By Lucette Davies

If seeing the first strike by nurses in 106 years or reading about the chaos in A&E units hasn’t convinced you that are NHS is being dismantled, perhaps this will? Sajid Javid is now calling for charges to be introduced for visits to our GPs and A&E departments. He claims the current model of the NHS is unsustainable. On that point we agree – the current model for UK healthcare IS unsustainable.

Back in 2012/13 our Government spent a total of £131.7bn on the NHS. While far from being perfect most people would remember getting a considerably better service than we do now. Nurses were also not using foodbanks and taking industrial action.

Inflation in the NHS stands at around 4% / year. So had our Government left things alone and continued increasing the NHS budget at 4% / year they would need to be spending £202.74 by 2023/24. Instead they are budgeting to spend £182bn over the coming year.

The difference between the figures I have given above is just £20bn. Less than the amount they managed to find when Liz Truss crashed the economy. Just over half the amount they wasted on a test and trace system that didn’t work.

The constant restructuring, reorganizing, privatizing and making ‘efficiency savings’ is the reason why our NHS is performing so badly now. £20bn sounds like a lot of money but in Governmental terms it isn’t much. If we could take our NHS back to the model we had in 2012 and invest just another £20bn, lives would be saved.

In the UK today we are now seeing 500 excess deaths a day. That is 500 mothers, fathers, friends, and children dying needlessly every day. It is more lives being lost than the number of UK forces killed in the war in Afghanistan every day.

We don’t want to stand by and allow this process of destroying the healthcare service we rely on to continue. Nor, will we condone any move to introduce charges for accessing services which would cost the sick and disabled far more than the healthy. And we will not stand by and allow our nurses to have their efforts unrewarded with unfair pay agreements.

The Sussex Integrated Care Board (ICB) does not have enough money for this year to continue to provide even the level of services we have now. We are calling on them to make public any proposals they may have for cuts, the introduction of charges or changes to staff pay public. They are entitled to do all of these things to keep within the budget set.

We urgently need more help. Please sign this petition to our ICB and visit our website where we detail other actions you can take to help protect our access to healthcare. We now even have a newly designed shop page where you can but T-shirts, mugs and face masks to declare your support for the NHS. Every item sold will help us with funds so we can do more to help protect our NHS.