Monday, 01 July 2013 11:03



See below the press release sent prior to the event for more information


PRESS RELEASE     01/07/2013               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: James Beecher 07583 497887 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Stroud Against The Cuts celebrate NHS’s birthday

with protest and donation to national campaign

Summary: As part of celebrations and protests nationwide, members of local grassroots organisation Stroud Against the Cuts are travelling to David Cameron’s Witney constituency on Saturday July 6th to mark the 65th birthday of the NHS (1) and challenge the role of David Cameron and the Conservative party in undermining it (2). At the protest, SATC will give an £800 cheque to national campaigning organisation ‘Keep Our NHS Public’ (3). The £800 comes from money left over after the return of donations made to the groups’ appeal to raise money for a court case to stop privatisation of parts of Gloucestershire’s NHS. In February 2012, a Judicial Review forced local health bosses to halt their attempt to privatise local services. A sustained campaign meant that in October 2012 Gloucestershire Care Services announced it would become an NHS Trust (4).


Meanwhile, other campaigners in Gloucestershire will meet in Cheltenham to protest against the closure of night-time A&E services in Cheltenham (5), and the privatisation of Gloucestershire’s ambulance services, which are to be run by transport company Arriva in future (6). SATC is encouraging people interested in attending either of these demonstrations to contact them for further information and to share transport: 07583 497887 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


To mark the 65th birthday of the NHS and challenge the role of David Cameron and the Conservative party in undermining it, campaigners and health-workers involved in Stroud Against the Cuts (7) are travelling to David Cameron’s Witney constituency on Saturday July 6th. Dubbed the ‘Camarathon’, the protest will involve Dr Clive Peedell and fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson running through the night from Parliament to David Cameron's Witney constituency. Wearing Cameron and Clegg masks and dressed as undertakers, the Doctors will lead a hearse and bury a symbolic coffin in Witney, before speaking with others on how they intend to resurrect the NHS. (8)


Caroline Molloy said: "No-one wants NHS services privatised: 96 per cent of the Gloucestershire public voted against it last year (9). But too many people don’t realise that the NHS is being sold off to private companies because they often hide behind an NHS logo (10). The NHS is getting the blame when patient care suffers, but this is happening because of privatisation: companies extracting profits and cutting corners by using cheaper, less skilled staff”.

James Beecher said: “It is encouraging to see the growing fightback we and other anti-cuts groups in Gloucestershire helped inspire. I urge people to get involved in the campaign to defend our publicly-owned, publicly-accountable NHS. Access to healthcare for all, that is not dependent on the ability to pay, is as important now as it ever was”

Chris Moore said: “Our achievement locally was important, but we are fighting to defend our National Health Service. For that we need to bring together campaigns from around the country, health trade unions and others for a national demonstration. The TUC has said it will explore the possibility of a 24hr general strike and I believe this should be implemented - health-workers will sadly need to consider industrial action if we are to push back the government”



1.    1. See: “Happy birthday! Celebrating the NHS as it turns 65”, by Julia McWatt.  http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/celebrating-nhs-turns-65-4725520

2. .     Cameron closed the 2006 Conservative Party conference with the words “for me, it is not just a question of saying the NHS is safe in my hands - of course it will be”. This April the Health & Social Care Act came into law, the provisions of which encourage privatisation of the NHS according to campaigners. At the same time, though senior Tories continue to insist the NHS budget has been ‘ringfenced’ from cuts, “One survey has shown that £2.7 billion, or the equivalent of 20 per cent of care budgets, has been stripped out of adult care services since 2010… since councils are being bled dry, the NHS will have to pick up the tab. In other words, the ring fence that David Cameron promised is no more.” (Mary Riddell, writing in The Telegraph in response to last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/maryriddell/100223605/george-osborne-kills-off-the-nhs-ring-fence/)

3.     3. Launched in October 2005, Keep Our NHS Public's founding organisations included the NHS Support Federation, the NHS Consultants' Association and Health Emergency. With support from pensioners' associations, unions (both nationally and at branch level), the Junior Doctors' Committee of the British Medical Association, the TUC and many others, both groups and individuals, the campaign continues to grow as the consequences of the government's privatisation policies become ever clearer. KONP Chair Wendy Savage spoke in Stroud in February 2012 (http://stroudcommunity.tv/wendy-savage-talk-the-threat-to-our-nhs/). For More information see: http://www.keepournhspublic.com/ 

4.     4. See this press release from Gloucestershire Care Services: http://www.glos-care.nhs.uk/news/130-launch-of-nhs-trust-marks-new-era


5.  Hundreds march through Cheltenham to protest A&E 'downgrade'. Read more: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Hundreds-march-Cheltenham-protest-E-downgrade/story-18643065-detail/story.html#ixzz2Xmy3OZeC


6.    6.  See more on Arriva taking over the contract for ‘Patient Transfer Services’ and their past failings when running similar services, here: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Gloucestershire-ambulance-service-privatised/story-19307251-detail/story.html#ixzz2XmwGefCc

7.     7. Stroud Against the Cuts was formed in November 2010. It is organised at regular meetings to which anyone who opposes cuts and privatisation is welcome to attend. The next meeting is on Thursday July 11th, 7pm at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud. For more information see: http://www.stroudagainstcuts.co.uk 

8.     8. For more information and the full itinerary of the ‘Camarathon’ see: http://www.keepournhspublic.com/camarathon.php. Dr Clive Peedell is a consultant oncologist and a member of the BMA Council. He is also the co-founder and co-leader of the National Health Action party. In January 2012 he ran 160 miles in 6 days, from Aneurin Bevan's Statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health, Richmond House, Whitehall, London, to protest against the Health and Social Care Bill and NHS privatisation. For more information see: http://bevansrun.blogspot.co.uk/. In April 2013 Dr Clive Peedell was joined by Dr David Wilson, also a consultant oncologist, for a 35-mile ‘Cleggython’ to Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency. See: http://www.nationalhealthaction.org.uk/cancer-doctor-completes-35-mile-marathon/  


9.    9.  See:  http://www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/2012/10/nhs-gloucestershire-nhs-swindon-board-papers-for-october-15th-2012/ appendix 5 (public consultation results).



10.  10. Around the country services have been handed over to private companies such as Serco, Virgin, Care UK and Circle – companies which are often connected to parliamentary representatives (see: http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/nhs-privatisation-compilation-of.html). In terms of negative changes following privatisation see one example regarding Serco: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/sep/20/serco-nhs-false-data-gps, one example regarding Virgin (and their failures while running GPs surgery’s in Cameron’s constituency): http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yourtown/witney/9795745.Patients_sick_of_wait_to_see_surgery_s_GPs/, examples regarding Care UK: http://www.rightsandwrongs.co.uk/health/82-general/17250-health-care-uk-not-fit-for-purpose-to-manage-nhs-services-, and one example regarding Circle: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/10/private-nhs-hospital-accident.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 July 2013 12:22