms” through was up front about them when they went before voters last May; now they can expect their voters to be coming to them to ask some tough questions.

For progressives of all political parties and none – and definitely including those Lib Dems who are gearing up to challenge their party leadership over the NHS plans this weekend – 38 Degrees members’ decision should provide them with some timely encouragement. 38 Degrees members (that’s over half a million UK citizens) don’t see this as a done deal. Those working within parliament and within their parties to challenge Mr Lansley’s plans can expect thousands of us to get behind them.

22 Responses to “38 Degrees members don’t think Lansley’s NHS plans are a done deal”

  1. Ma

    RT @leftfootfwd: 38_Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal: http://bit.ly/ic5x8h writes @davidbabbs

  2. 38 Degrees

    RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  3. Anthony Painter

    RT @38_degrees: RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  4. Chris Langton

    RT @38_degrees: RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  5. Hugh Potter

    RT @leftfootfwd: 38_Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal: http://bit.ly/ic5x8h writes @davidbabbs

  6. Bill Perrett

    RT @38_degrees: RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  7. Samantha Watson

    RT @38_degrees: RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  8. Julia Mountain

    RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  9. Richard Blogger

    I think you overplay your effect on making the government u-turn on the woodland sell off. There were several things at play there, but mostly it was Spelman’s total and utter incompetence. Looking at the figures from DEFRA it appeared that she was going to sell off the first tranche of land (15% of FC’s land) at *one fifth* its current market value. So when the remainder was sold, the market being flooded with land would lead to a complete collapse in the value of woodland. A *lot* of core Tory supporters (and donors) would be affected by this and they complained to Cameron.

    The NHS is a different issue. Sadly the big Tory beasts who told Cameron to stop Spelman’s daft plans would love to see the NHS privatised. Your petition is great, but it will not sway Cameron nor Lansley. Neither believe in democracy (if Lansley believed in democracy then why is he abolishing PCTs and creating GP consortia **before** the Bill has passed through Parliament?). Neither believe in Parliamentary scrutiny: Lansley has said that the only amendments he will allow to the Bill are those put forward by him. That is disgraceful.

    “None of those MPs now pushing these “reforms” through was up front about them when they went before voters last May”

    That is true, but mainly because they did not have a clue about what Lansley was planning. I knew exactly what was going to happen (see my site) and so before the election I asked my MP (now a Tory whip). He didn’t have a clue about the NHS plans before the election and gave me assurances that he would fight the things that are now in the Bill.

    The only thing that will stop this Bill is for GPs to refuse to take part in the Any Willing Provider policy and *only* refer patients to their local NHS hospital. Currently private healthcare in this country is making little money (Humana, a US company, pulled out of the UK last year, saying that they could not make money here.) BUPA’s profits were 72% less in 201. private healthcare is hurting from the recession. (At the moment, under Labour’s policy, 23% of private healthcare is commissioned by the NHS. Losing that business will kill many private hospitals.)

    A threat from GPs not to use *any* private providers (and hence lose 23% of their income) will make private healthcare put pressure on Lansley to scale back his plans. That will benefit us, of course, but it will not happen because of your petition.

  10. Nick H.

    RT @38_degrees: RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  11. Sue Marsh

    I think Richard Blogger is quite wrong.
    #saveournhs is already a powerful campaign. It always will be. The BMA, the RCN and any other set of letters you care to mention will always have strength where other campaigns may not.
    With the NHS it ALWAYS comes down to cajones.
    Any government that takes on the NHS does so at their own risk and usually finds things are much tougher than they expected. This been has shown time and time again with successive governments.
    still, if a government decides to fight on, they get the vote and that’s that.
    Now, if a campaign manages to get half a MILLION people to oppose the policy, if it keeps the issue at the forefront of our minds, if it agitates, and pricks and itches away, the battle is lost.
    It also gives enormous confidence to the staff and patients already fighting.
    Sorry, but the writing’s on the wall (it always was) and without doctors, nurses, hospitals, GPs, patients AND now the public, these reforms will fail, pure and simple.
    Even if they go through parliament they will still fail as there will be no will to put them through.
    This is the final nail in Lansley’s health policy coffin, I’m convinced of it.

  12. Daniel Pitt

    Lansley's devious NHS plans far from a done deal http://bit.ly/ic5x8h #ConDemNation

  13. Mr. Sensible

    David, all I can say is good luck with your campaign.

    Richard I disagree; I think David’s organization certainly played a role in what happened with the Forests, and I think it can do so here.

    If the motion being moved at Lib Dem conference this weekend is carried, and if the BMA continues to voice concerns Lansley will simply have to listen.

  14. Jill

    RT @leftfootfwd: 38_Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal: http://bit.ly/ic5x8h writes @davidbabbs

  15. Gordon England

    Normal people cannot afford the costs of private practise.

  16. Elizabeth

    As a patient it is clear to me that attitudes of GPs within practices are changing, trying to persuade us that we go to the local surgery for blood tests etc (and threatening to withhold medication if a patient refuses to comply). This has already happened to me on several occasions. GPs are clear that they want to take over patient care from the NHS hospital, and will be reluctant to refer. All of this makes me and other patients even more protective of their NHS and ever more reluctant to engage with the GP practyce/consortia. The coalition will find they more problems than they realised in implementing their plans for dismantling the NHS

  17. Ellis Palmer

    RT @38_degrees: RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  18. Carolyn Anderson

    38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal | Left Foot Forward http://goo.gl/56dPk

  19. Powerbase

    38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal | Left Foot Forward http://ow.ly/4epGG

  20. activekritizen

    RT @leftfootfwd: 38 Degrees members don't think Lansley's NHS plans are a done deal http://bit.ly/fKTD0K

  21. gordon bastow

    leave the NHS alone don’t allow GP’s to control how a hospital is run

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