Tell us what you think

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Why do you want to see public services run for people not profit? Tell us your story here.

We'll use your comments to help make the case for public ownership - look out for your thoughts on our homepage!

Thanks for telling us what you think.

Photo used under Creative Commons licensing, thanks to anw.fr.

Comments

Jill Jones-Leach replied on Permalink

Surely it is illegal to sell off assets owned by the UK tax payer?

A legal challenge is essential, not only for the NHS but all other state owned assets for which we pay our contributions - no more franchises running our services with no monitoring by commissioners and all making a profit!

Anne Wareing replied on Permalink

I am a former nurse, (third generation)trained on the wards as an apprentice from 1960-63,because, like others, it was all I ever wanted to do. Ted Heath took Matrons out of hospitals in 1973, replacing them with businessmen who went to foreign countries to 'find out how it was done.' I went back in 1978, and watched it go private after Mrs Thatcher decided in 1982 in a memo that she wanted to Quote,"bring an end to the NHS once and for all" Unquote. The elderly were denied pain relief for cancer, denied a full night's sleep (we were told to get them out of bed every two hours to commode them)and generally neglected. Nurse training was removed from hospitals to universities, to facilitate privatisation!!! Politicians now tell us the lie that nursing is more technical, (it's the machines!)because it's cheaper than traing apprentices!! Now, the elderly are routinely put into incontinence pads other patients are told to go to the toilet in the bed, and are dying of starvation,because many of these graduates want to go into management, not to care for the sick.We were told that scientists found that at 65 degrees fahrenheight, viruses and bacteria stayed static, so we didn't get the antibiotic resistant bugs that are making people ill in hospitals now. We treated our patients as though they were our families,unlike a great maany patients now,and I have had experience of hospitals in the 90's onwards as both nurse and patient and I am horrified and totally disgusted because the NHS no longer exists as it did when the REAL Labour party set it up the year I was 6 years old, 1948. Succesive governments have not, and do not CARE!!

Chris J replied on Permalink

While I support the move to public ownership of public facilities and services I have to ask about the effect this may have on Pension provision in the private sector.

Almost all pensions today are "defined contribution" types based on savings and the performance of the underlying investments. The ability of these pension funds to grow and to subsequently fund the regular pension payments, for which they were set up, is largely dependent upon the dividends paid to these funds as shareholders.

In taking a large number of such dividend-rich utilities into public ownership would we, in the UK, therefore, see a reduction in the revenue base of these funds which would result in them not being able to meet their pension commitments?

Further, does this mean potential changes to the government-provided State Pension and its funding? I just feel that we need to consider and accommodate any "knock-on" effects of the policy being proposed.

Chris J replied on Permalink

One of the reasons that Private companies were called in (as I recall) to run things like buses and railways was that the profit incentive in these companies was meant to focus minds on economical running. Public ownership was criticised as being wasteful and with only limited access to loans/Capital to develop the services and infrastructure (the alternative, government borrowing, was constrained).

Now we see that in effect private companies are just as bad, just in different ways (not prioritising the consuming public and stashing cash for shareholders).

So we need to move to a system where the services run for the benefit of the public are not providing excess profit and are run such that profits made are either returned to the public or ploughed back into improving the services.

Who will oversee these new public run services? Who will decide what is an acceptable level of "profit" and how it is used? I ask because it seems clear to me that we cannot allow the new proposed publicly run services to fall into lazy or corrupt practices as may have previously created the appetite for privatisation last time?

Further what would need to be done to lift the capital limits which so constrained (we were told) previous iterations of British Rail etc?

Art D C replied on Permalink

Born in 1942, I've had time to assess pros & cons of UK's contrasting political ideologies. It is 'bleeding obvious' that essential services for running a civilised country to an acceptable standard of life for all citizens, must be efficiently managed to uphold the highest standards to benefit the populace. Capitalism is obviously the lesser evil engine of progress but many Capitalists impede achievement of a better, fairer world for all Life on Earth. Petty capitalists should be allowed to profit moderately and their employees should be paid a fair proportion of profits in comparison with salaries to managers & dividends to shareholders. Public services should recompense workers & the population via the Treasury. Capitalists cannot be allowed to leverage unlimited profits while workers need top-ups from tax-revenues. Since ancient times, philosophers have urged self-improvement by selfless concern for others. We all must improve but a few need to improve more than many others. Nationalising all essential services will be the bedrock of a happier society but to succeed, needs thorough re-jigging of the economy. Sucking huge profit from the public's purse is despicable.

