After 13 years of underfunding, the NHS is in crisis. The government seems determined to ignore the wishes of the UK population to preserve the NHS as a high-quality healthcare system free at the point of use. John Major’s comment sums up the government’s approach:
“The concept that [they] would care for the National Health Service is a rather odd one: Michael Gove wanted to privatise it; Boris wanted to charge people for using it; and Iain Duncan Smith wanted a social insurance system. The NHS is about as safe with them as a pet hamster would be with a hungry python.”
We launched our hard hitting report, The Rational Policy-maker’s Guide to the NHS in Parliament on 4 July. Now we need our MPs to act rationally.
How? The answer is surprisingly simple: write to your MP. Many people feel that writing to their MP is either daunting or pointless, but at a time like the present, neither is true. When the government is secure, it is true, writing is both dispiriting and often ineffective, but at a time when MPs fear for their personal prospects, writing is hugely effective – it is what finally did for Johnson and Truss. They are worried now; they may just give you the normal boiler-plate response, but it makes them take notice.
For those who have never done it before, do not worry, these notes make it very quick and easy – it should take you less than five minutes and the only thing you need to know is your own address:
- Introduce yourself as a constituent – and if you have never written before, say so: the fact that people other than ‘the usual suspects’ are writing to them concentrates an MP’s mind
- Be polite – don’t give them a reason to ignore the letter
- Focus on the NHS – keep focussed so they cannot dodge the issue, and keep it very brief – 10 lines or fewer is ideal.
- Make it personal –eg. “My neighbour has diabetes; if the NHS fails, she will be uninsurable – and she cannot afford to fund her own treatment” and make it clear that you will never vote for them in the future if they do not act now, in the national interest
- Be specific about the action you expect the MP to take – right now, we suggest something along these lines, but in your own words: “I have just read The Rational Policy-maker’s Guide to the NHS and I want to see you supporting it vocally in public. Or I will not think of voting for you.”
Actually writing to them is easy. This website will find all the details you need and even send your email for you: https://www.writetothem.com/ All you need to do is to prepare the text of your letter and paste it in.