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:


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