Teesside doctor at forefront of new political party fighting NHS reforms

The Northern Echo: Clive Peedell Clive Peedell

A 'SAVE the NHS' party will consider running candidates in this region, its founder - a Middlesbrough cancer doctor - revealed at its launch today.

Dr Clive Peedell said the new 'National Health Action' (NHA) party aimed to put up 50 candidates at the next general election against MPs who back the government's controversial health revolution.

David Cameron, George Osborne, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Andrew Lansley - the previous Health Secretary, who pushed through the pro-market shake-up - will all face challenges.

But Dr Peedell played down suggestions of a head-to-head fight with William Hague, in Richmond, saying: "I don't think Mr Hague has much influence over health policy."

The doctor, a consultant clinical oncologist at James Cook University hospital, since 2004, was speaking to The Northern Echo at the Westminster launch of the NHA.

The idea is that respected medics - who believe the Health Act is "destroying the NHS" - will stand up for patients and professionals who are determined to save a collective service.

The inspiration is the 2001 success of Richard Taylor, a local doctor, who won a Midlands seat in protest over the closure of the local hospital's accident and emergency unit.

Dr Peedell said: "David Cameron and Andrew Lansley are the main creators of market-driven health policies which are destroying the NHS.

"NHA will send a clear message to the public that the NHS will be increasingly dismantled and handed over to the corporate sector - unless we fight to maintain it as a public service."

Critics say the Health Act - spite being watered down, after an outcry last year - will allow the creeping privatisation of the NHS, leading to a rump service, while most patients pay 'top-ups' for treatments.

Dr Peedell has become famous as a firebrand opponent on the BMA council, attacking both the current changes and Labour's pro-market reforms that paved the way for them.

In January, he - and David Wilson, a colleague at the James Cook Hospital - ran 160 miles from a statue of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, in Cardiff, to Whitehall, in protest.

However, Dr Peedell has suggested he is reluctant to stand for parliament himself, preferring to fight for the NHS from his seat on the BMA's ruling body.

This week, he did hint he would run if there was a "real Blairite, right-winger" to challenge, adding: "If Alan Milburn was in parliament, I'd definitely run for election."

Apparently ruling out a challenge in Richmond leaves Redcar - held by Liberal Democrat Ian Swales - or other Tory-held seats in North Yorkshire as possible bids for office.

However, Labour is believed to be nervous about NHA splitting the anti-Coalition vote - potentially saving Tory MPs who would otherwise be defeated.

Comments (9)

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4:24pm Thu 15 Nov 12

consumer says...

Pointless egotistical willy-waving. He should join the Labour Party and promote his policies work that framework. Anthing else will only help the anti-NHS Tories and their Liberal backers.
Pointless egotistical willy-waving. He should join the Labour Party and promote his policies work that framework. Anthing else will only help the anti-NHS Tories and their Liberal backers. consumer

5:03pm Thu 15 Nov 12

frankyboy says...

It doesn't seem a very honourable start for Dr Peedell and the NHA.

Lots of questions.

Why Andrew Lansley, he's gone? Spite? If they do challenge Lansley, why not challenge some of the Labour MPs who started these 'pro-market reforms'? The 50 MPs they are targetting will clearly be mainly Tories.

Does Dr Peedell have some connection with Mr Hague? Why let him off; as the Foreign Secretary, Hague would be a high-profile target for the NHA, unlike Ian Swales in Redcar.

Is Dr Peedell concerned about Labour being nervous about splitting the vote? Is he a Labour man, and, if so, should he not make that clear?

And why do cancer patients have to wait so long to be seen at James Cook? Is it because the consultants are too busy playing politics?
It doesn't seem a very honourable start for Dr Peedell and the NHA. Lots of questions. Why Andrew Lansley, he's gone? Spite? If they do challenge Lansley, why not challenge some of the Labour MPs who started these 'pro-market reforms'? The 50 MPs they are targetting will clearly be mainly Tories. Does Dr Peedell have some connection with Mr Hague? Why let him off; as the Foreign Secretary, Hague would be a high-profile target for the NHA, unlike Ian Swales in Redcar. Is Dr Peedell concerned about Labour being nervous about splitting the vote? Is he a Labour man, and, if so, should he not make that clear? And why do cancer patients have to wait so long to be seen at James Cook? Is it because the consultants are too busy playing politics? frankyboy

5:24pm Thu 15 Nov 12

marilyn49 says...