Jeremy replied on Permalink

Stop with the alarmist miss information gp surgery's have never been owend by the public or the nhs so the sale of gp surgery's is NOT SELLING the nhs labour's private Finance initiative brought in under blair and then continued by the tory Liberal coalition then the tiry government is the selling of nhs buldings and property the awarding of contracts to companies such as capita to manage hospital's is also selling the nhs but selling an already private business such as a gp surgery is not

Alice replied on Permalink

Hi Jeremy,

This is a useful read for understanding GP's relationship to the NHS. They have always worked under contract for the NHS (as very small scale contractors, meaning they could be run by a GP embedded in the local community) , but it is since 2003 that they have been opened up to large businesses: https://www.nhsforsale.info/sector/gps/

'At Medics' is a company which, although founded by a group of 6 GPs, has been taking over struggling GP surgeries for years now and turning the GPs that work in those surgeries to employees. They have accumulated 49 GP practices in the process. Most GPs are just people who open a single practice in their community or a group of GPs responsible for a few practices. At Medics itself has now been taken over by Centene, which means the 49 practices it controlled are now controlled by Centene and the hundreds of staff they had (including GPs, nurses, etc) are now Centene employees. Here's a useful article: https://labourhub.org.uk/2021/02/23/centene-gets-a-foothold-in-gp-surgeries-across-london/

Centene is one of the fastest growing companies in the US and its CEO, Michael Neidorff, was the “highest paid health executive with a salary above $26m.”

I hope this explains why we are opposed to this as embedding dangerous privatisation.

Best wishes,

Alice and the We Own It team

ken jones replied on Permalink

Re privatisation of health cenres, here in Somers Town, North London, a large tower block of luxury flats is being built for ownership only, flying in the face of desperately needed social housing. This will bring a large number of wealthy people into a predominately working class area.No details have been given as to the level of private care Centene will be 'allowed' to offer clients at the expense of its less well off, ie operating a two tier service, one for the wealthier the other for the less well off, in the same area?

Trevor Bending replied on Permalink

Could you please make it clear that ‘Share’ on your website now means Facebook

Alice replied on Permalink

Thanks for taking action Trevor- we'll aim to make sure that there are a range of ways that our actions can be shared (Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and email).

Best wishes,

Alice and the We Own It team

Shirley Draheim... replied on Permalink

Unfortunately Serco is not the only firm that is making money from the NHS. Recently I needed Physiotherapy and was given the option of 6 NHS practices. Unfortunately, 2 of then were not NHS but the private firm Ascenti. With not knowing that Ascenti was a private firm, I made an appointment there because it was my nearest practice. All I got from them was a telephone call, when this caller told me that I had Arthritus and said that was the end of my physiotherapy. I was in disbelief and told him so. It goes back to a sport accident I had last September, which is still giving me problems. I haven't told the doctor about it yet, I will be doing so after an E-Ray which is due this Thursday 18th February.

Maria Watkins replied on Permalink

The link to the Matt Hancock and the NHS petition isn't working.

Please fix it. I really want to sign.

Alice replied on Permalink

Thanks for letting us know! The link here should be up and running: https://weownit.org.uk/act-now/stop-matt-hancocks-private-takeover-nhs

Let us know if you're still having difficulties signing.

Thanks so much for adding your voice to our call for a fully public NHS!

Best wishes,

Alice and the We Own It team

Derek Masey replied on Permalink

In the USA the major reason for vast numbers of bankruptcies is medical bills. People who cannot afford medical attention, many elderly, suffer years of agony prior to death. Would Mr Hancock consider that situation as a triumph of his parliamentary career?

Gloria Zentler-... replied on Permalink

Let us go back to the reason WHYWAS THE NHSset up.

To provide health and welfare to the population.

Privatisation is not interested in providing care for the nation but making a profit for their company and shareholders.

I have worked in the USA health care system and could not believe how the poor are not treated.

Please please we must not allow any further privatisation in our Health Care System

Jan Palmer replied on Permalink

Just filled in the NHSE consultation.

More "integration" of the NHS. The proposed changes look even more worrying than the Trade deal.

Tim Finch replied on Permalink

I have never been a staunch supporter of any particular political party. In my view they all have their good points and bad ones.

For the most part, public services have not, in my opinion, benefitted from the so-called efficiencies of privatisation.

To benefit from privatisation, services require effective competition between providers in a free / open market. Most public services do not “fit” a free market economy.

