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.

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Comments

Maria Sophia Quine replied on

I am an historian of public welfare and modern states. The ‘battle’ to build welfare-states which enshrine the rights of individuals to basic rights of security and protection in poverty, old-age, and sickness took centuries. In this country, the outcome was one of the greatest achievements of the modern period - a free and universal National Health Service delivering care to all, without regard to income. We are by stealth and secrecy losing our NHS as private companies colonise it for profit. To go further down the American path would be truly epic and disastrous for all.

Heather Jane Fl... replied on

I was born in 1948, and as a very young child I was seriously ill, and needed hospital care. The NHS saved my life. Many of my family worked in the NHS, as I did for more than 35 years.

Having a health service that is free and non-discriminating is a basic HUMAN RIGHT, and whilst I have no objection to people seeking private medical care if they wish, it would be devastating if the NHS was privatised by profiteers.

Ms Frances Potter replied on

I was in hospital with a broken hip at Christmas 2020. It was awful, Covid was rampant, after 2 days visitors were banned. We were alone with the staff... Everyone from the tea ladies upwards were worked to the bone. There was little time for nurses to socialise and because the staff were stretched to breaking point, patients were sometimes ignored for longer than was comfortable. Wearing masks made communications difficult, particularly for the seriously ill, elderly, deaf or demented. Jobs have been split up so that some of the people who make the frequent temp, blood pressure, sugar etc tests, have no authority and were so busy keeping track of their tasks, that they have no time to find someone with authority and pass on any patients requests or queries. These tests are the very important monitoring of patient progress or decline. And I was shocked to find out these important people were being paid below the living wage!

Many staff were off sick with Covid, the nurses said most of them had had it already, and were still experiencing side effects such as loss of sense of smell many weeks after, and exhaustion. I was unable to have physio in the usual room set aside for it, as the hospital was so full that that room had very poorly people in it. Gradually Covid came closer and closer as each ward in turn got the infection. I was discharged in a hurry. not soon enough it turned out to prevent me bringing Covid home and giving it to my partner and youngest son and his wife. Some weeks later I found out that a lovely lady i had made friends with, also a broken hip patient, 91 BUT with all her marbles, also got Covid. After 2 weeks they sent her home. She lived alone. There was no adequate care package available. She died.

I haven't even mentioned the torn bed curtains, the lack of spare pillows, the atmosphere of panic and fear amongst the staff...

Lack of funding over years of neglect has led to a shortage of nursing staff, staff becoming victims of the pandemic due to lack of PPE, the toilets needing serious upgrading and modernisation...

Tony replied on

I fully agree with a lot on here but I disagree about the BBC they are a hidden tax. We have to pay for it if we want to or not and the fat cats running it have no desire to help the public, just get rich themselves all taking out what they can get hold of. If the wages and expenditure was properly managed then there would be plenty of money in there and OAP's over 75 would still be able to have a free licence so get that right and I will support this if not then let it disappear.

DR G A RICHMOND replied on

I am a retired GP having worked all my life in the NHS. General Practice was perfect, with patients and doctor getting to know each other. Many night calls were resolved over the phone, as the doctor was often familiar to the caller and aware of their problems. All that was needed was friendly reassurance and an agreement to see that the next day at the surgery if that were needed. The ambulance programmes on TV show how important the personal touch can be and how easily many problems are solved by face to face contact. The idea of diluting the role of general practice is abhorrent. Replacing the role of general practice by an army of paid telephone advisors is absurd. G.P's PROVIDE A FRIENDLY PERSONAL SERVICE THAT CANNOT BE REPLACED by a commercial army of computer algorithms.

William Coleman replied on

I do not know how it was allowed to get to this state . We do not want our much valued NHS to be a cash cow for bussiness' to profit from people's unfortunate illness. I have recently taken my bank account from Virginia Money due to their expansionist plans . No private companies should be allowed on this board.just patients or the likes

AnnM replied on

It is becoming increasingly evident that wealth and privilege gets too many people more than they deserve. This is at the expense of the country, its people and society. Inequality is increasing and it is the poorest and most disadvantaged that always suffer the most as a result. All our public services are underfunded and no longer merit their name! We waste potential in our youth, with a drastically underfunded education system for the majority of students and do not reward or respect those that serve us the most, like care workers, doctors and nurses in the NHS and teachers.

I used to be proud to live in this country.

Now I despair.I have to constantly fight for funding for disabled members of my family against a DWP with no heart, humanity or honesty. Everything is a battle. A lifetime of constant fighting for diagnosis, support and understanding and again respect. Social workers are overwhelmed. The mental health services are on their knees. We all deserve a decent quality of life wharever our circumstances.

Neil Dawson replied on

Private companies should not be allowed to sit on decision making committees or boards as they have a self interest and will work for that self interest. It is very important that the users of these services should be represented!

Mel Dickson replied on

I Demand that private companies should not be allowed to sit on NHS decision-making bodies because they care more about profits than they do about making sure people are well cared for.

And, I demand that patients and the public should be given a seat on key decision-making committees and boards because patient voices are important for designing services that work for everyone.

John Woffinden replied on

The NHS is for the patients not for companies making profits

ken kirk replied on

Privatisation of the NHS has been a disaster. Thanks to Lansley's 2012 H&SC Act private companies have been able to cherry pick the services they want and leave the unprofitable ones to the publicly run NHS. In running privatised services it's clear that profit has been their prime objective, but the service they offer has been a catastrophe. Check out https://www.nhsforsale.info/contract-failure/50-examples-of-nhs-outsourcing-failures/

Fred Groves replied on

Profit has no place in the NHS. We demand equality of treatment regardless of wealth and the patients who after all pay for the service deserve a say in the decisions. Certainly organisations who will potentially profit from those decisions should be excluded. We should never take for granted what a treasure we have in the NHS and guard it against anyone who wants to destroy it.

