(N.B. This site is not currently being regularly updated. )



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The government's increasingly desperate attempts to defend their record on the NHS have become less and less credible over the last year. This is partly due to in
creasingly effective local and national campaigns and partly to the crisis in hospitals, primary care and social care has forced more and more of those involved to speak out against the damage being caused by austerity. But many of those who are being damaged have no voice. Poor people, disabled people and the chronically ill have fewer opportunities to make their case as their benefit and treatment rights become eroded. NHS staff are generally gagged in one way or another. Exit can be the only escape leaving the NHS still weaker and now less and less able to recruit staff from overseas.

Large national demonstrations and industrial action by junior doctors, nurses and others have made the strength of feeling around the country quite clear, to the extent that even the Conservatives have got worried enough to promise the outlines of a new financial deal this summer. But will it be too late? Certainly it will be insufficient to undo the damage inflicted since 2010. Meanwhile the stress on services which affect the need for healthcare becomes more and more acute. The unspupported costs of Social Care (which is subject to means tested charges) is driving local authorities to bankruptcy.

Another threat is the developing reorganisation into Integrated Care Systems (previously known as Accountable Care Systems) which threaten to become Accountable Care Organisations. In our local area the Integrated Care System covers Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Bassetlaw as well as Sheffield. (See posts below.) Increasing pressure from campaig
ners and within the Labour Party is deterring local councils to sign up to these in case they become vehicles for further cuts and privatisation.

Across South Yorkshire resistance is building to the threatened implications of the ICS for local services and South Yorkshire Save Our NHS have formed a political party to stand in the Sheffield City Region Mayoral election on May 3rd 2018. See also Barnsley Save Our NHS.

NHS21END_(Small)NOT KILLED OFF YET. Campaigning does work whether on the streets, in the press or, increasingly in the lawcourts. The government's high-handed tactics are being subjected to an increasing number of judicial reviews. At national level these have forced a public consultation on Accountable Care Organisations starting in May 2018.

Cartoons by Samantha Galbraith @sgalbraith47

For more national information see Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public


April 14th 2018 11.45 Regional Demonstration to Save the NHS Leeds

April 25th
Soviet Healthcare via Targets: Are Governments Bringing it into the NHS? Roco 2pm or 7pm

April 28th Sheffield Demonstration against proposed closure of the Minor Injuries and Walk-in Centres (see main website for details)

June 27th The NHS is 70 - but what is its life expectancy? Festival of Debate / SSONHS panel discussion and social. Roco 7pm - 11 pm.

June 30th Health Campaigns Together march for the NHS in London See main wesbite for details.

SSONHS planning and information meetings are generally on the first Monday of the month, except for bank holidays. They are usually at 6pm at the United Reform Church. Chapel Walk/Norfolk St S1

To contact us email


In 2016 abnd 2017 we worked with Sheffield Festival of Debate and other colleagues to promote realistic discussion of the issues facing the NHS. On 4th May 2017 we had a lively meeting debating the future of hospitals and in 2016 we mounted an exhibition on NHS privatisation to coincide with a play, A DUTY OF CARE about Labour and the healthcare market. On 22nd November 2016 we held a panel-led debate on the future of the NHS with local NHS leaders, academics and campaigners. We also held a public meeting on 4th July 2016 to celebrate the NHS anniversary, discuss the STPs, the implications for privatisation in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and the consequences of the EU referendum result.

In March 2016 we held a successful workshop Taking Back Our NHS

We supported the Junior Doctors throughout their action because we felt they were being unfairly treated and were being treated as the advance guard for Hunt's uncosted, unfunded and misconceived ambition for a 7 day NHS. (For one of our supporter's views at the beginning of the dispute see this column in the Sheffield Star

For our questions to 2017 General Election candidates and canvassers about the NHS see our
website campaign page

2016 8th-22nd November Exhibition on NHS privatisation How come we didn't know by London photographer Marion Macalpine
Theatre Delicatessen, The Moor

22nd November SSONHS Festival of Debate event
Why is the NHS Under so much pressure? How can we save it for future generations?
Speakers included Dr Tim Moorhead, Chair, Sheffield CCG, Kevan Taylor (Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust) and Professor Sarah Salway (University of Sheffield, Public Health) + local campaigners

Taking Back Our NHS SSONHS workshop

Saturday 12th March 2016, 10am - 2pm


Tuesday 22nd September, 7pm screening of Sell Off, attended by well over 100 people.

