Film Screening, Groundswell: The Grassroots Battle For The NHS


“I’ve been looked after by the NHS all my life. Don’t let it go! Don’t flog it away!” pleads 85-year old ‘Lovejoy’ star Dudley Sutton from his hospice bed.

Sutton’s deathbed fears echo those of Lord David Owen, former Minister Of Health commenting on NHS England’s plans to radically transform the NHS. “The NHS in England will be completely destroyed by 2020” he said in March 2014.

The Government and NHS England plans will see the conversion of our tax-funded NHS into a public/private enterprise modelled on US lines.

That is what the campaigners, ordinary people from all walks of life, claim in John Furse’s stirring documentary film ‘Groundswell: The Grassroots Battle For The NHS. And Democracy’. The film lifts the lid on what lies behind the NHS crisis. But Furse has been unable to get support for his film from TV broadcasters.

In the film a young cancer doctor Dr Aislinn Macklin-Doherty says that she can already see the Americanisation of the NHS happening at her hospital. A recently retired orthopaedic surgeon Dr Tony O’Sullivan says that he and his fellow practitioners are seeing their service “strangled to death” by the NHS England’s massive restructuring of the NHS.

The campaigners, led by NHS expert Professor Allyson Pollock, see this as part of the opening up of the NHS to companies like Virgin Healthcare and US healthcare giants like United Health. They stand to make large profits from NHS privatisation.

This is happening on the watch of a former United Health senior executive of Sir Simon Stevens, now boss of NHS England.

‘Groundswell’ shows documents confirming that the plans for transforming the NHS into a public/private enterprise were hatched more than 30 years ago under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher..

Because of public sensitivity about the NHS these plans have since been enacted with great stealth by both Labour, Tory and coalition governments so that the public have been left confused and unaware of what is really happening. Former Tory minister Michael Portillo admits on camera that his government lied about their plans.

The film shows how the NHS cuts across traditional party political lines. Lifelong Tories stand alongside former Labour Party supporters, now Green or non-party, as well as Corbyn converts in an inspiring battle to save an institution they revere.

Island residents can see how communities in other outlying areas of England like the North Devon countryside face similar travel problems and availability of services. And how they are far from alone in their concerns at what is happening to the NHS.

In a powerful speech in the film shortly before his death last March Professor Stephen Hawking stated that “When politicians and private healthcare industry claim that we cannot afford the NHS this is the exact inversion of the truth”. Islanders can judge for themselves at a special screening of the film on October 6th at Newport’s Quay Arts Centre hosted by IOW Save Our NHS.

 Secure your ticket on Eventbrite here or contact Christine on 01983 299432

1 thought on “Film Screening, Groundswell: The Grassroots Battle For The NHS

  • It was a really good film and a great group of people. I’m so glad it was a successful event. Well done Christine, Lorna, and everyone who helped to set it up, and thanks to John for coming down to show it and for sharing his knowledge.

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