NHS Survival FAQs:
Q: Are you just a group of angry doctors?
A: No. Although the group was started by doctors, we are all part of a much bigger NHS team, and that includes the nurses, allied healthcare professionals as well as patients and concerned members of the public that all have a stake in it’s success. This will not work if it is about one single group. The NHS is bigger than that. We need to work together.
Q: Are we dangerously obstructing the government’s plans for ‘safer’ 7 day services?
A: No. The government’s current strategy is based on the misinterpretation of flawed evidence and has no evidence base with which to prove its cost effectiveness. Many emergency services already operate 7 days a week, while a safer 7 day system can only be achieved in the totality of health and social care with a properly funded plan which collaborates with all the required staff. The government’s current attempt to force worse terms and conditions on staff amidst global medical recruitment and retention crises risks endangering patients by leaving services dangerously short staffed and over stretched.
Q: Does NHS Survival want Jeremy Hunt to resign?
A: We want to talk with honesty about the current situation facing the NHS, and how we can work together moving forward. Mr Hunt has written previously on how to dismantle the NHS and recently has caused considerable offense to many NHS staff during his time as Health Secretary. His appointment is a matter for the government but we do feel it will be difficult for many staff to fully engage with him given the severe breakdown in trust and communication between them.
Q: What do you want the government to do?
A: We want the government to agree to the urgent formation of an independent commission for the NHS & social care. This is of huge national importance and public concern, and we urge that all decisions about future funding, restructuring, staffing and governmental priorities be put on hold until this is achieved. A Royal Commission can make objective, non-political recommendations which will be the starting point of a new partnership between patients, public and professionals to work with politicians and form an NHS for the future. The goal-posts can’t keep moving every 5 years. We have to take a new and more open approach. The onus on the government is then to explain fully why they wouldn’t choose to participate in this process, why they would deviate from any recommendations, and on NHS staff and respective unions to do the same. This would transform the NHS but in a more sustainable way but remain available to all.
Q: How can I get involved?
A: You can contact us on Twitter, Facebook, or via our website. You can also check out our Action page for events and ways to get involved. We want to hear from everyone who uses the NHS; about the good, the bad, the ways to improve, and innovative ideas for working together. What should we all expect of the staff? What should we expect of the public? Perhaps most importantly, what should we expect of our politicians? The people using the NHS everyday, or working for it, see the reality much more than those who are often making huge decisions about our NHS. We want to give them a voice.
We have a crowdfunding website for anyone to donate to help fund the campaign which you can find here http://igg.me/at/nhssurvival
The group is not for profit and any money raised will go to furthering the stated aims of the groups - for example we would love to be able to pay for adverts in the press or on billboards to reach those individuals not on social media.
Q: I’m a member of the press - how do I contact you?
A: Please use our Contact Page.
We have several media leads, and can put you in touch with whichever member is the most helpful for your story. We can also help put you in touch with our partners. We will be open in our interviews, and provide exact references and evidence whenever we can for all our press statements.
Q: Aren’t there other NHS pressure groups?
A: Yes, but we are the first to invite everyone who has a stake in the NHS together. We truly believe that once other groups see our aims, they will give us their backing moving forward. We know there will always be some differences between groups which represent only doctors, only nurses, or only patients. Part of making our NHS survive is moving past these barriers to recognise the overall goal. We are tired of spin, dramatic headlines, point-scoring, and setting colleagues and patients against each other. We want to send a clear message to all political parties that the NHS is not a political football.
Q: Do you just want a pay-rise?
A: We want NHS staff to be paid a living wage, and one that reflects the level of training and experience they have. All NHS staff ask for is that they are treated with respect, they are valued, and that their pay is appropriate for the work they do. This applies to everyone from porters and cleaners, to consultants and GPs. Many NHS staff find the constant negative publicity about their earnings - much of which is inaccurate - really demoralising. We want pay to be fair. A recent independent pay review recommended a 1% pay rise, which the government ignored. We don’t expect to be millionaires, but we do expect our hard work and years of training to be rewarded appropriately.
Q: Will this work?
A: Yes - we think it will. It needs to. But the situation is urgent. In many parts of the country the NHS is under severe pressure, stretched to its limit. We have seen hospitals declaring major incidents, and GP surgeries closing across wide areas. The power of the NHS has always been its patients and staff. They have worked hand in hand ever since its inception. We think this has been forgotten and diminished by negative press and poor communication. We want the NHS to be here for a long time to come, and by standing together we can achieve this.