The only way to control pricing in a privatised public service is to have a regulatory governing body accountable to the people. This type of process does not work particularly well because the private companies and the people / regulatory bodies have different motives.

The public companies effectively have localised monopolies. They have no incentive to maintain low prices while providing top class service. The threat of having the service transferred to a different provider is only ever carried out when the service has become a disaster.

The regulatory bodies struggle to control price of the services because they don’t have a full-scale overview of the nature of those services / the business model.

To have such an overview would require members of each body to be part of the service company’s management team or board of directors but be paid out of public funds. This might ensure they had sufficient data to make informed decisions that reconciled the interests of the business providers with those of the consumers, but they wouldn’t necessarily have sufficient power within the organisation to get them implemented. Their powers would still be limited to the threat of cancelling service contracts. So the systems and services would not improve because they would be uncertain as to whether transfer of the service to a different provider would improve anything.

No private company can operate efficiently as a monopoly service provider. The industry will always remain a safe haven of jobs for the boys, or girls, in the gift of the public employee(s) who offer contract bids and decide on the outcomes.

Geoffrey Alan R... replied on Permalink

The NHS set up for the Nation by Labour, must be supported and protected by us all. Our P.M. needed it urgently when he found himself with the COVID virus. Now the NHS is setting up a system to 'MASS VACCINATE' our population against this dangerous virus. Every minute of every day the NHS is operational and available whenever any of us may need it. It must NOT be hived off and shredded piece meal into smaller units for the financial gain of a commercial enterprise. The NHS is a jewel belonging to us all and it must remain free and available to us all in our moment of need, for we never know when this moment may come.

david tandey replied on Permalink

We live under a political and Financial system called Capitalism or The Profit System which is based on the greed for ever greater profits and the exploitation of the working masses, a system based on Greed and it would be much better if we had a system based on Human Need but how can we change it? Only the working masses can change it but most don't want to change it , they like it just the way it is. We actually live in an......I'm alright Jack Society and those who benefit do not want change so were stuck with the GREED SYSTEM.

Jeff Cooper replied on Permalink

The most destructive force known to Britain - the Tory Party! They have, over the years, destroyed (by putting them into private hands) industry and mining, railways and buses, utilities (water, gas and electricity), the justice system, care homes, Royal Mail, etc. Their next target is without doubt the NHS (parts of it have already been privatised). They are hypocritical liars who will do anything to feather their own grasping need to make money for themselves.

Adam Hiley replied on Permalink

Agreed but the red Tory party led by Blair continued Thatcherism and again it's led by Keir starmer

david tandey replied on Permalink

well Jeff you have perfectly described the Tories for what they are......THE DESTROYERS OF OUR COUNTRY AND OUR lIVES.

Christopher Powell replied on Permalink

I've just sent the email to Mark Harper and Steve Baker of the Covid Recovery Group. I got automatic responses from both of them saying the correct protocol is for constituents to contact their own MPs. These two MPs will get thousands of junk emails from people who are not constituents and hopefully one or two from people who are. Surely it would be better if we all sent the letter to our own MPs and asked them to forward it.

My MP is Alexander Stafford. He's a Conservative. I don't know if he's a member of the Covid Recovery Group. I often email him & he always replies (by ordinary mail).

So I went back to the website & tried to resend the letter to him. It didn't work.

Amelia replied on Permalink

Hi there,

Thanks for your message and for taking action!

We decided to use the constituency email addresses for Mark Harper MP and Steve Baker MP in this action as they do not currently have alternative, ministerial email addresses. We should have explained this in our earlier communications - apologies for this.

Sorry that the automatic response you received saying that MPs only respond to their constituents is off-putting.

However, their teams will have received your email along with thousands of others and will know that people across the country are calling for safe, publicly-led, locally-run test and trace now to keep our communities safe.

Hopefully this helps to explain the action a bit more but please let us know if you have any further questions at all.

Thank you so much for being part of the campaign - it's great to have your support!

Best wishes,

Amelia and the We Own It team.

Judith Longmire replied on Permalink

If our precious health service is opened up to US pharmaceutical companies, we will end up with a US style of health service where you have to be able to afford a lifetime of expensive private insurance in order to be able to use it.

Jill Sutcliffe replied on Permalink

The NHS saved my life when when my brother-in-law and I had to be in hospitals for the best part of a year aged 3, or my uncle whose cancer on his kieny was spotted on the slightest of evidnece and then there's the family - 2 GPs, various medical friends and a consultant who only ever worked in the NHS for the whole of their careers. What bothers me is the time coming when there won't be people left who remember what it was like without the NHS - whether or not you had money to get the doctor....

