search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
UNISON Time for a new social revolution


Let’s build an NHS that can be celebrated for the next 70 years, says Matt McLaughlin


“T


he NHS will last as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it.” Tese words are attributed to the architect of the NHS,


Anuerin Bevan. And whilst the last 70 years is well worthy of a celebration, fight for it we must if we are to celebrate the next 70 years. Te NHS is the matriarch of our welfare


state. A beacon for universal services, free at the point of use, envied worldwide and the very expression: that all citizens are created the same and entitled to be treated equally, underlined the socialist principles which led to its birth. Her birth was not an easy one. Labour’s


post war manifesto promised a revolution in healthcare but Bevan faced furious opposition from doctors, the voluntary sector, the Tories, and even some in the Labour Party as he fought to realise his dream that every citizen in the UK could access free, high quality healthcare, paid for from general taxation. Of course, the NHS has changed in 70


years; much of it a direct consequence of its own success and the hard work of staff. Polio, mumps and measles are no longer prevalent or as critical, and industrial-based causes of ill health have reduced as our economy has moved from heavy industry to services. Life expectancy has increased by decades in


some communities, although we still see the impact of poverty and inequality. And while generation after generation live longer, we are not necessarily living healthier lives. Te NHS now must deal with more degenerative disease like diabetes, dementia and cancers.


UNISON is proud to represent the whole team of staff who work in the NHS and we believe that everyone, whatever their job, plays a vital role in patient care. Positive initiatives like the Scottish Health Awards, of which UNISON is a major sponsor, or government visits and announcements - consistently talk up the unfaltering commitment of NHS staff, are of course the welcome. Te commitment and amazing work staff do should be celebrated alongside the NHS itself. But as the biggest and most diverse


union in the NHS we are well aware of the unprecedented pressures staff are under. Tey face ever-increasing demand as patients (rightly) expect more and their leaders demand they deliver more and more with less resources and fewer staff. We have crippling PFI debt and a spiralling drugs bill. And patterns of illness and disease are changing, raising big questions about how we fund social care and support an ageing population.


“Our members also tire of the constant


bickering amongst our elected representatives who are more inclined to fight over and not – as Bevan asked - for our NHS”


Our members also tire of the constant


bickering amongst our elected representatives who are more inclined to fight over and not – as Bevan asked - for our NHS. Te NHS, its workforce and the people of


Scotland need a NHS new deal, based on a political consensus, driven by enthusiasm and based on core values which have stood the test of time: comprehensive care, free


The NHS, its


workforce and the people of Scotland need a NHS new deal


at the point of use, delivered on the basis of need rather than the ability to pay. We must reject the private sector, zero-hours contracts, and low pay models. Seventy years ago, health services were


delivered by local authorities and the voluntary sector. And here we are 70 years later and that battle continues as integrated health and social care boards argue over delivery models and the allocation of funds. UNISON fully supports the principle


of better community services, leading to shorter and fewer hospital admissions, but the current model is not delivering and remains stagnating in a silo. We will continue to resist a culture of ‘cheapest is best’. In short, our politicians and civic leaders


need to get to grips with our changing health needs and lead a new social revolution with health and wellbeing firmly at its centre. Tey should challenge established thinking and restrictive professional interests that have been with us 70 years. And build an NHS that can be celebrated for the next 70 years. n


Matt McLaughlin is UNISON Scotland’s head of health


NHS70 | SUMMER 2018 | 29


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36