Campaigning for GP practices at risk of closure

2nd July Successful SSONHS public meeting addressed by Ray Tallis and speakers from Devonshire Green and Unison.

2nd May SSONHS stall in city centre from 11.30 Come and see us.

The 38 degrees ambulance will also be in Surrey Street at 12pm and conveying the 38 degrees petitions to local Hallam candidates at Wesley Hall in Crookes for 3pm.

25th April - March through Sheffield Hallam, with the People's NHS and 38 degrees

28th February 38 degrees petitioning around Sheffield

22nd November Leafleting in Sheffield City Centre from 12.00 pm in support of the NHS strikers. For A5 and A4 copies of the leaflet which has more information on it see the Campaigns Page at our website

24th November NHS picket lines from 7am to 11am. Rallies at the Hallamshire and Northern General (Herries Road) at 10 am.

We were proud to support the Jarrow to London march for the NHS, organised by Darlington Mums passing through Sheffield on August Bank Holiday Monday. Thanks to everyone for helping and joining in.

24th JULY 2014 Public Meeting jointly with Sheffield Medsin

Is our NHS really in crisis? Behind the headlines and soundbites
Panel discussion led by GPs and health experts from the NHS and universities.

For past activities see our website

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Sheffield CCG Lobby on 6th December

Local 38 degrees NHS campaign supporters, along with Sheffield SONHS, will be protesting outside NHS Sheffield on Thursday afternoon at 1.30.  People who can stay will then go into the meeting and will present the 38 degrees petition under the Agenda item for public questions.  We have looked at the CCG constitution and are asking a number of questions about safeguards for the NHS in the new commissioning process.  In a separate question we will also be asking about future ownership of the 4 Health Centres now being opened by NHS Sheffield as part of the LIFT programme.  Sheffield CCG have not been at the forefront of privatising services and we hope we can obtain adequate assurances from them.  Answers to the questions will be supplied in writing during December and will also appear in the next CCG minutes.  We will post them here and on our website.

Come and join us at the lobby or at our next meeting on Monday 10th December - 7pm Victoria Hall.

UPDATE  More than 30 supporters made it to NHS Sheffield despite the timing and the weather.  The Star described it as an army of protesters interrupting the CCG meeting.  There was also coverage in the Yorkshire Post, Postcode Gazette, and Radio Sheffield. The petition was handed over and questions asked of the CCG.  We will report on the replies later.  Please come to our next meeting on Monday evening (7pm at Victoria Hall 10th Dec).

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Any Qualified Provider contracts announced for South Yorkshire

The first round of AQP contracts in South Yorkshire has now been announced.  Very basic details are available at
The start dates for the contracts are not given, so we can expect more details of what is being offered and how it will work.
There are three services - for details see
Of the 20 providers (some of them recognised for two or three of the services.) 
10 are part of the NHS - Foundation Trust Hospitals in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster and 7 GP surgeries.  Of the 10 non NHS providers at least two have NHS connections, Rivelin Healthcare Ltd and Primary Provider Ltd, small local providers set up by Sheffield GP practices or associates. 
The providers will be in competition with each other and patients will be expected to choose from providers after discussion with their referring GP.  As far as we know there are no other AQP exercises in the pipeline at the moment.
We shall be advocating patients to choosing the NHS option where possible and practicable but until we have more details of the GP providers and what is happening to the income received, it will be difficult to say whether these will count as NHS provider services.
The shape and structure of this new NHS market raises a number of issues and we'd welcome comments

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

New 38 degrees NHS group in Sheffield links with SSONHS

The national 38 degrees organisation has been again been encouraging people to set up local groups to save the NHS and we are pleased to hear there has been wide take up across the country.  We already know there have been 38 degrees groups in Sheffield for other subjects (e.g. Save the Forests).  Unfortunately the national 38 degrees office have not until recently kept records of groups already set up and some other 38 degrees supporters of the NHS coincidentally arranged their first meeting at exactly the same time as our November meeting.  We are delighted that they have now agreed to join us at Victoria Hall on November 12th at 7 pm and look forward to broadening our campaigns.

