Dr Alex Ashman
I joined the NHA in 2012 because I was deeply unhappy with the Health & Social Care Act. As a surgical registrar I have seen first-hand the costly bureaucracies and rationing of care that resulted from the growing marketisation of our health service. It is vital we support measures to reinstate a nationalised NHS, whilst campaigning against further fragmentation such as the STPs.
Having worked as a volunteer founding and running the NHA Facebook page, I was elected to the NHA’s national executive committee in 2014. I was on the ballot for the Euro Elections that year, and I supported Dr Louise Irvine in her General Election campaigns against Jeremy Hunt.
I have worked closely with the party administrators and the previous co-leaders, and I have a good knowledge of the party and its aims. I feel the NHA should be led not just by its co-leaders, but by the executive committee and with reference to the party membership as a whole. I wish to retain the party’s original ideals whilst developing the NHA as a political and campaigning body.
I am a retired accountant and ex Further Education College Principal. For about 10 years I was Finance Director and team leader for mergers and acquisitions for a very large American multi national company and latterly as a Senior Business consultant resolving management. I am married with a 15 year old son who has severe learning needs and so I have first hand experience of Health and Social services. I understand the issues both from a user and a management point of view.
I am very involved in the voluntary sector as well. I am
- Chair of a local Healthwatch
- Governor at 2 special needs schools
- Parish Councillor
- Chair and founder of my town's Disability network
I am very concerned about how the changes in our health and social services sectors are affecting not only the quality and access to services but also our approach to societal change which at the moment seems to be regressive rather than progressive.
I feel it my duty to help to influence these changes by playing a role in achieving the vision and delivering the mission of the National Health Action Party.
I was a founding member of NHA in 2012, and was elected as Nominating Officer for the first 12 months. I stood down from the Executive of the party as there was a potential conflict of interest arising from my work at NICE. Since then I have acted in a non-voting advisory role on elections to the committee. Any potential conflict of interest was resolved when I changed jobs this year and so I would like to stand again for the executive.
I have a PhD in voting theory and practice and have been the author of two amendments to the Australian Electoral Act of 1983. Since migrating to the UK in 1996, I have worked as a health economist, both as an academic and as an economic advisor to NICE Appraisals and Public Health committees. This work has given me a number of insights into the way that the NHS has been run.
As a follower of the Nobel prizewinners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, I have never been a fan of the harsh austerity plan that was followed by the UK government since 2010. I am deeply concerned at the lack of funding for the NHS, for health prevention, social care and other local government activities. France and Germany spend some 25% more on health per head than we do in the UK, and the gap is widening. They are not cutting back like the UK, even when their economies are growing more slowly than ours. Of course we can afford to spend significantly more on hospitals, GPs and ambulances. They have been starved of funds which has meant missed targets. Privatisation may sometimes provide a cheaper service, but usually at the expense of quality. You and I could buy a car for £400, but most of us don't, because a jalopy is poor value for money. So is a jalopy privatised health service.
I am a consultant in Public Health in the NHS for many years, specialising in health care needs assessment and service planning. I now work part time in the NHS as a consultant in clinical commissioning and as an independent consultant in NHS service improvement projects. I am an honorary senior lecturer in health services research, I have carried out many research projects to improve health and social care.
I am a founder-member of the NHA Party and have been minutes secretary for three years. I am passionate about achieving better health for all of us and there is evidence that a more egalitarian society is a healthier society. It is crucial that we have a comprehensive health and social care service which is of excellent quality and available for all.
Dr Louise Irvine
Chair of Save Lewisham Hospital
NHA representative for Health Campaigns Together
I have been a GP in south east London for over 20 years. I joined the NHA party shortly after it was founded and have been an executive member for the past two years. I have been a member of Keep Our NHS Public and an active campaigner in defence of the NHS for many years. When my local hospital came under threat of closure I launched the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and have been chair of the campaign since then. The campaign was spectacularly successful: high points include a demonstration of 25,000 people in Lewisham and winning our judicial review both in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
I stood for the National Health Action Party against Jeremy Hunt in South West Surrey in the general election, winning nearly 5000 votes (8%) in 2015 and over 12,000 votes (20%) in 2017. Along with all our other great candidates, helped to make the wider public more aware of the threats to the NHS from privatisation and underfunding. I am on the Council of the British Medical Association, elected there because of my track record in opposing the Health and Social Care Bill. I am also a member of Doctors in Unite, which is the medical branch of Unite the Union.
The NHA Party punches well above its weight in its impact on the public discourse on the NHS and it is vital that we continue to do so. I see the National Health Action Party as having an important profile and set of ideas and messages that complements the work of other pro NHS organisations in fighting privatisation, cuts and attacks on NHS staff. I think it is important that we work closely with these other organisations while making our unique contribution. The NHA Party must also promote its positive vision of how the NHS could be improved, by getting rid of the market, enabling genuine co-operation and collaboration, funding it properly and giving a stronger voice to patients and staff.
Mental Health Expert
Prior to my election in 2015, I had been an NHA supporter for a couple of years and a full member for about a year. This is the first time in my life that I have joined a political party.
I work in the NHS and can see for myself how NHS cuts and privatisation under the guise of austerity affect patients and staff. I want no part in privatisation, I wish to campaign for a socially just, publicly funded and delivered NHS.
Dr Helen Salisbury
I’m a GP in Oxford and I have worked in the NHS for 25 years. I also teach medical students at Oxford University. I stood for the NHA in the 2015 General Election for Oxford West and Abingdon and at the Witney By-election in 2016.
