Friday 30 December 2011

Bevan's Run update

The main aim of Bevan’s Run is to protest against the Health and Social Care Bill and raise public awareness of the threats the bill poses to the future of the NHS.
The opponents of the reforms have quite legitimately received criticism for being too negative and not offering any alternative solutions for the NHS. However, many opponents of the reforms do in fact have many ideas to help improve the NHS, which are not based in market ideology. The Scots and the Welsh have abandoned the purchaser-provider split and these are models that the English NHS could adopt. However, an interim position would need to be adopted if the bill is blocked. The chaos created by the reforms even before the bill has been enacted needs to be addressed and NHS stability would be the first priority. This is in keeping with the views of 20 health policy academics
Clearly, a new plan for the NHS cannot be written by an individual. This requires input from health policy experts, economists, DH officials, NHS stakeholders, politicians etc. However, I certainly think a broad outline plan can be put up for debate and that is what I intend to do.
I will therefore post a broad outline of a way forward for the NHS on this blogsite on the last day of Bevan’s Run (Jan 15th).
The BMA has also been asked by Council members to produce a new alternative vision for the NHS. I would hope to update about this too.

In the meantime, my focus is going to be on raising awareness of why this bill is so bad for the NHS and the nation. Over the coming days I will be blogging about market failure, the role of politics and the 3 main political parties in NHS reform, the meaning of privatisation and political lying, and the revolving doors culture of the NHS. There will even be a piece about the need for the medical profession to own up to its own failings on the NHS!

I will also be focusing on preparing for the run, which is taking a lot of organisation, including getting physio for my shinsplints, which are now much better!
We are currently short of a support driver for the first 2 days, so if anyone fancies helping out from Monday evening (Cardiff) to Wednesday afternoon (Tetbury), the please get in touch by email

We are still working out the best route, but the current plan is as follows:

Day 1 (Tuesday 10th Jan): Cardiff to Chepstow (Travel Lodge, off M48. English side of Severn Bridge)

Day 2 (Wednesday 11th Jan): Chepstow to Tetbury

Day 3 (Thursday 12th Jan): Tetbury to Burford

Day 4 (Friday 13th Jan): Burford to Oxford (Wheatley), stopping off at Witney at 11.30am for rally. Meet at Church Green off the High Street. We will then march down the High Street to deliver “Bevan’s Postcard” to Cameron’s Conservative Party constituency office. We then head off to Oxford and aim to get the village of Wheatley. I’m giving talk in Oxford at the Friends meeting House in St Giles, Oxford in the evening at 7.30pm.

Day 5 (Saturday 14th Jan): Oxford (Wheatley) to High Wycombe

Day 6 (Sunday 15th Jan): High Wycombe to London (Richmond House, Whitehall). We aim to get to Richmond House at about 2-3pm. We will publish route soon, but anyone that wants to join in could meet us in Uxbridge. (Details of meeting point to follow). We will post Bevan’s Postcard to Department of Health. Might also have time for speeches.

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