The 38 degrees call was to influence CCGS to undertake not to contract NHS services out to private contractors, and if possible to get them to put this in their constitution.  However it seems that even CCGs which are sympathetic would not take the legal risk of formalising such an undertaking and this is likely to be true also of Sheffield CCG whose leaders have said publicly that they will not seek out new providers from the private sector unless existing services prove inadequate or they are instructed by the government (e.g. Any Qualified Provider).  They also curbed the attempt by the walk-in centre to introduce a charge for whiplash assessment.

However the crunch will come as more cuts bite next year and the CCG finds itself faced with potentially unpalatable decisions.  We will be campaigning with all willing parties to save NHS services in Sheffield.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

New National Health Action Party

We've received news that the National Health Action party has been registered with the Electoral Commission and that the website has been offically launched.
The party has been formed by a group of like-minded healthcare professionals, who strongly support the original principles of the NHS and are shocked by the failure of the democratic process as demonstrated by the appearance and the passage through parliament of the Health and Social Care Act.  The co-leaders are Dr Richard Taylor who was previously independent MP for Kidderminster, elected to save the local hospital and Dr Clive Peedell from Darlington who has spoken for us in Sheffield.
The National Health Action party aims to be for all people who value the NHS not just healthcare professionals. It has monthly subscription or free associate membership. 
The party will be campaigning for the NHS and will also stand candidates in selected seats for both Parliamentary and Council elections.
At present Sheffield Save Our NHS has no formal links to the National Health Action Party although we are affiliated to Keep Our NHS Public and Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance.
There will probably be a lively debate about whether to stand a National Health Action candidate in Sheffield Hallam.
Please add your observations and comments to this thread.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Act against the privatisation of the NHS and the introduction of charges.

SSONHS held a protest outside Virgin Media in Fargate to highlight the increasing involvement of Virgin Health Care as a deliverer of NHS care in England (for example in Sussex and the South West).  Another one is planned for August 11th.

Recently the Walk-In Centre (itself run by One Medicare for the NHS)  has introduced a charge of £25 for patients wishing to be seen for whiplash.  Although it is entitled to do this under road traffic legislation, and there is a broader concern to deter false claims, it is not clear how this charge will be collected (e.g. upfront from patients or with later billing for possible payment by insurers).  If the former, then it contravenes the principle that care should be free at the point of delivery. 

SSONHS is concerned that this step is merely the precursor for the introduction of charges for many other services which are deemed by the Department of Health, local commissioners (the CCG) or even providers not to be part of essential health care.  Cuts and the need to generate income will generate pressure for charges within the NHS while private providers will want to introduce charges for services which will generate more profit.

Join the protest outside the Sheffield Walk In Centre at Broad Lane on 24th July (4.30-6.00 pm).

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

June consultation on proposed closure of 3 dementia care homes in Sheffield

Updated 19 July

Earlier this year the Council announced the proposed closure of three more dementia care units, Norbury resource centre in Norwood, Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common and Bolehill View resource centre in Crookes. The homes are managed by Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the council, which aims to save £385,000 from the closures.  Again this is based on buildings and costs.  However other options included reducing management costs and cutting paid time off for trade union duties
The Council's Scrutiny Committee was critical of some of the ways in which the proposals for closure of the two intermediate care resource centres had been handled - including a failure to discuss alternative options fully with staff. They also criticised the failure of NHS Sheffield after four years to identify a site for a proposed 80 bed intermediate care centre and requested an update in 6 months.

Possible as a result of this the decided to defer the formal consultation of closure of these 3 units and open a more general consultation on dementia services - from which further proposals for reconfiguration (including possible closures) will emerge.  See
SSONHS will be making a response - all ideas and contributions welcome - post a comment here or email 
There have been petitions going round for these homes as well but it is not clear which one is official.  There is one set up by the Lib Dems but the Lib Dems are going heavily for the reduction in trade union facilities as the main cost saver.   Perhaps Unison or GMB will get encouragement from the Intermediate Care success to pull this together.

