Reclaim our NHS demo in York this Saturday- 6 April

Calderdale Save Our Services , Calderdale Trades Council and Calderdale 38 Degrees NHS Group is urging everyone to support the ‘Yorkshire and the Humber Reclaim Your NHS’ demonstration in York on Saturday 6 April. The demonstration assembles at Noon at Dean’s Park, alongside York Minster. 
Help with rail fare to demo for unwaged Calderdale residents
Calderdale Trades Council has offered to pay half the rail fare for unwaged Calderdale residents travelling on the train to York leaving Hebden Bridge at 9.50 and Halifax at 10.02 to attend the march. Anybody wanting to take advantage of this should e-mail by Midday on Friday 5 April.

Looming threats of NHS privatisation

On the first anniversary of the Health and Social Care Act becoming law, huge threats of privatisation and fragmentation of NHS services loom. The Government is currently pushing Secondary Legislation through Parliament that will force Clinical Commissioning Groups to offer NHS services out to private competition in almost all cases. Despite an outcry forcing the Government to revise the new regulations and continuing public opposition, this threat remains. 

Here in Calderdale, Virgin Healthcare took over part of the Dermatology service for a year in Calderdale in 2012. The Government has also ordered three services – Audiology and Hearing, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Non-Obstetric Ultrasound in Calderdale to be commissioned via the “Any Qualified Provider” initiative. This is another route to increased private provision of NHS Services. Primary Care Psychological Therapies are already provided under this initiative.
Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group  shows ‘disappointing’ lack of commitment to keep NHS public
While some Clinical Commissioning Groups have welcomed pressure to keep the NHS as a public service, the situation in Calderdale is disappointing. NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chair, Dr Alan Brook,  showed little sympathy with public concerns when he said: 
“The NHS is normally free at the point of delivery and based on need rather than the ability to pay. It is not and never has been exclusively provided by the public sector. The hospital will purchase new equipment from a private technology company, almost all medication is sold by pharmaceutical companies, and GPs themselves have always been independent contractors and not NHS employees …”

Pete Keal, Calderdale Save Our Services Secretary, said:

“Many people are worried about the impact of Government policy on the Health Service. This Regional demonstration will send out a loud message that our NHS must be protected and kept as a comprehensive public service.”

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