All together for the NHS campaign, House of Commons – headed by the TUC, around 100 assorted MPs, TUC officials and representatives from Allied Health Professional groups attended this influential "speed lobbying" event on 23rd March and BIOS was invited! And the purpose of our attending? To make sure that MPs of all political persuasions understood our views on the Health and Social Care bill and its implications.
The main message was our concern over the speed and scale of cuts in the NHS at a time when patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. Lesley-Anne Baxter, BIOS Chair and BOS TU Chair attended along with Anita McCallum, BIOS Business Manager. It was also a timely opportunity to remind MPs of what orthoptists did and their importance in providing diagnosis, preventative care and cost-effective treatments for patients.
Over 20 MPs were spoken to (from Scotland, England and Wales) during the 2-hour event including Rt Hon Alun Michael, JP, MP, for Cardiff South and Penarth; Gerry Sutcliffe, MP, for Bradford South; Jim Sheridan, MP, for Paisley & Renfrewshire; Grahame Morris, MP, for Easington and Mike Gapes, MP, for Ilford South. Not surprisingly, LIberal Democrat and Conservative MPs were a little thin on the ground, but we did find a few to extol the virtues of Orthoptists to!
Phil Gray (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists) is pictured with Anita McCallum (left) and Lesley-Anne Baxter, both representing BIOS and BOS TU.