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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

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