NHS films to be screened in Broadstairs and Ramsgate

Under the Knife

A film which claims to expose a “frightening sickness” at the heart of the NHS gets its first screening in Kent tomorrow (October 16).

“Under The Knife”, a feature length documentary narrated by Alison Steadman, shows the health service facing cuts and privatisation — but also the battle to save it.

The screening has been organised by the Save Our NHS In Kent (SONIK) group as part of its campaign to defend local hospitals and medical services from cuts and privatisation.

SONIK chair Jon Flaig said: “The film shows the fantastic importance of the NHS to everyone but also how it is currently being dismantled and undermined. Anyone interested in the future of our health service should go and see it.

Directed by award-winning Susan Steinberg the film includes Interviews with Dr Phil Hammond, Gina Miller and shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Award winning director Ken Loach said: “This film is a weapon in our struggle to save the NHS. There should be details of the film in every hospital reception, every GP’s waiting room, every community centre.”

The film will be screened at 7pm at the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Rd, Broadstairs CT10 2BT. Admission is free.

Sell Off film

A film about the sell off of the NHS is also being screened in Thanet tonight (October 15).

Councillor Karen Constantine has arranged a film showing at the Comfort Inn in Ramsgate at 7pm

She invites all those interested to come along to the  screening of  ‘Sell Off‘ followed by a discussion led by Dr Bob Gill, who will be visiting Ramsgate for this event.

Sell Off is a one hour film by Peter Bach about the selling off and privatisation of the health service, and dismantling of the NHS. The film charts how successive governments have operated over a 30 year period and features many health professionals on the frontline.

Discussion speakers, including Dr Bob Gill, will bring the latest news of the situation, including what is happening locally, and what people can do to save what’s left of the NHS.

Cllr Constantine said: ““The systematic selling off of our NHS will affect everyone in Thanet . It will affect you and your family. We are already losing our much needed Stroke service! I’m concerned about Pathology. Lack of GP appointments, the pressing workforce issues and our crisis in mental health care. “

Book your free tickets using the link below, or just turn up on the night. ‪7pm-9 pm‬.
Entry is free but there will be a raffle, the proceeds of which will go towards the costs of putting on the event.



  1. Dear Counsellor Constantine, the Stroke service is not being sold off. There may well be changes but please stop peddling this line that the NHS is being privatised and thus implying there will be a charge to the user.
    Why are you worried about pathology? You do not explain.
    Yes, there are pressures on the service, I do not dispute that but this will not be solved by maintaining the status quo.

  2. The stroke service is being cut from 6 units down to three for all of Kent. The chosen locations do not make sense – for example te unit in Dartford is a short distance from two other hospitals with HASUs, one of them just 20 mins away, whereas Thanet’s is being closed and residents will face a one hour (over one hour in some cases) ambulance journey (plus response time and loading, meaning a 2 hour call to admission time for some patients).

    Those that deny the privatisation by stealth in the NHS are simply not doing their homework. The grave concerns about the privatisation that has already occurred, and that which is being enabled by current restructuring is one that is felt across many organisations, including Keep Our NHS Public, the thinktank CHPI, the NHS Support Federation, We Own It, Public Matters, The British Medical Association, Health Campaigns Together and others.

    More information:

    Many Urgent Treatment Centres across the UK are run by Virgin Health. In 2015, a 30 year old woman died after she was assessed as not being sick enough by a receptionist at the Virgin-run UTC in Croydon. This shows the dangers of both receptionist triage and of privately run services. Receptionist triage and Urgent Treatment Centres are both on the cards for Thanet (receptionist triage is already happening in many of our GP surgeries).

  3. NHS privatisation – part 2

    The tragedy in Croydon is just one on a very long list of NHS privatisation failures:

    Even our current leaders are not denying that privatisation exists in the NHS. The PM recently claimed that he was going to ‘rein in’ NHS privatisation. However, those looking at his proposals state that this isn’t the case:

    More establishment-minded organisations such as the Kings Fund and Nuffield Trust acknowledge that privatisation exists within the NHS, but regard it as unproblematic at current levels.

