The aim of the Assembly in Nottingham was to create a forum for individuals and organisations to come together to discuss the continued development of a ‘health movement’ in the UK.
Essentially, we invited a range of groups and stakeholders to come and participate in a big discussion about health, justice and the state of democracy – and how health and health equity provides an important and strategic platform for action. The Nottingham PHA was developed as a ‘mirror’ event, to coincide with the third global PHA being held in Cape Town from the 6th – 11th July.
The programme emphasised group interaction, which took many forms, including workshops, open space discussions, videos and podcasts, dramas. These were supported by inputs from speakers on the various topics, which were all based on the People’s Health Charter. We also made links with the PHA in Cape Town during the two days.
Speakers included Allyson Pollock (prof. of public health, author NHS Plc.), John Lister (Director of Health Emergency), Tim Street (UK Uncut), Richard Taylor (doctor, former MP), Sarah Walpole (doctor, Climate and Health Council), and Roberto de Vogli (prof. of global health).
The Assembly ended with the development of a statement which has formed the basis for ongoing discussion as we develop and build the UK PHM and UK Health Manifesto.
- Help build a progressive local to global health movement in the UK.
- Participate in restoring the NHS to its founding principles.
- Learn from leading experts about the local and global determinants of health.
- Network with organisations and individuals involved in health and social activism.
- Take part in developing a UK People’s Health Manifesto.
A group of health activists who are affiliated to the People’s Health Movement (PHM) – a global network of grassroots health activists, civil society organisations and academic institutions from around the world, particularly from low and middle income countries. This Assembly was organised to shape the formation of a health movement in the UK, building on a range of existing groups and organisations including NGOs, grassroots campaigns such as Keep our NHS Public, community-based health organisations, academic departments and research institutes, trade unions and others.
Legislation has effectively abolished the NHS. Patients will suffer. Health care inequalities will rise. Conflicts of interest will become more frequent. Medical ethics will deteriorate. More money will be wasted on shareholders and greed.
Across Europe, the bail out of a corrupt and discredited banking system is already increasing poverty, unemployment and premature mortality. Alternative policies that would be fairer, more sustainable and provide a healthier foundation for society are being ignored.
Globally, billions of people live in poverty and with hunger. Climate change – the biggest threat to human health in the 21st century – is being left unabated.
The threats described above are not inevitable. They result from “a toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics”.
A social movement on health and a health movement for society
A social movement on health is needed – not just to restore the NHS to its founding principles, but also to ensure that community and individual health is placed at the heart of all policies.
A health movement provides a platform for different elements of society to band around a progressive social, political and economic agenda for human and ecological well-being.
A health movement for society is also required. Health professionals have a duty and a mandate to get involved with social policies. Politics are too important to be left in the hands of politicians, businessmen and management consultants.