Temporary reprieve for Intermediate Care Centres for Older People

Following a presentation of the petition now signed by over 7,300 people to save Sevenfields and Hazelhurst resource centres (providing intermediate care for older people), today's meeting of Sheffield Council agreed unanimously to refer the proposed closure to the Council's Health Scrutiny Committee for further evaluation which will give all those concerned, including the public, carers and staff to press their case and look in more detail at options.  This vote came after something of an inter party slanging match with Labour and the Lib Dems hurling accusations at each other.
The scene was set by a question (not properly answered) from Sheffield LINK about the complete lack of any intermediate care strategy and the petition was well presented.  The main case for closure was that, despite the generally accepted excellent quality of care, the buildings were unsuitable (communal toilets) and required further refurbishment which could only be temporary and the NHS (NHS Sheffield, ie. GPs) wants to purchase beds which provide nursed care, which the resource centres don't.  The Council was therefore facing both increased expenditure and loss of income.  There seemed to be disagreement about the demand for beds, with the official reports (including the original one for the Lib Dems) saying they were underused, while the advocates of staying open said there are waiting lists. 
The Lib Dems quite rightly pointed out that the result of closure would be the effective privatisation of the service because a possible NHS 120 bed intermediate treatment centre has not got out of the planning stage and the intention is that the NHS (and non NHS supported prospective residents) would need to purchase beds in the private sector where 'costs [including wage costs] are lower.  Lib Dems also suggested there were more options now including a worker's co-op approach perhaps financed by the Coalition's Big Society loan fund, announced today. This might have been pre-election flag waving and not very realistic but it made the point that only a restricted number of options had been considered.  The Greens joined the call for referral to scrutiny.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Bill is about to become law but our campaign will continue

At the beginning of the week, we wondered how much impact anything we did this week would have, given that the Bill finished its Parliamentary process on Tuesday evening and the Budget happened on Wednesday.  But on Tuesday and Wednesday we had a lot more media interest than we expected.  People wanted to know what the passage of the Bill would mean and whether we were going to continue.  

Today's protest outside the town hall was similar.  We had good support from the Green Party and Sheffield Pensioners Action Group as well as some other groups and some supporters who haven't been able to come to meetings for a while made a big effort to turn up.  It was also good to welcome some new supporters.

We have designed a pledge which says:

I believe that the Health and Social Care Bill (Act next week) 2012 will undermine the founding principles of the NHS which it claims to support. 
I pledge to
  • fight for the NHS to remain as a publicly owned service true to its founding principles, 
  • oppose the introduction of competition particularly from the profit-making sector and
  • resist cuts which threaten a comprehensive service with access for all according to need, not ability to pay.
People were really interested in signing up and we could hardly pack up the stall because people still wanted to sign.  We got a lot of encouragement for keeping this struggle going.

We'll be going to the SACA workshop on 31st March to discuss how we can build this up on a regional basis, and nationally as well. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Last chances to stop the Bill

Cameron and Lansley seem to have made the passage of the Bill a matter of saving face - at the expense of the most popular public service in the country, and for that matter at the expense of our future health.

Doctors' organisations are now beginning to queue up for urging that the Bill be dropped and public opinion is getting more strongly against it.  Nigel Crisp, a moderniser in his time as head of the NHS under Blair, has called it a confused and confusing mess. Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group has broken ranks and written to Cameron urging him to drop the Bill.  We have asked Sheffield CCG if it will follow.

All is still to play for even if time is getting tight.  Take whatever action you can either via the links to 38 degrees at the top of this blog, or by taking part in events and demonstrating your opposition more publicly.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Keeping up the public pressure - sign the epetition

We supported the protest outside the House of Lords as debate on the report stage of the Health and Social Care Bill began.  Most people in the protest were from London but there were a few from Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.  Diane Abbott and a couple of Labour colleagues came over to hold a banner for a time and there was reasonable coverage on BBC national news.  Nobody knows how things will develop.  The main thing is to keep up public pressure as Cameron, having had no clue at the beginning of all this what the effect of Lansley's Bill would be, seems to be beginning to panic.  They are still sticking to the line that the Bill must be passed but more and more people are telling him that what a disaster it is.  The only trouble is that even the Plan B currently being canvassed just suggests a different way of delivering cuts.

