1. The government has put massive investment into the NHS, yet polls suggest the Tories are now more trusted to run it. What would be the first three steps that you would like to see to improve the NHS?
The government have massively increased investment in the NHS, and it is absurd that we are now in the situation of the Tories being more trusted than a Labour government. Firstly, I would like to see a stop to the constant churn of structural change and its destabilising effects. Secondly, we need to rebuild relationships with staff and finally get staff and users working together to design improved services. Third – we need a moratorium on private sector involvement in the NHS so a full review can be held.
2. Why do you think health reforms have produced such a strong reaction from NHS staff?
Staff feel there have been a series of restructures imposed on them, which they have not had the opportunity to contribute to. The recent Healthcare Commission survey showed a downward trend in morale and job satisfaction from NHS staff; quality services depend upon the staff delivering those services, and they have to be involved alongside users in designing services and improving them.
3. Should extensive private sector involvement in the health service be continued or curtailed and why? Do you favour the expansion of private involvement into primary care, with companies running GP surgeries and PCT services being outsourced?
I believe there should be a moratorium on private sector involvement in the NHS; we are travelling down a dangerous road of increased fragmentation with core NHS services in private sector hands.
4. Aside from private sector involvement, reforms have aimed to create a quasi-market with NHS hospitals competing with each other and earning their ‘payments by results’. Has this been wise and should it continue to be the direction of travel?
There is no doubt that the introduction of such a system, and the way it was introduced, has had a hugely destabilising effect on local health economies.
5. There has been talk recently of charges for health services – Charles Clarke said the NHS should provide core services for free but demand a fee for peripheral treatments. What would your policy be on NHS charges?
I do not believe we want to travel down the road of eroding free health care, it is a fundamental principle of the NHS.
6. Does the public really value choice in the NHS?
I believe the public value high quality, local and tailored care – that is something different to simply valuing choice over who delivers health care.
Hilary Wainwright argues against reclaiming populism for the left and for a leadership that supports people’s capacity for self-government
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Omar Barghouti asks whether Donald Trump, in his recent break with America’s long-standing support for the two-state solution, has unwittingly revived the debate about the plausibility, indeed the necessity, of a single, democratic state in historic Palestine?
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In 1972 David Widgery wrote about the bitter intensity of love in capitalism
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Emma Snaith speaks with directors Emer Mary Morris and Nina Scott about the power of theatre to encourage community resistance to estate demolitions.
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Photos from The World Transformed festival in Liverpool, by David Walters
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The YPJ: Fighting Isis on the frontline
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Joint statement on George Osborne’s appointment to the Evening Standard
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Paul O’Connell and Michael Calderbank consider the conditions that led to the Brexit vote, and how the left in Britain should respond
On the right side of history: an interview with Mijente
Marienna Pope-Weidemann speaks to Reyna Wences, co-founder of Mijente, a radical Latinx and Chincanx organising network
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The City of London Corporation is one of the most secretive and least understood institutions in the world, writes Luke Walter
#AndABlackWomanAtThat: a discussion of power and privilege
In the first article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr reflects on the oppression of her early life and how we must fight it, even in our own movement
Corbyn understands the needs of our communities
Ian Hodson reflects on the Copeland by-election and explains why Corbyn has the full support of The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 15 March
On 15 March, we’ll be holding the first of Red Pepper’s Race Section open editorial meetings.
Social Workers Without Borders
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Growing up married
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The Migrant Connections Festival: solidarity needs meaningful relationships
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Reclaiming Holloway Homes
The government is closing old, inner-city jails. Rebecca Roberts looks at what happens next
Intensification of state violence in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey
Oppression increases in the run up to Turkey’s constitutional referendum, writes Mehmet Ugur from Academics for Peace
Pass the domestic violence bill
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Report from the second Citizen’s Assembly of Podemos
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Red Pepper’s new race editor, Ashish Ghadiali, introduces a new space for black and minority progressive voices
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Jenny Nelson reports on a session at The World Transformed
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Utopia: Work less play more
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Mum’s Colombian mine protest comes to London
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