A campaign group for the survival of the NHS is set to launch this weekend, with the ambition to secure investment for the sustained future of the NHS and introduce protected hours and pay for staff.
NHS Survival, an ‘umbrella organisation’ made up of groups of NHS staff, patients, and the public, is calling for the Government to establish a Royal Commission to work with all these groups to explore the future of the NHS.
In particular they call for the commission to investigate the best course of action across five key points: sustainable funding for a safe NHS, what are safe staffing levels, ensuring patients are treated with dignity, and that the NHS is accountable to the public.
And finally, guaranteeing that staff working hours are safe, and that they are suitably trained and motivated to stay in their chosen profession.
A statement from the group says: ‘Staff recruitment and retention crises continue to spread across the board in a way that is already compromising safety in many key services including primary care, community services, hospitals and the ambulance service.
‘Decisions about the NHS are currently being made politically, with short-term vision, little cross-party consensus and almost no recourse to evidence. This is not how to ensure a safe, sustainable NHS fit for the future. As patients, public, and professionals, we are coming together to safeguard our NHS.’
This comes after a petition calling for MPs to debate a vote of no confidence in health secretary Jeremy Hunt has hit more than double the number of signatures required to trigger a debate in parliament.
Pulse covered the petition last month, and it has since reached 217,000 signatures, the Government gave a mandatory response but have yet to set a date for the debate. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said he will press for one when parliament returns from summer recess.