Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Budget Day 2016: Save our NHS. Sack Mr Hunt.

I'm a  blogger with 

Borderline Personality Disorder  

after surviving suicide and stigma,

 a Member of ,

 an adult child of a dead alcoholic,

an amateur Radio DJ, actor and a panto Dame. 

Over the past year I have been brutally honest with my battles with my mind, money and with employment. An element of my battle will of course be my childhood, being the sole carer of an alcoholic mother who then died from it, however all of this was amplified by 21st century life and trying to contend with an ever growing workload. Its no surprise that in the end I snapped. As I've touched upon in past blogs, in June 2015 I tried to kill myself. I held on for three more months until the wheels finally failed and I've been off work ever since.

Click here for last week's blog 

We live in a country that at times appears to be peeking its head out of the recession. We are the 5th largest economy in the world. In the lead up to the recessions, companies cut back by letting good staff go and trimming services. Over the past couple of years as business started to return, or was found in new ways, agency staff were used as a stop gap or just disposable staff. These corporations are driven by profit so having fewer staff doing more work is perfect. It is perfect for them.

In the UK and the EU there are laws regarding how long people can work without a break or how many hours they must have of rest between shifts. This makes perfect sense because the last thing anyone wants is for a tired pilot to doze off and destroy Croydon or Coventry. Regulated breaks should prevent any lorry drivers from destroying a flyover and bringing the M25 or M62 with the economy reliant on it to a bloody halt. So why is it acceptable to take an overstretched NHS and drag it out even thinner into a forced 24 hour 7 day service. Would you really want an exhausted doctor, working several 12 hour shifts a week, looking after you?
"Junior doctors asked for contract renegotiations four years ago because they felt their current rotas were unsafe, with large rota gaps in the most stressful specialties that provide urgent and emergency care.  Hunt claims the NHS must learn from the airline industry, but no pilot would be allowed to work these rotas, and no airline would ignore the safety concerns of 55,000 pilots"  -  Dr Phil Hammond
Our NHS is the envy of healthcare systems around the world yet rather than supporting a successful yet buckling system we have Jeremy Hunt demoralising our vital NHS workforce, pushing them and therefore NHS services even further with even fewer funds. Staff are under pressure and breaking today - Mr Hunt's threats just crush our NHS even more. Just like my story, NHS staff (especially Junior Doctors) are falling from their mental and physical health because of Hunt's reign. Campaigns like MIND's #TakeOffTheTape encourage us all to fight stigma and openly talk about about minds and mental health; what is the point if there is nothing left of the NHS to support us?

We live in a country where more teenagers are self-harming than ever. We live in a country where the biggest killer of men is not guns, cars or cancer but suicide (men under 50, ONS). In the US, more people die from suicide than murder. Whilst UK suicide rates for women has hovered around the 5 per 100,000 figure, the male rate continues to climb from 17.4 per 100,000 in 2006 to 19 men per 100,000 in 2013. In short in the UK, one person ends their own life every TWO hours.
Click here to read my article about how
the NHS helped me survive suicide

How can we expect the NHS to save us and help solve our current mental health crisis when it is limping along with knackered ill staff?

Today is Budget Day. Rather than pledging more money in targeted ways to help combat those frightening statistics, encourage more people into healthcare and programmes to encourage mental and physical health well being (especially by employers) the theme seems to be more cuts like those big corporations chasing profitability.

In the end of 2015 I applied for support from welfare system. Personal Independence Payment, which replaced Disability Living Allowance. As I've covered in my articles for Huffington Post before, my condition is covered as a disability under the Equality Act, yet I am seeing people which variations of my condition and situation be refused that support. My income at the time of hitting publish is zero. The little I am asking for in support is to help me cover my mortgage and help me survive so I can keep up my fight and find some work in between. Last week I had my physical assessment which was purely to reiterate what my NHS GP and my NHS psychologists have told them but I am scared that despite paying my fair share into the system, I will get no support out. Something which regular readers of my blog who have seen my anxiety and debt grow, know is terrifying prospect.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said that Mr Hunt was "running the NHS into the ground". This week a Select Committee heard how NHS England is facing a £22bn black hole with a reliance on agency staff. According to Ipsos Mori, over 65% of the British public, including myself, continue to support a Junior Doctors strike. That is a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt.

Dr Mark Porter of the British Medical Association said  Wednesday’s budget should be used to stop the NHS heading to “financial ruin”.

Is it my mental illness or am I seeing a pattern? Tampons are still taxed as non-essential yet spare aviation parts are VAT free. Around £3bn contracts for NHS services are now in private sector and just last week this Conservative government forced through a cut to cripple those with disabilities who need benefit support the most.

Whichever voting booth you have the chance to attend, I beg you consider this blog post (and have a look at my past too!). Please ensure your vote is for a council, MP and ultimately a Government who will support our NHS and therefore support us, the people, in our mental and physical health as we try to combat our suicide crisis. Your MP and your council work for you, elected by you, yet given the corporate behaviour we've seen I am petrified they forget this.

Organisations such as #ZeroSuicide think that if we all work together we can prevent every suicide, reducing the rate to zero. The people of our isle are not cheap nor are we disposable. We work hard and are proud of an NHS which does an amazing job to catch us when we fall and therefore keeps our economy in better position for it. When staff are stretch to breaking point, overworked and uncared for, the NHS and what remains of our welfare system tries to hold us but why aren't those responsible, big corporations and Mr Hunt himself, paying for the damage they cause? If we want to keep saving lives and save more, in terms of the suicide crisis but mental health and physical health as a whole, then we need to fight, support our Junior Doctors and save our NHS.

George, David and Jeremy... This is your chance to win the hearts and minds of the British public but also save the NHS and save lives - including mine.

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Thank you for reading and sharing my blog as always. It was a bit of a ranty essay this week but it really does worry me that the NHS which keeps me functioning is being destroyed and dismantled and it isn't for the benefit of the common man; unless the common man owns billion dollar healthcare companies!

Last week I did have my PIP assessment which went quite well. As I've mentioned before, a huge thank you to my friends and family who have kept me going these past few months and hopefully with the few different projects on the horizon; there is hope. Meanwhile, I end on a song.

Thank you for reading - please to have a browse of the past few posts and remember to share my blog and website on your social media. Ly xx







Check out more quotes on my #mentalhealth blog : mattstreuli.blogspot.co.uk
Posted by MattStreuli.uk - Mental Health Aware on Friday, 11 March 2016


A video posted by Matthew E Streuli (@matthewstreuli) on