I got an email from 38 Degrees earlier, regarding the government’s plans to reform the National Health Service here in England, and the government’s constant refusal to publish the risk report (a report commissioned by the government to find out what negative blowback the reforms may cause).
Of course, there must be something bad in that report, otherwise the government would be showing it off. We need to know what bad stuff is in the report, and quickly – the House of Lords will be debating and voting on the reforms this Monday 19 March. David Babbs of 38 Degrees explains it better than I do, so here’s the email he sent to me:
On Monday afternoon, the House of Lords starts the final voting on the NHS changes. An influential crossbench Lord, Lord David Owen, has agreed to deliver the Save Our NHS petition. He will carry it right into the House of Lords chamber, just before the debate starts.
Thepetition bears the names of over half a million of us. It speaks of our fears for the future of our NHS: services broken up, creeping privatisation, money diverted from patient care. These are the kind of risks which could be in the government’s risk report. But the government is still won’t publish that report, despite legal orders to do so.
During Monday’s debate, Lord Owen will call a vote blocking the NHS changes until the risk report is published.  Our petition will remind Lords that the public care about these risks to the future of our health service. It could persuade some wavering Lords to vote the right way.
It’s quite a long shot, to be honest. The government seems determined to ignore everyone’s concerns and force things through. But incredible things can happen even this late in the day – it’s definitely worth a try.
You’re one of the 500,000 names already on the petition. But the bigger it is, the more powerful our message to the Lords. So please can you forward this email to your friends, family and workmates, and ask them to sign by Monday morning?
As the Lords gather to decide whether or not to press on with changing the NHS without knowing all the risks, let’s send them a reminder. Let’s remind them that across the UK, hundreds of thousands of us know what it feels like to arrive at a hospital or a doctor’s surgery, tired, sick or frightened for someone you love. And that we know how much we rely on our NHS in those situations to give us the care we need.
Each name on our petition is a reason for the Lords to think twice before gambling with the future of our NHS. It will show them that although we all know the NHS isn’t perfect, we know that it’s pretty amazing. It will remind them that when we talk about risk registers, we’re talking about threats to a health service which is the envy of the world.
This could be the final opportunity for your friends, workmates and family to stand up for the NHS before the key votes happen. So please can you forward this email and ask them to sign the petition?
Thanks for being involved,
David, Hannah, Marie, James, Becky, Cian and the 38 Degrees team.
PS: Whatever happens next week, we know we’ve tried pretty much everything to stop these changes going ahead. Legal teams, billboard adverts, local meetings, letters to MPs, and big petitions. The petition will need to be printed by Monday morning. This could be one of our last opportunities to make sure politicians hear our message, so please ask people to sign before then. Can we get it past 600,000? https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Save-our-NHS
So please please pleeeze sign the petition, and forward 38 Degree’s message to your friends. We have to try and get the Lords to stop this insane act in its tracks. Cheers!