Have Your Voice Heard on Issues that Matter to You
Updated: Jan 28
At Planit2020 we often speak about being "part of the solution", playing a role in something bigger and not feeling alone. It can often feel this way when your voice isn't being heard in arguments or debates. We want to encourage as many people as possible to take the time to engage in a peaceful and kind way. We might have different opinions but we don't need to be mean or attack others if they have an opposing view.
The world is changing fast and the last 12 months have been extremely difficult, and it appears far from over. The next few years feel like they could be critical in how the future will look.
Recently, I contacted my MP regarding an idea I had for the NHS. I knew what I wanted to talk about, found out my MP's contact details with a quick online search, and sat down to write an email. The whole process took no longer than 30 minutes!
As a social movement we hope we offer something a little different from other social movements. One of the best ways we think you can have your voice heard is through polite conversation. Even if the other person has different opinions, you can still find common ground and understanding. We are offering a place for people to start conversations, share ideas and to build a plan for the future.
In the next few weeks we will be opening up our Facebook Group, which will give like-minded people a place to find and share information on issues that matter to them. To plan and be part of the solution for how humans and wildlife can survive on this planet.
Now I don't know what response my email to my MP will get, but the real point is to do something. To care about each other and take action, rather than accepting that our voices on our future aren't being listened to, or waiting to vote every 4 or 5 years.
Starting is the hardest part, although it feels like no one is listening, the truth is we want a conversation, we don't see it as our place to tell anyone what to do. We just want to get things moving and encourage other like-minded people to get involved.
The contents on the email I sent to my MP on 25/01/2021 is below. Have a read and if you like the premise then please feel free to do the same on the issues and conversations that matter to you. It might just be one way to have your voice heard and be the first step toward a better future.
Why not share this with your friends and family and begin another conversation. You can also sign up on our Contact Us page to be invited into our Facebook Group community.
I am wondering if you feel the following suggestion is worth exploring with the health secretary, prime minister or policy makers? I have spoken about this with friends and others and it would seem the basis of my idea does get a lot of support.
There has been a crisis in our NHS of one sort or another for decades, especially in winter times depending on how bad the weather or flu is that year. I was part of the "citizens jury" in 2020 commissioned by the NHS, regarding specialist hospital services in Gloucestershire, and what struck me more than anything else was staff shortages and retention for the county, and the country as a whole. In some departments the number of staff was well below the minimum safe levels recommended by the department for health.
I got the impression that trusts were almost running themselves like a premier league football team, in an attempt to recruit and retain staff in certain roles by trying to offer the best working conditions and places to live. So basically not solving the problem overall, just trying to solve the problem for a particular trust.
I think it would be fair to say, some of us of a certain age have grown up being told money doesn't grow on trees and there is no money tree, and this was the reason we could never solve the problem of our dear NHS. In reality the country has found not just one money tree in 2020 but a whole forest in its dealing with Covid 19. Alas the money spent on Nightingale hospitals for example hasn't been the best investment some might say, due to the fact someone forgot that the NHS doesn't have the staff to run them properly?
I have never understood why those running the NHS have sanctioned and overseen what would appear to be almost inhumane working conditions on some of the finest workers in our country. We are constantly hearing and seeing they are working 12 hour shifts, no days off etc etc. This isn't a new situation due to Covid 19, it is every year. This is built into the structure, and I do not know how those running the trusts and government departments manage to keep a straight face when they praise the workers, but continue with the policy.
So here is a suggestion which might help, because I believe nearly everyone in the country loves our NHS and is willing to pay more for it if required. I am suggesting the government sets up a part time NHS similar to what the armed forces have with the Territorial Army. A reserve bank of people made up of ex and retired NHS workers and new people who can be trained to help in key areas. Targeted where most acute shortages are during greater calls on the NHS, such as in winter or dealing with a crisis like Covid 19. Maybe then we could actually use Nightingale hospitals as they were intended and back up existing hospitals in times of need.
I am confident that existing staff coming up for retirement or thinking of leaving the NHS altogether could be attracted to use their experience in a part time paid role. I am sure as well a lot of these people would in a crisis go beyond the call of duty, just as they always have. I believe there are people within the community who wish to be able to help, but can't due to not being able to leave a better paid job. I believe this is a cost effective way to improve our ability to support the NHS by having people on standby to step in when the NHS is stretched beyond its normal ability to operate.
Imagine how this could have helped in 2020 and with what looks like another 12 months ahead of more of the same, wouldn't it be better to know we are growing our capability to handle peak demands when needed in the most cost effective way? I appreciate this will take time to set up, but to do nothing and just have people sitting at home and pay them to do nothing, is that the only course of action available, I hope not?
I appreciate this is just a framework of an idea, but I have given it a lot of thought and can discuss things in greater depth should this get picked up as a discussion point.