Christine Gibson replied on Permalink

We need to look after all our people's health. The only way is for an NHS which is funded through public money and owned by us all. How dare you try to rob us of something so vital to a civilised existence.

Mark replied on Permalink

All public services should be protected from profiteers by been included in a new constitution for the uk

Mark replied on Permalink

All public services should be protected from profiteers by been included in a new constitution for the uk

Andreas Christofides replied on Permalink

Hello there, I am really very angry at this at this extreme far right wing fascist racist lying homophobic government and they are scum of the earth. For God sake they need to be got rid off. What Boris Johnson and his bunch lairs and scum of the earth is absolutely disgusting nasty and vile to make a profit out someone sickness or disability, and no public service should have been privatised, but the marjority was done under that fucking bitch and witch Margrette Thatcher. We need change and we need now if i wasn't suffering with many health issues i would be at the House of Lords and Parliment shouting at this fucking lying homophobic extreme far right wing fascist racist bunch and i would stay there until all have them fuckers have gone. This is why i want the whole nation that what a decent society to demostrate on the streets throughout the UK and have a voice that we as a nation we are not going to be bullied into silence which is what these fuckers who are making lots of money out of the sick elderly and the disabled to keep their rich buddies happy.

susan savidge replied on Permalink

I dont have face book and would like to sign the petition so please include me in this.

Amelia replied on Permalink

Hi there, you can sign our petitions by clicking on the 'Act now' section of our website. You do not need Facebook to sign, just an email address. Hope that helps and thank you for your support!

John Archibald replied on Permalink

FFS: Someone gives us the weapons and take out bojo&co and every other politician who is against real democracy.

We can still have queenie and all the political parties – just so long as we the Public have overall control of all things we deem as being essential.

You privateers can do what you do best – run small business, sweetie shops and talk total F crap.

Watch out though as under Public control there will be law and order!

PS:

Don’t forget the Sun controls the climate and;

BR had the best railway the world has ever seen

CEGB the cheapest and most reliable electricity – burning Coal

British Gas the cheapest most reliable gas

British Steel the cheapest and best steel

Etc

Etc

Etc.

It was you greedy privateer F’s who destroyed it!

Libby Kemp replied on Permalink

Please could you always refer to Test and Trace as Deloitte's Test and Serco's Trace. It is really important the public realise they run these services, not the NHS. It's not a great catch phrase but with constant use?

Roland Gilmore replied on Permalink

Test and trace is not a panacea. UK government measures are only about slowing the growth in numbers admitted to hospital where, after years of cut backs, we have one of the lowest intensive care facility rates in the developed world. This is NOT about treating people to prevent them from needing admission to hospital. Countries that are treating people early have significantly lower hospital admissions and much lower case fatality rates (73.9% lower). The number of peer reviewed studies demonstrating the positive effectiveness of early intervention with hydroxychloroquine is growing. Studies that show negative or no improvement are all flawed by giving excessively high doses and by giving it to people who are at an advanced stage of the disease (e.g. the UK Prevent trial) i.e. too late. https://c19study.com/ As more and more people are becoming aware of the truths about this man made virus, they are fast losing their trust in UK scientists, politicians and our pathetic, unquestioning, main stream media. Civil disobedience will come next which is why the PM talked about military intervention. You cannot pretend that "we will beat this virus". The only correct and acceptable policy is to protect the vulnerable, rapid introduction of national supplementation with Vitamin D, Vitamin C and zinc then treat symptomatic people EARLY and leave people to get on with their lives. This action would reduce susceptibility to influenza too.

Carlton replied on Permalink

As someone who has worked for 40 years in the public and outsourced sector I feel better placed to comment than any of the people on WEOWNIT. The private sector is more agile and innovative than any public sector I have been involved in. The public sector never take responsibility for contracts that THEY draft, THEY AWARD and THEY manage. Unfortunately also some in the public sector want the private sector to fail and knowly will let contracts so that there is a likelihood that that will happen. The rail sector is a prime example where companies bid contracts based on the Government's own projections for passenger numbers. That said I have also seen many public sector services well run and well managed. Both can sit side by side.

Jon Hill replied on Permalink

Hi,

We have just launched an online newspper, West England Bylines, and would like to share some of your content on our site.

Please have a look at www.westenglandbylines.co.uk and let me know if you're up for this.

We are a serious responsible newspaper challenging the government's running of our country especially covid and the NHS.