    Currently, £9.2bn of NHS money (our money) is going to private companies. Let’s put that sum of money in context.
    The total police budget for the UK in 2018/19 was £12.3 billion. The total amount of money that our nation spends on policing is comparable to the amount that is leaving the NHS and going into the private sector.

    • I could spend my time listing all the mistakes made by the NHS but it would take me too long.
      The NHS should pay more attention to how it spends it’s money instead of wasting so much.
      The new stroke unit will be staffed 24/7 by specialist staff and will have new diagnostic equipment. I have read the proposals.
      East Kent will then reach the standards in other parts of the country instead of being rated poor.

  4. So, you don’t approve of triaging by the receptionist at the doctor’s surgery.
    Firstly, you do not have to give a reason for requesting an appointment.
    Secondly, the majority of patients do not object.
    Thirdly, it is merely to direct you to the best person for your condition.
    It was introduced as it was found that on average at least 30% of patients did not need to see a GP and would be better served by seeing another qualified practitioner.
    A GP is always in hand to be consulted by the nurse or other staff.
    It will be fantastic if Thanet gets an Urgent Treatment Centre.

    • – Currently, patients at GP services in Thanet can choose not to give a reason, as it is being trialled. That may change later
      – How do you know the majority don’t object – has there been a survey?
      – The sort of people put off by receptionist triage are the one who won’t complain about it. We aren’t all assertive, and there are people in our communities who are neurodiverse or have difficulties. Most people may refuse to give a reason if they are not willing to; others may decide to avoid the doctor.
      – SONiK are concerned about the general deskilling of the NHS workforce, and about medical decisions being made by people without medical qualifications
      – Receptionist triage can fail dramatically, as seen in the case of the 30 year old woman in Croydon who died as a result of the mistake of a receptionist with no medical qualifications. People without the right training should not be put in that position.
      – An urgent Treatment Centre, if it replaces our A&E, or if it is run by Virgin, is not a good thing. If it is IN ADDITION to the full A&E we currently have, and if it is run by the NHS, the SONiK will welcome it.

      Sandra, would you like to meet SONiK and talk through some of these matters?

      Are you employed in the NHS or in healthcare locally?

  5. At my surgery patients were asked if they objected to being asked by reception and they didn’t mind. That’s how I know.
    I cannot believe that you object to this. We can all cite examples of people who might have problems in social situations. I repeat, the receptionists are very polite and you do not have a reason.
    To try to make out that people will avoid seeing a doctor because the receptionist might ask them is frankly extreme.
    No, I do not want to talk this through with SONIK.

  6. As I am in my eighth decade with a number of ill health problems, and I live in Ramsgate, I have been told I must attend the Kent & Canterbury Hospital for routine check ups, that I used to have at the QEQM. As I do not receive any benefits I am not entitled to patient transport, so I have to make my own way there, ever tried to do that by train or bus? Its not only virtually impossible if your appointment is in the morning, say about 9.30am, but it requires not only a train, but a taxi from the station and back. Similarly it takes at least two busses, there and back, its a nightmare! In desperation I have gone by taxi, £28.00 and returned by busses!

    The Bean pushers at the Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) must all drive, but those of us who don’t find its an unnecessary nightmare trying to get to the Kent & Canterbury from Thanet, to receive routine treatment we used to have at the QEQM, a Loop bus journey away! And yes, many NHS services have been sold off, and I cannot understand why public money is being syphoned off into the pockets of shareholders, when we had dedicated NHS staff who did a far better job! In fact I challenge anyone to name one public service that has been privatised to channel public money into shareholders pockets, that actually works better than before it was privatised, name one! Many of them have even gone bust, terrifying if your in a Care Home, which happen with monotonous regularity! All this to concentrate NHS care in huge hospitals, that no one can access, even if you want to visit a friend or relative! Ever tried to visit someone in the William Harvey from Thanet, by public transport, and back again? The Bean pushers at the CCG have a lot of misery to answer for! Grrrh! The proven liar Johnson has promised to build dozens of new hospital, and just who will staff them? At present the NHS is tens of thousands of trained staff vacancies why, because of the appalling conditions many have to work under, due to privatisation, and its profit work ethic!

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