Good luck to the Doc...the professionals are right to stand up and be counted.People are sick- no pun- of being fed untruths by politicians who count on the experts -doctors, teachers et al- to have their noses to the grindstone. It's time Cameron and his cronies paid attention to the people who know what they are talking about.
Good luck to the Doc...the professionals are right to stand up and be counted.People are sick- no pun- of being fed untruths by politicians who count on the experts -doctors, teachers et al- to have their noses to the grindstone. It's time Cameron and his cronies paid attention to the people who know what they are talking about. marilyn49

11:24pm Thu 15 Nov 12

spragger says...

Its OUR NHS, not the staffs

This lot have done very well out of our taxes. Get on with the day job that we pay you for, saving lives
Its OUR NHS, not the staffs This lot have done very well out of our taxes. Get on with the day job that we pay you for, saving lives spragger

3:16am Fri 16 Nov 12

George BA says...

Spragger hits the nail on the head, get on being a health care professional.

Even if 50 are elected they will have no control over government policy.

The NHSParty don't seem to understand one of the biggest problems with the NHS is the culture formed around the Consultants themselves. Patients are there for them in their minds, not the other way around,

ITV's Exposure showed the true culture of NHS consultants, who put NHS patients second.

The tax payer pays for the training and salaries of these highly paid consultants, if they want to do private work, they should pay back the nhs for all their training first.

If they have a NHS contract they shouldn't be allowed to do private work, nurses wouldn't be allowed to moonlight.

NHS needs change, but start with Consultant culture first.
Spragger hits the nail on the head, get on being a health care professional. Even if 50 are elected they will have no control over government policy. The NHSParty don't seem to understand one of the biggest problems with the NHS is the culture formed around the Consultants themselves. Patients are there for them in their minds, not the other way around, ITV's Exposure showed the true culture of NHS consultants, who put NHS patients second. The tax payer pays for the training and salaries of these highly paid consultants, if they want to do private work, they should pay back the nhs for all their training first. If they have a NHS contract they shouldn't be allowed to do private work, nurses wouldn't be allowed to moonlight. NHS needs change, but start with Consultant culture first. George BA

12:03pm Fri 16 Nov 12

frankyboy says...

George BA - well said. I completely agree.
George BA - well said. I completely agree. frankyboy

1:46pm Fri 16 Nov 12

loonyleft says...

seems like there are some frightened little tories on hear,whats the matter can't take it when you try to bully people,and they start to fight back,i hope this new party takes votes of the tories just like the ukip party then we will see how you gutless tories like it. l.o.l.
seems like there are some frightened little tories on hear,whats the matter can't take it when you try to bully people,and they start to fight back,i hope this new party takes votes of the tories just like the ukip party then we will see how you gutless tories like it. l.o.l. loonyleft

12:34am Sun 18 Nov 12

Dean M says...

Dr Peedell should be sacked. He's paid huge sums of taxpayers money to practice medicine, not politics. If he doesn't like the way the government is managing the NHS then he should have the guts to resign his position and stand for election.
He will then lose his huge consultant's salary of course. So he won't do it.
Dr Peedell should be sacked. He's paid huge sums of taxpayers money to practice medicine, not politics. If he doesn't like the way the government is managing the NHS then he should have the guts to resign his position and stand for election. He will then lose his huge consultant's salary of course. So he won't do it. Dean M

7:18pm Mon 19 Nov 12

loonyleft says...

Dean m,you are getting really rattled ,this is a free country, anybody is allowed to stand for parliament,if this party is formed and it damages the tory party,tough luck the government should have thought of that when they started to attack the n.h.s..
Dean m,you are getting really rattled ,this is a free country, anybody is allowed to stand for parliament,if this party is formed and it damages the tory party,tough luck the government should have thought of that when they started to attack the n.h.s.. loonyleft

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