Thursday, 16 May 2013

On Behalf of Francis King

This blog is no longer active. Comments are disabled. Please feel free to follow up on issues highlighted here. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

RIP Francis King

KING CECIL FRANCIS HARMSWORTH (known as Francis) died on April 25th, 2013, aged 85. His funeral was on Thursday May 16th at 11.00am at St Mary Magdalene, Church Walk, Richmond TW9 2NA. Donations to Richmond Homes and Lifestyle Trust 

Related information

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

NHS: 100,000 names today?

Update: over 70,000 of us have signed the petition demanding an urgent MP investigation into GP out-of-hours services provided by private health companies.

If we can get the petition to 100,000, we can deliver it by hand to a powerful committee of MPs. With 100,000 names they won’t be able to overlook the huge public demand for a full investigation.

Lots of 38 Degrees members have shared deeply worrying stories about privately run out-of-hours GP services. We can help make sure no more lives are put at risk. Let’s demand an investigation now.

Please sign to help get the petition to 100,000 today:


Background Information about the campaign

Most of us know how it feels to call out a doctor at night, or over the weekend. At Christmas, knowing the NHS is there to rely on throughout the holidays offers comfort to us all. Whether we’re coping with a poorly baby, an elderly loved one, or an illness of our own, it’s good to know there’s someone to rely on if we need it.

But now, just before the holidays, we’re finding out that private companies like Serco and Care UK are putting that service in danger. They’ve been cashing in on contracts to provide GP services at the weekend and overnight. Now it looks like they’ve not been doing a proper job - and lives are at risk as a result.

It’s time to rein in these greedy companies. There’s a powerful committee of MPs that has the power to do a proper investigation into their behaviour - and stop them getting further contracts if they’ve been doing a bad job. But there are lots of demands on the committee’s time. They’ll only investigate if they know there’s great public concern. [2]

If we work together now, we can prove that there is strong public concern. Together we can demand a full investigation into GP out-of-hours services provided by private health companies. Help stop the private health industry endangering people's lives with dodgy out-of-hours coverage – add your name now:

It’s not just this company in London that’s in trouble over out-of-hours services. In Cornwall, another private company, Serco, took over GP out-of-hours cover last year. They now stand accused of failings which led to just one GP being on duty for the whole of Cornwall, and of falsifying records to hide problems with their service. [3]

The Public Accounts Committee have a strong track record at holding big bosses to account – they recently did just that on tax dodging, hauling companies like Starbucks in for questioning in Parliament. [4] Let's come together to demand they do the same for private health companies.

Poor private GP out-of-hours services put lives at risk. Sign the petition to the Public Accounts Committee for a full investigation now:

The NHS isn’t perfect, but we know how precious it is. At its best it can transform lives, saving people not just from illness but from the fear and loneliness that go alongside it. When private companies like Serco and Care UK abuse this trust, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

Help put the pressure on MPs to launch an inquiry into these private health companies by signing the petition now:

Thanks for being involved,

Hannah, Becky, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

[1] The Guardian: Harmoni out-of-hours GP service putting patients at risk, say doctors -
[2] Find out more about the Public Accounts Committee here:
[3] The Guardian: Serco gave NHS false data about its GP service 252 times:
BBC: Serco out-of-hours Cornwall GP records falsified:
[4] BBC: Starbucks, Google and Amazon grilled over tax avoidance:

Friday, 23 November 2012

38 Degrees campaign to protect the NHS

Staff and volunteers in the 38 Degrees office get local NHS petition packs ready to send to 38 Degrees members across the country.

Click LIKE and SHARE to spread the word that we're still working hard together to protect the NHS! 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Sunday Times wants to interview you

A journalist is writing a profile of 38 Degrees for the Sunday Times magazine. He wants to know who is really behind our influential, people-powered campaigns.

Who was it that stopped the forests being sold off? Who are these people working together to save our NHS, and holding the powerful to account when they let us down?

The answer, obviously, is people like you. Thousands of us from all across the UK, who help decide on campaigns and take action to make them work.

So, he's agreed to "interview" 38 Degrees members, by preparing a survey for thousands of us to fill in. Please could you fill it in, and help encourage the journalist write up a faithful picture of who makes up 38 Degrees?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Campaign to protect the NHS in Richmond

This Saturday local 38 Degrees members are getting together near you to talk about the next stage of the campaign to protect the NHS in Richmond. Could you come along?

The details of the get-together are:

12:00 PM 6th October
The Bedfont Cafe
Bedfont High Street, Staines Rd,
TW14 8BL

Bedfont cafe is next door to the Tanning Salon, and just a little further on from the grocery store ' Budgens ' , and the local motorcycle shop ' West London Superbikes '. If you have any difficulties finding it, please don't hesitate to call me on my mobile no.

Click here to RSVP and for more information:

As well as helping to save the NHS, these get-togethers are a great chance to have a chat with other 38Degrees members who live in Richmond.

Hope you can make it,

Becky, Ian, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

P.S If you haven't yet signed the petition to save NHS services in Richmond, or you'd like to find out more about the campaign click here:

Thursday, 20 September 2012

The government’s plans to privatise and fragment our NHS are taking shape in Twickenham

Local doctors are forming a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the area. They’re going to get new powers to decide what health services you and your neighbours are able to access and who provides them. [1]

Whether it’s treatment for diabetes, skin conditions, a broken arm or depression, profit-hungry companies like Virgin Care and Serco are circling, ready to bid for contracts by promising to slash costs. [2]

The doctors on your local CCG will be under pressure from the government to hand out contracts to private companies. That could put vital services at risk. [3] But the last thing most doctors want is to carve up our NHS for private profit. Plus, the new CCG has a legal duty to listen to local people. [4]

So right now, we’ve got a big chance to ask local doctors to use their new powers to protect our NHS, not privatise it. Together, we can make sure they hear from hundreds of local people as they make these crucial decisions.

Can you add your name to the petition to your local CCG now?

Donations from 38 Degrees members have funded lawyers to prepare robust wording for CCGs to write into their constitutions - protecting our NHS from the worst risks of the government's plans. [5]

If we can get in early, while CCGs are still being formed, we can give doctors a better choice - one based on sound legal advice and the interests of patients, not private companies.

38 Degrees members will be able to work together to persuade their local CCG to write these safeguards into their constitutions. The government and the private health industry probably won’t like it at all, but there’s little they can do to stop people power.

First things first. Can you add your name to the petition in Twickenham?

Thanks for being involved,

Becky, Marie, Robin, Ian and the 38 Degrees team

PS: The website tool that links you up with your local CCG is new - you’re one of the first to test it. If you have any problems or questions, please let us know by emailing: emailtheteam[at]

[1] GP Online: GP and CCG relations: what are the challenges?
[2] "Virgin Care...will take over integrated children's services in the south-west in March 2013 and will run frontline services for three years. Critics have warned that such deals herald the breakup of the NHS, with private firms cherrypicking services." Guardian: Virgin Care to take over children's health services in Devon
GP Online: Services open to “any qualified provider” revealed by DH
[3] “...plans for a radical restructuring of the health service in England, which will give GPs control of much of the NHS's £106bn annual budget, cut the number of health bodies, and introduce more competition into services” Guardian: NHS Reform Health bill passes vote
BBC: NHS - The shape of things to come
[4] Telegraph: Scrap NHS Bill, say doctors who will run reforms
Pulse: More GP commissioners withdraw support from health bill
[5] 38 Degrees blog: NHS - Draft active citizens guide