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Majority of the public desire end to NHS privatisation, new poll shows

THE majority of the British public want an end to NHS privatisation, a new polling shows today.

Research by Survation for campaign group We Own It finds that 66 per cent of people are concerning about outsourcing the health service to private companies and want the NHS to be reinstated as a fully public service.

Only 25 per cent of voters support the policy proposed by both Labour and the Tory government for the NHS to pay private providers to perform NHS operations.

And 57 per cent believe the money should be invested directly into the NHS.

The survey follows a weekend of protests against NHS privatisation.

Hundreds of people gathered in Parliament Square in London on Saturday to mourn the 557 excess deaths caused by handing services in the NHS to private companies.

The figure was revealed by an Oxford University Study, published in The Lancet last year.

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “The British public want our NHS to belong to us.

“They’re appalled at the cuts and privatisation that have led to excess deaths and the hollowing out of the NHS.

“[The] Oxford University study shows that outsourcing literally means people are dying unnecessarily due to poor care.”

Ms Hobbs said that outsourcing also weakens the NHS by reducing its capacity to respond to pressures.

She said: “This — combined with the private sector competing for staff — is making the current crisis worse and contributing to record waiting lists and delays.

“We want our NHS back, reinstated as a fully public service, and with proper investment.

“We’re proud of our NHS and don’t want to copy the American model where mortality rates are so much higher.”

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry has supported the campaign saying: “We own it. It’s ours. The NHS belongs to us.

“Our grandparents, great grandparents, parents, and we ourselves made it what it is. We contributed to it. We paid for it.”

He called the NHS “one of the proudest things Britain has ever done” and added that “it’s now under threat from cynical, greedy, destructive people who mustn’t be allowed to get away with this.”

We Own It’s survey also shows that 58 per cent of voters, including the majority of 2019 Conservative voters, believe the government’s refusal to negotiate with striking NHS workers is evidence it is trying to privatise the NHS.

The government has been warned by 13 health unions that failing to hold pay talks with those representing striking staff in England is “unacceptable, ill-considered and has potentially perilous consequences.”

Officials representing the unions, including Unison, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, GMB and Unite which are currently involved in industrial action, have written to Health Secretary Steve Barclay raising concerns about the government’s handling of the pay dispute.

Talks were held last week with the Royal College of Nursing but other unions said they should have been involved too.

Unison head of health Sara Gorton, who chairs the NHS group of unions, said: “Strikes across the NHS won’t end until ministers hold proper pay talks with all unions involved in action.

“Attempting a deal with just one solves nothing and it certainly risks prolonging the dispute.”

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