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Lewisham NHS SOS Meeting

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21 October 2011
Lewisham NHS SOS Meeting Last night I spoke at a NHS SOS meeting at Lewisham Town Hall. As you’ll know, The Health and Social Care Bill was sadly voted through the Commons with a majority of 65 but organisations like NHS SOS still have an opportunity to stop the NHS break up by influencing policy in the House of Lords, as it progresses to their Committee Stage.

I spoke at length at the last meeting so it was really good to hear from my Parliamentary colleagues, Joan Ruddock MP, Jim Dowd MP and Baroness Mary Warnock. Jim and Mary both have experience in health policy with Jim as a former member of the Health Select Committee and Mary doing her best to stop the current NHS Bill going through the House of Lords. It was also really refreshing to hear contributions from the 50 or so people in the audience – I think the government should listen more to people who use the services they are cutting!

I spoke briefly about the NHS reforms. In particular I highlighted the removal of the cap on private patients being treated in NHS hospitals. I am really concerned that this, combined with the scrapping of the 18 week target, will see NHS patients pushed to the back of the queue to make way for private patients.

We also discussed UNISON’s ‘Adopt a Peer’ campaign which is aimed at lobbying the House of Lords. You can read more about this here.

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