It’s good to read in Bill Wiggin’s ‘Talking Point’ last week that he wants to stop our money being wasted on agency staff in the NHS. I agree with him that ‘it is important that the NHS is able to manage its staffing budget and is not privatised by agencies who pay far higher rates’. However, it is not agencies who are privatising the NHS, it is his own party! Many Herefordians are disappointed to see the support Bill, and Jesse Norman, have given over the years to the Government’s starving of our precious health service, and encouragement of wasteful internal markets.
Do we want Herefordshire to go the way of Bath and North East Somerset, where Virgin Care are now running NHS and social care services? Where do we want our taxes to end up – in a nurse’s pocket or in Richard Branson’s tax haven? The NHS is in serious danger, and to protect it as a public service, not a profit opportunity for big business, we have to challenge this Conservative obsession with breaking up and selling off our assets and services. It’s sad to see Bill and Jesse sharing this ideology, and I would like to remind them that Herefordshire is not for sale, the UK is not a business, and we are citizens not consumers. Some things, like the NHS, are priceless.