Hands Off Our GPs – NHS: A serious threat

I received an email from 38degrees and have pasted the entire message below.

Having paid into the NHS via taxes for over forty years. I have had little or no need to call on the NHS throughout my early life. So, as you can imagine, I am disgusted to find, just when I am reaching an age where I may need to the services of a GP a little more frequently, the government has an eye to limit my access and make me pay, AGAIN !!.

It is hard enough to get to see a doctor at the best of times. The last thing we need is a limit on the number of visits you are allowed.

Take a read and see if you don’t feel the same way. If you do, add your name to the petition.

This could be very serious. The Conservatives are floating plans to cap the number of times we are allowed to visit our GP. [1] If we run out of visits – because we’ve got a sickly child or long-term health condition, for example – we could be forced to pay to go elsewhere.

At the moment it’s just a proposal. [2] But if the Conservatives don’t see a big public backlash, it could soon be a grim reality. So let’s raise an outcry as quickly as possible and push them to drop the idea immediately.

Please sign the urgent petition now: tell health minister Jeremy Hunt to rule out limiting our access to NHS GPs:

Jeremy Hunt will be watching the public’s reaction carefully. He is an ambitious politician with an eye on his own popularity. If he sees a huge petition growing fast, he’ll realise this is damaging his ratings. So if enough of us sign, we could play a key role in getting this idea dropped.

Being able to visit the family doctor when we need it is a bedrock of a decent health system. GPs are often our first port of call when we’re ill. [3] Limiting access to GPs could mean a dangerous illness is left undetected until it’s too late – unless of course you’ve got private medical insurance…

But this isn’t just about GPs. This is about a principle at the heart of our battle to protect the NHS. Since the NHS was created, everyone in Britain has been able to rely on visiting a doctor as often as we need to. Limiting access would undermine the NHS at its very foundations. So let’s send the Conservatives a strong message: drop this terrible idea.


Thanks for being involved,

David, Rebecca, Travis, Blanche and the 38 Degrees Team

PS: Here’s what the chair of the Royal College of GPs said about these proposals: “This was obviously written by someone who has never been unwell, or has never met people who work in the health service.” Let’s not let the idea get any further – please sign the petition now: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/dont-cap-GP-visits

[1] Daily Mail: Fury as Tories look to limit the number of times you can see your GP each year:
Independent: Cap on number of GP visits being considered by Tories:
[2] The proposal is contained in a “Conservative Policy Forum” paper on NHS policy, you can see the whole thing here:
[3] See for example this campaign on the importance of going to see your GP early if you could have symptoms of bowel cancer:

What A Journey

It’s nearly five o’clock. AM that is. And I can’t bloody sleep. And that’s really surprising after having spent over six hours driving to get here.
I guess we should have known better, travelling on a Friday afternoon, crossing half the country at knocking off time and it being a bank holiday weekend. To be honest we never gave it a thought.
We set out just after two, heading west along the M27 then north up th A34. The roads were busy but we made good time until we were near Oxford at which point we stopped. Then we crawled. Stop, start, stop, start.
The satnag had been trying to get us to leave the A34 for a while but we knew better. Doggedly sticking to the route that we have travelled dozens of times before. Around this time the travel totty on the radio began to pile on the gloom. Spouting tales of woe, an “incident” on the M6, problems on the M42, animals rampaging on this road, a car overturned on that. Then there was the M25 with a traffic jam of some 25 to 30 miles. To cap it all there were news items telling of aeronautical mayhem. Jet fighters scrambled to escort a Pakistani Airlines flight, forcing it to land at Stansted while another incident at Heathrow saw a plane return to the ground with smoke and flames belching from one of it’s engines. The passengers and crew taking to the slides to exit the plane.
It was beginning to seem like Armageddon.
So with all the portents against us we opted to take the satnags advice and abandon the A34. We took the exit for Woodstock and were soon zig zagging our way along A and B roads straight to another traffic jam. According to the nag we were on Station Road heading towards Ardley. All I knew was we were ‘ardley moving.

By the way, it is now 05:25 and there appears to be a party cranking up in the next room. The female voice that has been gabbling on incessantly, since before I started this, has now been supplemented by music and whooping. From the other side it seems someone has struck lucky as the intermittent creaking has reached a crescendo and finally stopped.

Where was I, oh yes, slowly creeping up on the M40. So we made it onto a motorway and managed to make some progress until we had to transfer to the M42. This, like the M25, has an active traffic control system with varying speed limits. Needless to say it was in operation, the gantry’s flashing that we could travel at 40 mph. So of course we were stationary.

Once again the satnag was trying to coerce us into leaving the motorway but after our last, recent, voyage into the unknown, we decided to stay put. After all, one traffic jam is as good as another.

And so we stuttered along on our journey. We made it onto the M6 but our speed didn’t increase by much as the volume of traffic was swollen by hundreds of extra vehicles being forced to stay on the motorway as one of the exits had been closed. Once we got onto the M6 toll we really got a move on and were whizzing along at full motorway speed. Whoohoo !!

Well that didn’t last for long, 30 odd miles and then back to the rolling log jams we were getting used to.

Eventually we made it to our destination, despite the delays we were only about an hour and three quarters later than our original eta. Bearing in mind we would normally have had a pee break and perhaps a coffee. On this occasion the only stops we made were not by choice.

Which is why it is all the more surprising that I am awake at this ungodly hour.

The radio has gone off, baggy mouth has stopped talking and Mr Lucky has presumably drifted off into a blissful sleep.

I think I’ll try and grab me some more Z’s too.

Good Night

Serious concerns over Welborne

And well there might be serious concerns over Welborne, the new town to be built north of Fareham.

Welborne - An artists impression of the new town to be built north of Fareham
Welborne – An artists impression of the new town to be built north of Fareham

It doesn’t require expensive surveys to be carried out. It doesn’t require the employment of expensive consultants. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense can see what is going to happen, knows what chaos will descend on this area once those new houses are built. One only has to take a look at the Segensworth area, try travelling through it during peak traffic times.

Once complete, the town, to be named Welborne, will have 6,500 homes, roughly the same amount as Petersfield.

So a town the size of Petersfield will be created just over a kilometer from the town of Fareham. The amount of traffic that the new development will generate on the M27 corridor is truly unknown but it can be guessed at. I guarantee that we will see similar log jams on the new, yet to be built, M27 slip roads, similar to those seen at Segensworth.
The traffic levels around Fareham are already high especially with access to the M27 and also on the road down to Gosport and Lee. Welborne will certainly add significantly to that since the local councillors have indicated that future Welborne residents will also be looking to the new jobs being generated at Daedalus.

Fareham Councillor Sean Woodward is being quite disingenuous when he says of opponents to Welborne …..

‘I’d love to know what their alternative is. It’s easy to say do not build anything, anywhere, but councillors are charged with providing new housing and we have 2,000 families on the waiting list which need housing.

Woodward states that the current  need is housing for 2000 families is somewhat less than the 6,500 homes proposed for Welborne.

Planning for future demand is all well and good but its the density of the housing being proposed that is the concern.

Woodward certainly  knows the chaos to come because, despite all assurances, the infrastructure will not be in place to support the additional load. The roads, the utilities, the available employment, all will be sadly lacking.

This will be an urban disaster.

Country campaigners raise serious concerns over Welborne – Politics – Portsmouth News.

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