A story continued from previous about life at the Fortune Practice
Alex was in morning surgery, running late….
She had to get to London: The 38 degrees conference was on. The 38 degrees membership had been polled: 96% of the membership said they were STILL interested in funding events that kept the NHS alive…well if there was one thing she had learned in her 12 years of qualification….one had to listen to the patients.
She had done everything she could to prevent the passage of the Health Care and Social Services Bill, lobbied her patients, attended the BMA SRM and voted, stood on Keep the NHS Public stalls marched on the TUC march, twittered and most important had stayed informed…On that terrible day on the 19th of March 2012 she followed the Lords debate live on line…and, yes, sank into a well of gloom when finally the Bill was passed. Now there was a new hope , artists, doctors, journalists, campaigners, charities and the men and women of the street rising from the ashes ready to fight again. They were reorganizing, finding their feet…the next phase of the battle was about to begin.
Alex got off the tube and saw a double decker bus advertising Stonewall. Activism and protest were not dead…maybe even more alive under the Tories. If she had turned her head for one second she would have crossed Abi’s path. Abi was attending another conference nearby that she had somehow got invited to at which her much maligned Andrew Lansley was speaking….
The 38 degrees conference was chaired by a Guardian reporter in the old GMC building on Hallam street, how appropriate that now they were here, the public regulating the profession!
Every speaker talked about patients, patients patients, that was her language. The public had been so poorly informed of the passage of the Bill…they had to know what was happening…
Alex’s gloom was turning back into active ferver and then Dr. Louise Irvine said “ the NHS is not dead, it’s frail like a chronic disease and needs to be managed…” “That’s what we’ll do we’ll nurse it back to health” Alex thought “that’s what we’re good at. We’ll show that collaboration and dedication and love of the institution was better that the ethos of competition and we’ll make it even better than it was before”…but how? The finances and the work they would have to do looked like it was all designed to fail and pave the way for a two tiered system that would force everyone to get private health insurance…let the Nation decide
The Nation loved and understood their service….Never underestimate the public.
Alex needed to win the election in her CCG and get her voice heard