Brighton MP joins medics and campaigners to discuss NHS concerns

Posted On 03 Jul 2016 at 8:58 pm

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas joined doctors, nurses and campaigners to discuss their concerns about the NHS.

More than 200 people attended the Sussex Defend the NHS meeting at St George’s Church, in St George’s Road, Kemp Town.

As well as the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the speakers included Zoe Adler, an intensive care nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital who spoke for Doctors of the World operating in Brighton for migrants and refugees.

British Medical Association junior doctor representative Todd Leckie also spoke along with mental health nurse Stephen McLean and Danielle Tiplady, a student nurse from the national Bursaries or Bust campaign.

The campaign has gathered more than 100,000 petition signatures urging the government not to scrap the bursary for student nurses at a time when the profession has staff shortages.

Other speakers included Mitch Alexander, from the Save the Willows campaign, which tried to keep open a GP surgery in Bevendean. The Practice Willow House is due to close on Friday 16 September.

And Charles Harrity, from the GMB union, spoke about the “shambles” of the patient transport service contract which has switched responsibility for non-emergency ambulances to a company called Coperforma.

Sussex Defend the NHS meeting 20160630-1

At the start of the meeting Madeleine Dickens, from Sussex Defend the NHS, said that, as the fifth richest country in the world, we can afford our NHS – and we own it.

The meeting was told about the work of Brighton University lecturer Carl Walker. Dr Walker started the Brighton Citizen Health Surveys.

Ideas to protect services and for ways to take action were discussed as those at the meeting on Thursday (30 June) shared their fears.

Sussex Defend the NHS meeting 20160630-3

Sussex Defend the NHS said: “Optum (US United Health) now controls GP hospital referrals, the privatised Patient Transport Service is in chaos, The Practice (private GP chain) is pulling out because there’s not enough profit, leaving 10,000 patients without a GP (and) dedicated mental health wards have closed.

“And today, children and young people’s NHS services are being put out to tender, health visitors are being replaced by cheaper nursery nurses and services for teenage parents axed.”

Sussex Defend the NHS meeting 20160630-2



  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    So more lies and misinformation from the left-wingers that want to maintain the restrictive working practices of the past and not wanting to look at ways of improving services or reducing costs.

    As an example, the “Patient Transport Service being in chaos” was more a result of the previous service provider refusing to provide any handover information to the new company.

    I imagine the remaining claims, typically supported by Caroline, have little basis on truth.

    • Mitch Alexander Reply

      I presume you are not disabled and have just had notice that your local GP surgery is just about to vanish from your community for ever. Or that your elderly father has not waited for 4 hours to be taken home after his chemo treatment. Or your daughter now cannot become a nurse because she cannot afford the training. None of these are me either BUT I care about others in this city who suffer greatly because of the way that our NHS is now being run. It is the poor and the vulnerable who are suffering the most. You are alright Jack I guess so good for you …but others are not! Why not get your head out of your backside and take a look at what is going on around you. Thankfully there are those who do care in our city!

      • Gerald Wiley Reply

        So you are worried about the potential effects to other people rather than looking at improving services. Yes – things may have gone wrong in certain areas, but we have to be aware of financial realities and that the NHS is not an ever ending drain on resources than requires ever more investment as we all live longer and require more expensive treatments (and currently have an ever growing population as well).

        I also use NHS services and see the problems that exist, and I don’t know the particular problems seen in Bevendean, but based upon what has happened in Hove there needs to be an attitude of working together to find solutions rather than just having a protest group.

        Reading the NHS England Q&A it appears Bevendean needs a new provider in new premises which I agree is not a good situation to be in – but this does not necessarily mean that the whole concept of privitisation of services whilst remaining free at the point of delivery (medicines, eye test, dentists of course excluded) is wrong and there needs to be some form of financial validity is performed.

  2. Pat Kehoe Reply

    Surely Gerald, it is better that all funds go into delivering health services and care, not into profits the share dividends of private companies, particularly if we go the way of the US system, the most expensive, ineffective and inefficient insurance-based system in the world, according to the Commonwealth Fund Survey 2013, eg, $8,508 per capita in the US as opposed to $3,405 in the UK spent on health care. I agree that we have to work together, but when the Government is hell-bent on re-organising the NHS so that it no longer works, with no mandate to do this, and with no public awareness or consultation of the changes being brought about by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, then we have to be very worried and campaign to stop these changes which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the NHS that we all knew and loved.

  3. Pat Kehoe Reply

    Gerald, I should have added the below quote from the Commonwealth Fund Report, which despite the $8,508 spent per capital still leaves, ‘More than one-third (37%) of U.S. adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs, compared to as few as 4 percent to 6 percent in the U.K. and Sweden, according to the study published today as a Health Affairs Web First article. In addition, nearly a quarter (23%) of U.S. adults either had serious problems paying medical bills or were unable to pay them, compared to less than 13 percent of adults in France, the next-highest country, and 6 percent or fewer in the U.K., Sweden, and Norway. About two of five (41%) U.S. adults spent $1,000 or more out-of-pocket for care in the past year—by far the highest rate of any country surveyed.’

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