Ronald Ferguson replied on

~The NHS was introduced following world war 2 as ordinary men and women who had served through it demanded a better society, not just one run for the rich and powerful. It therefore belongs to the people of this country and not to the government to be sold off to their friends and ilk. The government's job is to run it efficiently, not for profit. Health is a basic human need. Ill health is often related to poverty, poor housing, stress, lack of opportunity, the need to be heard and have some control over how our lives are lived. This is dependent on how we organise society. Health is the responsibility of all of us and should therefore be free and available to all, whatever your income or status. It should never be run for profit..

Alan Wood replied on

Our health service is deteriorating fast. It seems that this government is hell bent on privatising Our National Health Service by stealth and graduating steps. This will not benefit the NHS user but make profits for large companies. Enough is enough and accordingly:-

I do not wish that PRIVATE COMPANIES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SIT ON NHS

DECISION-MAKING BODIES because they care more about profits than they do

about making sure people are well cared for.

I also wish that PATIENTS AND THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE GIVEN A SEAT ON KEY

DECISION-MAKING COMMITTEES AND BOARDS because patient voices are important

for designing services that work for everyone.

richard beswick replied on

The NHS is one of the few public services that the Tories have not yet managed to take out of our hands and pass to the avaricious private sector, often to the benefit of their associates and to the great detriment of the voting public. So far all the privatized operations have been most unsuccessful, no investment and only resulting in the public paying more for a reduced and inferior service.

It would be one of the greatest tragedies if these self serving Tories are allowed to ruin the little we have left. THEY MUST BE STOPPED, otherwise hello to the failed United States model, God help us all.

Dale replied on

I have now ereached an age where my body is starting to break down. Aches and pains I can tolerate, but when they can be fixed with a quick op that I don't even have to stay overnight for, I get angry that I have to wait half a lifetime to get it. Depite being in serious pain every day and relying on high powered painkillers, that are only supposed to be a short term temporary solution, I have had no reply from the hospital scheduling after over 4 weeks of waiting and that's just to find out when the appointment to have the op is. Chances are, when I do get the letter telling me when the appointment is, I'll be waiting another year or two in seriouos pain before I get the actual op done.

NHS is seriously screwed up right now and it has nothing to do with Brexit and everything to do with gross underfunding, privatisation, along with overpopulation by mass immigration as well as asylum seekers taking all the primary appointment slots when they have not paid a penny toward it. I have paid my NI stamp since I started working in the 70's, now I need the service I paid so much for, I expect to get it. If I wanted to go private, I would have taken out BUPA insurance.

Pat Ruaune replied on

At age 81 I cannot tolerate what is happening under this government. My daughter, a psychiatric nurse is really depressed by the underfunding in her area of the NHS. She predicts a great deal more pu lic danger as well as to "her" very sick patients who are gradually being recategorised as responsible when they are very ill. She had to browband an ENT hospital doctor during a "telephone appointment" with my husband, who could not hear anything and was in agony with a serious ear infection, to gain a hospital appointment. This resulted in emergency treatment. I have many more examples.

Hohn replied on

Private Health Insurance creates levels of Society by wealth. Meaning only the rich can survive. It will be the end of the British way of life.

richard beswick replied on

Regrettably that has already occurred and been cemented by the idiotic people who gave this self serving and incompetent Tory the mandate to ruin us.

Oliver Swingler replied on

Do you have an up-to-date list of Tory Ministers (and MPs) with links to private healthcare companies and funding banks - or perhaps pen portraits (like the memes Rachael Swindon did) which can be widely publicised?

Lorraine Leigh replied on

Not only the NHS, but the government is trying to privatise Channel 4 now…. Yet they are self-funding….this authoritarian, abhorrent and controlling government is treating us as if they are the Chinese government and we Britons are from Hong-Kong…. No true freedoms…. Also down with the one-sided GB News. Andrew Neil? I never thought he’d disgrace himself so…..

Adam Hiley replied on

If we want decent public services, military and freedoms then get rid of this abomination of a government it's compliant opposition parties and lame stream media there is no way Johnson should remain in office a day longer he's a embarrassment to Britain and I personally would feel safer without him Hancock gove Patel and Sage around

karen bennett replied on

Typical of this government when will they realise they are are public servants.We do NOT want our NHS privatised Leave g.p practices alone they are NOT for sale

Julie Brandwood replied on

The sale of GP surgeries will be a gateway to make profit from a public service. Why would a private company be interested in the surgeries. Too many public services are being put out to tender to businesses that only want to make a profit and will be difficult to make their services answerable to the public that use them. It is difficult to find an NHS dentist will the same happen to GP's. Many will leave .Will they end up renting a room/chair which seems to be the practise in Dentistry. I rarely see the same dentist and often feel that I am being sold products or extra services that I will have to pay for, this could slowly happen with Doctors. They maybe forced to use only certain medication and services eg eye clinic owned by a subsidiary of that company which happens at the opticians. Gradually we have lost control of public services which we own .We need to take back control so that they can meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Jill Jones-Leach replied on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alice replied on

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

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

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

Please fix it. I really want to sign.

Alice replied on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

david tandey replied on

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

Christopher Powell replied on

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

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

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

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....

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