I am an effective public speaker and am building experience with live radio broadcasting and social media. I will try to bring common sense, optimism and a focus on our shared goals – to keep a comprehensive NHS, publicly provided and funded out of general taxation. I hope we will be able to collaborate with others who share our aims and challenge those who do not. The party has two local councillors and is in a good position to grow and become a louder voice in defence of the NHS, which it sorely needs. I will be effective in raising that voice.
Formerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Marcus Chown is a writer, journalist and broadcaster (www.marcuschown.com). His most recent book, The Ascent of Gravity, was The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year 2017. He is a prolific and informative user of Twitter and in 2014 was named by The Telegraph the 5th most influential over 50 on Twitter (after Simon Cowell, Gary Lineker, Lord Sugar and Jeremy Clarkson) . In 2014, Marcus stood for NHA in the London euro elections. His wife, who has been an NHS nurse for more than 30 years, is a community palliative care nurse.
I want the party to become a truly focused force for our NHS by standing up at every opportunity to challenge the political elite on their brutal and undemocratic treatment of our services which are having a negative impact on our patients and colleagues.
Having been an elected NHA Official within local government I know the lessons we would learn to build a bigger and better campaign structure to create an effective campaign force and engage with the public on the issues that matter to them.
We must take advantage of the changing political climate and show people that not all politicians are the same and that we have shared vision of fair treatment of all and a fully publicly funded NHS. We need to look at how UKIP as an outsider party managed to steer the Government into having the European Union debate and referendum. We must find our own way of steering the government and the formal opposition into holding the same debate about the NHS and the state of our health and social services generally. As a party we need to steer this debate in the public interest.
We must work hard to get as many of our own members on to NHS Foundation Trust boards and to hold the management and government departments at all levels to account.
The party needs to be fully funded and members fully engaged in our policies, campaigns and procedures. I want to make the NHA a stronger and more focused party.
I retired from my full time NHS job as Associate Specialist in Anaesthetics in August 2017 having worked for the NHS since 1984. I am continuing to work part time in anaesthetics as and when required for my local NHS hospital. I live and work in Somerset.
For several years I had been increasingly concerned by many of the changes imposed on the NHS by politicians. I had also begun to notice the increasing social injustice throughout our society. I felt I had to do something more constructive than just grumbling. It was then that I joined the National Health Action Party. Very recently I joined Citizens Advice as a volunteer. This has given me further insight into many social problems some of which I had not previously encountered.
Since joining the party I have attended several marches. I helped campaign for Helen Salisbury in the Witney by-election caused by David Cameron's resignation as an MP. I also helped campaign for Louise Irvine against Jeremy Hunt in South West Surrey in the June 2017 general election. I have a little past experience of committee work. I was treasurer of our local group of the Institute of Advanced Motorists for two years.
These are very exciting times politically, anything is possible. I believe the National Health Action Party can make a real difference and enable people who believe in the NHS and social justice to influence their local MP and thereby ultimately influence decisions in parliament. I believe that we can increase our influence if we work together with other like minded groups wherever we have shared aims. I also believe that during the next general election campaign there will still be many people dissatisfied with the current main political parties who will turn to a party like ours.
I believe I would be a useful member of the committee because I am passionate about returning our National Health Service to being the envy of the world. I still have first hand experience of working in the NHS although very part time now. I have some experience of campaigning and I am prepared to
work hard for the party.
I hope you will feel that you can vote for me so that I have the opportunity to play my part.
Anne Summers Ph.D is a historian and archivist, a former Wellcome Trust Research Fellow who has written and published extensively on the history of nursing and of military medicine. Currently she is an Honorary Research Fellow of Birkbeck College, and Chair of the Friends of The Women's Library. Where health services are concerned, she feels that those who have failed to study the history are condemning us to repeat it, in the first instance as tragedy, and in the second instance ... as tragedy. The NHA has to expose and challenge a return to 'pre-Victorian Values' in medicine as in the market.
Harry Hayfield stood in the local elections for Ceredigion council where in his ward he polled 22% of the popular vote (ranking him as one of the top five highest vote gainers for candidates not standing for a mainstream party in those elections). He has been a member of the NHA Party since June 2016 after defecting from the Liberal Democrats over his grandmother’s treatment in the NHS (which saw her have to pay to have a hip operation after being unable to stand the pain whilst on a waiting list, being discharged from the private hospital having been prescribed medicines that she was listed as being allergic to her medical records and having to rely on the NHS to oversee her recovery) and the lack of action that a party with only eight members of Parliament (at the time) and one Assembly Member (who was a member of the Welsh Cabinet) could do.
As a registered carer to both his grandparents (since 2005) Harry is only too aware of the lack of thought given to those who care in this country and hopes to raise awareness of carers in his position. His main aims during his term on the committee will be to address the constitutional affairs of all four parts of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) during the discussions on Brexit as well as putting forward suggestions to allow the many to have an active role in politics, not just the few.
The progressive decline in the NHS causes me dismay. It is at breaking point and in danger of disintegration. In my 38 years of NHS employment, I have never witnessed staff morale so low. As a physician, passionately committed to the NHS, I simply cannot stand by idly and allow this to happen. That is why I joined the NHA party earlier this year and stood for parliament in the 2017 general election in my home constituency of central Devon.
I have worked as a consultant cardiologist in Exeter since 1995. I am the South West peninsula representative for the Royal College of Physicians. I am a member of Doctors for the NHS. I regularly write comment pieces for the BMJ and Western Morning News on health related matters. I am an outspoken critic of this current government’s underfunding and privatisation of the NHS.