Open Letter: Only the NHS

For the attention of:

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins MP; Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting; Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper; SNP Health Spokesperson Martyn Day; Plaid Cymru Health Spokesperson Ben Lake; and DUP Health Spokesperson Jim Shannon

Dear parliamentary health spokespeople,

12 years ago, our NHS was the best healthcare system in the world. But now, our NHS is in crisis, after many years of government cuts.

Last year, 120 patients a day died before an ambulance reached them. Millions are waiting over two weeks to see a GP. People are being forced to pay out of their own pocket for operations or suffer while they wait.

The private sector is no solution. Billions have been wasted on failed private Test and Trace. Outsourcing has led to 557 excess deaths. Private hospitals have failed to dent the 7.4 million waiting list. And we know that moving towards a US, two-tier style healthcare system would be even more wasteful, expensive and deadly.

You have a choice to make — invest in our NHS for the long term OR divert that money to the private sector.

On the NHS’s 75th birthday, we are writing to say — ONLY the NHS can get us out of this mess.

Only the NHS

  • Takes care of patients at A&E — the private sector doesn’t have A&E.
  • Trains our doctors and nurses — the private sector relies on NHS-trained staff.
  • Looks after all patients — the private sector cherry picks.

We know that political parties are writing their policies now, ahead of the next general election. We ask you to commit to funding our NHS properly and making it work for patients, not profit. Will your party commit to:

  1. Invest in NHS capacity (not private profits) to deal with the crisis?
  2. Insource contracts, bringing them back into the NHS?
  3. Restore the NHS to what was intended by reinstating the government’s duty to provide care to everyone in the UK?

Please make the right choice - Only the NHS.


Dame Emma Thompson - Actor, screenwriter

Stephen Fry - Actor, Comedian

Siobhán McSweeney - Actor

Joe Lycett - Comedian, TV presenter

Jon Pointing - Actor

Billy Bragg - Musician

Rankin - Celebrity photographer

Michael Rosen - Author

Ken Loach - Film-maker

Marina Purkiss - Broadcaster

Rosie Holt - Comedian

Jessica Fostekew - Actor, stand-up comedian

Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy) - Stand-up comedian

Lemn Sissay OBE - Official poet of the 2012 London Olympics, TV presenter

Aneira Thomas (the first baby born in the NHS)