I visited the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where I met the new CEO Professor Lesley Dwyer. I was also taken on tours of the maternity, physiotherapy, oncology, and haematology wards.

    My visit reminded me that the NHS isn’t a homogenous entity. Different parts are faring differently. One of the problems of us constantly saying ‘the NHS is in crisis’ – which it very much is – is that it doesn’t allow us to see the mixed picture complexity of it and gives a lie to the right-wing narrative that the NHS is broken beyond repair and must be replaced (with some kind of privatised entity).

    Private Finance Initiatives continue to be a huge problem for the NHS. This way of financing public sector projects through the private sector means that there are severe limitations to extensions and maintenance because of existing contracts. This has a direct impact on NHS staff who work in these conditions.

    What must not happen to NHS trusts like the NNUH is the selling of patients’ data. We, and the NHS, must retain the value – not the big tech corporations who currently threaten the NHS. Many of the issues facing NHS trusts are due to a lack of oversight & transparency over streamlined care outside the trusts.

    The NHS needs more resources, but let us guide and reform, not from the top down, but by giving the agency back to patients & staff, where it should be.

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