We expect 38 degrees to mobilise something quite soon and in the meantime are plugging the epetition:   
Any other events which draw attention to the feeling against the Bill will surely help - including the Yorkshire TUC protest against the cuts on Saturday 25th February in Leeds.

Outside Sheffield Town Hall on Saturday, there was still plenty of support - although Saturday shoppers are not as numerous as they used to be!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Can anyone explain the NHS reforms? asks a desperate Professor

The Health and Social Care Bill has now been in Parliamentary process for over a year but bewilderment increases.
Last week, Martin Mckee, Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wrote an article in the British Medical Journal called -
Does anyone understand the government’s plan for the NHS?  He said he could not understand why it was being brought in as most of the clinical evidence cited by Lansley has been discredited; he could not understand what it was trying to do as the interpretations keep changing and Lansley's actions (e.g. instructions) often seem to bely what he says is in the Bill; and he could not see why it is necessary - either the changes currently happening in anticipation of the Bill show that it is not necessary, or they are in effect a contempt of Parliament.  He appealed for help. 
A few days later he wrote to the BMJ saying:  Dear Editor,  I am very grateful to all of those who have responded to my request for anyone who actually understands the NHS reforms to explain them to me. They have been unanimous in explaining how the implementation of the reforms is already leading to the dismantling of the NHS, often describing graphically the effects locally of demoralisation, fragmentation, withdrawal of services (often affecting the most vulnerable), and explicit denial of treatment. 
Meanwhile Alex Scott Samuel has written a piece saying what he thinks the NHS will be like.  On the same day the tragic death was reported of Sarah Burke, an American free skier favourite for gold at the next Winter Olympics while she was training; her family had to launch a public appeal for help with the $250,000 medical costs (which has in fact already met its target!).
Organisations representing GPs, Nurses, Public Health Doctors, and the Royal Medical Colleges have all in the last few days come out against the Bill.  It is reported that the House of Commons Select Committee on Health, chaired by a Tory ex Health Minister and with a coalition majority will issue a highly critical report in the next few days.
The Department of Health is increasingly panicked about all the new mechanisms.  Regulation is now being emphasised at least as much as competition (i.e., as forecast, just another type of bureaucracy).  PCT and CCG lack of enthusiasm for Any Qualified Provider is forcing the the Department to move back towards competitive tendering. It is also distributing money (often in a totally unrealistic way) to try and patch up gaps in waiting lists and make Lansley appear bountiful. Meanwhile private companies are threatening to go bust if the NHS won't patch up their failures.
All Lansley and his supporters (yes he does have some) can do is impugn the motives of his critics (they are just concerned about pay or pensions) or, as some GPs do, blame all the chaos on manipulation by centralists in the Department of Health.
As the NHS is laid waste around us, the Tories say they think they have amendments which will satisfy the Lib Dems and Clegg says the plans must go ahead and betrays his lack of understanding by saying that the NHS cannot be frozen in time. .
The Bill is apparently scheduled to return to the Lords on 8th February (not yet finally confirmed on the website).  We must do all we can to persuade waverers in the Lords and our representatives in the Commons to throw the Bill out in its entirety.
Please suggest ideas or ways in which we can continue to show our distaste for the Bill in Sheffield as the debate goes on.
And if you are interested in debating about what we would really like the NHS to look like, (especially if you work in it)  let us know by adding a comment or emailing us at

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Lansley's secret visit to Sheffield on 16th Jan

Andrew Lansley attended a meeting of NHS Sheffield on Thursday 16th January and then visited at least one GP practice.  At the public meeting of the CCG later in the afternoon, the CCG appeared keen to emphasise that they had presented Lansley with evidence of how well Sheffield was doing at moving forward in anticipation of the Bill - whilst also no doubt raising some local issues or difficulties.  At a time when 98% of GPs in this months survey by the Royal College of GPs are saying drop the Bill, it is pretty dismal that our GPs in NHS Sheffield should appear to be encouraging him.  We need to make sure that any future visits will show him what people in Sheffield think of the Bill.

Clive Peedell is continuing his run to London where, on Sunday, he will be supported by other health professionals. 

Sign the epetition at