Corporate interests rather than patient care is driving reform in today’s NHS and will divert money away from you. And the media are failing to tell you this.
This film is radical. With over a dozen NHS insiders as my witnesses, I tell the alarming story of how the health service as we know it has been quietly abolished. Almost without our noticing, it’s been replaced by a system modelled on the US in which care is delivered by profit-maximising companies that charge patients for treatment which is anyway to be restricted and reduced.
One medical reporter the film-maker knows claims that health reporting today is so poor because few journalists have real sources inside the NHS. Well, this film has a riot of medical sources – including one professor, two consultant radiologists, a cancer expert, a public interest lawyer, and several outspoken GPs. What they all say will be shocking, unusual and brave. Our doctors really strike back in this one.
I shine a torch on what some doctors see as a glaring omission in the national psyche. I have identified a powerful group of figures within the NHS who are alarmed by the public’s lack of awareness about the abolition of their NHS. This film follows their arguments right the way up to the Health Secretary’s relinquishing of responsibility for the nation’s health, and argues that it must be reversed. This film also takes you on a personal journey to a national theme that has massive implications for us all. It reveals a hidden agenda that’s already having disastrous effects. According to one senior consultant: ‘It’s like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank’. Each of the insiders speak to us intimately, as if we’re patients in the consulting room. These doctors are people simply doing their jobs by putting their patients’ interests, which are also the viewers’ interests, first.
What perhaps surprises us most is how efficiency and quality drop. Or, perilously, how close we are to falling forever down a pitiless US-style empty well of no-bucks-no-care. Though the diagnosis remains bleak, the strength of the characters at the film’s disposal should give us surprising hope, casting flashes of light across an otherwise bleak landscape. The style of the film is intimate, hand-held scrupulousness. Interviews take place in discreet corners of hospitals, surgeries and streets, the images at times elevated by a powerful soundtrack, leaving the viewer with an overall admiration for the doctors’ speaking out, combined with anger at what’s happening.
This film was posted in November 2014, and the destruction of the NHS, as we knew it, a service free at the point of use, and available to all, on the basis of clinical need, continues apace.
Thanks to Peter Batch, film-maker, and most of all to everyone on the front-line of the NHS, who fights, every day, to defend the principal of a truly national service, providing the best possible health care.