Slash, Trash & Plunder

STP must be one of the most overloaded TLA’s (Three letter acronyms), with well over 30 possibilities listed on a Google disambiguation page, including the Government’s latest back-door approach to the transfer of our National Health System (NHS) to the private sector, the Sustainability and transformation partnerships, but not the alternative interpretations favoured by pro-NHS campaigners such as Slash, Trash & Plunder.

Campaigners, many of whom work in the NHS, see the STP’s as a part of the plan by minister Jeremy Hunt to replace our NHS with a privatised system based on the US model which he advocated in a book published well before he became Health Secretary. They say the STPs amount to a cut of £22m in NHS funding and will result in cuts in services, reduction of quality, cuts in social care and increased health inequalities And they point out that our public system is several times more cost-effective than the US model the government is moving to by stealth.

It’s a move that will mean rich pickings for those with money invested in healthcare companies, including many Conservative MPs. Already companies like Virgin Healthcare are taking over many more straightforward aspects of the NHS, with Richard Branson laughing all the way to the bank – and currently suing the NHS because he hasn’t been awarded more contracts.

My medical knowledge is probably at about the level of playing that the ‘Operation’ game demands, though I lack the hand-eye coordination and motor skills required to do well.

After a rally with speeches, including one from the first baby born under the NHS in the first seconds of 1948, Aneira Thomas (shown below with Junior Doctor Aislinn Macklin-Doherty), the campaigners marched to the Department of Health on Whitehall for a further rally.

But unfortunately it will take more than a minor medical miracle to cure the deliberate deafness of the Tories chasing the scent of lucrative winnings from replacing a public service by their private businesses.

Perhaps another of those TLA possibilities listed by Google might be appropriate for the British public given the plot of the Tory privateers; there is apparently a Society for Threatened Peoples, and our health provision is certainly facing a massive threat. And the only hope for the NHS is a change of government.

More pictures at Save our NHS from STP Cuts.


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