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The P word

Editor Sue McNulty is fed up with the privatisation scaremongers

Do you think the White Paper will open the way to privatisation?

91 per cent of Pulse readers on its online survey think it will.

Scary, shocking, get the union out. Before we know it patients in a car accident will be left on the side of the road because they've got no insurance.

Leading BMA figures are saying the white paper is a smokescreen for privatisation.

How dare we patients be subjected to good food, ensuite rooms and treatment from the same consultants that would treat us in an acute trust hospital – most consultants do both private and NHS work already you see.

NHS hospitals are dire. When I had my second child I can still remember the awful food I was served – cabbage soup and mashed potato. I'm not joking. I literally had a four-year-old tantrum about the state of the room they put me in when I arrived that hadn't been cleaned from the previous occupant – you're allowed to do that when you're in labour and haven't had any drugs yet.

For the record I don't have private medical insurance and never will for one reason – equality.

Let's move on from the P word and worry about six other very important ones: ‘Free at the point of access'.

These six words should be printed on every NHS logo, on every piece of NHS correspondence and included in the words of every manifesto. Indeed I challenge Andrew Lansley to have them tattooed on his forehead for charity.

In his speech yesterday to the Conservative Party conference, they were there: ‘free at the point of use, based on need not ability to pay'.

He said them not once, but twice.

Keep saying them. I will be looking for them in every keynote address from now on.

Care doesn't have to be provided in some horrible big hospital. Let's look to get it from the third sector, hospices and efficient (insert p word here) providers.

But care does have to be funded by taxes not by individuals.