We are also happy for you to feature any of our articles.

THARAHA KAMALANATHAN replied on Permalink

protect our communities and our health services from the privatiser FOREVER.

Tara dalton replied on Permalink

I received a covid19 test geeked out for Royal Mail to picked it up was confirmed between 7/4 the next day done the test three weeks later it’s still sitting on my kitchen side then tried to get another test as haven’t been feeling to well and it won’t let me So I’m not happy as done the test and nobody collected even thow I have it confirmed of pickup

Hilary Saunders replied on Permalink

How can MPs represent the interests of their constituents, if they vote NOT to have the right to scrutinise trade deals? Perhaps it would be worth compiling a list of all the MPs who voted against the scrutiny amendment, so that We Own It supporters can let their MP and social media and local media know what they think about this.

Michèle replied on Permalink

Is it worth pushing HMG to increase sick pay so poorly paid workers (many of them in the care sector) can afford to stay off work when they have Covid. This would help us all control the virus. If we can splash cash on meals vouchers we can pay decent sick pay.

Ros Wain replied on Permalink

This is madness and our lives depend on it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/02/uk-set-to-award-covid-19-testing-contracts-worth-5bn-to-private-bidders

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-testing-lighthouse-labs-nhs-deaths-delay-a9589381.html

The government’s job is to protect its citizens. There are public health experts and facilities with years of experience of test, trace and isolate already within the system who ensure that results get quickly to those who need to take action. How much better for us all to give them £5bn to expand. Not give it to private companies, whose failures already seem to have cost us lives, to start from scratch. It is simply more evidence of privatisation by the back door, the result of which is fragmentation of the NHS which is endangering citizens not protecting them.

Michael Young replied on Permalink

Exactly ...

yvonne mustapha replied on Permalink

l qualified as a ( Mature ) Dental Hygienist from Kings College Dental Hospital, London, then worked at this hospital in The High Risk Dept for one year,which l loved, until the funding ran out. l then made my way into the world of Private / NHS Dentistry. My eyes were sharply opened as to the poor cross infection control in many if not most Dental practices, The emerging Large Corporate Dental practice, were the worst.

l was surprised / dismayed at not only the un-supervised inadequate running of these places , with lack of lnstruements, each surgery having to quietly borrow from each other, at times seeing the stressed or( lazy ) nurse only having time to just spraying and wiping with a paper wipe the used borrowed lnstrument

l bought and only used my own lnstruments, this being the only way to have enough good sterile instruments for my patients.

Often requests to borrow them being made from other Dentists /nurses who either did not have the correct one needed,or just only a few old scalers

However like most Dental Practices, the Reception usually with a tidy clean front and a reassuring friendly receptionist was reassuring.

l can count on my hand only 3 Dental Practices that l would go for Dental Treatment.The third one being only Private, and expensive but with very good High Cross Infection Control , or at least it was when l worked there a few years ago

l am thinking of writing a book on my experience of working as a Dental Hygienist. what l and the many other Dental Hygienists consider scams, cross infection problems and difficult unpleasant Dentist, Hopefully before any other Dental Hygienist gets one published

Graham Hillman replied on Permalink

Water Utilities: The Scottish Government have now made Covid 19 testing as Mandatory at Water Treatment plants. They can because they own the Utility. The English Water Utilities are Private and ate they doing the same testing as part of Track & Trace. Ask that question and see what answer you get gh

Alex Bellamy replied on Permalink

Want to donate but your Paypal donation button is kaput!

Roger Lallemant replied on Permalink

I would hope you are aware of what I say, but if not, I think it is a very revealing example of government disingenuousness. In Lansley's 2012 NHS bill, there was a clause that said 'private work should not exceed core NHS work', or words to that effect. It was phrased in legalese, as it always is, to confuse the issue for the layman. However, when interpreted, it meant that private work should not exceed 49%. In 2012 private work was 4%. I think that single clause says it all, deliberately hidden in legal jargon.

Mrs Julia Ramsay replied on Permalink

Just appalled of news that Serco has been awarded another contract.

It’s like giving failing Grayling another job he won’t complete in a timely or satisfactory manner.

John Francis Moss replied on Permalink

Private is immoral & poor service.

Public is fair & good service.

Some folk might not agree with this.

Generally though, public is best.

In a vote public would win.

Kev hutchinson replied on Permalink

Serco found 18000 staff in just two weeks to set up track and trace and delivering this service for less money than the civil service would do , check facts , you are fake news !

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