Protecting Healthcare in the UK

Our friends at 38 Degrees just shared an inspiring story about a local campaign to save hospital services, launched and run by their members on the Campaigns By You ControlShift platform. From their email:

After months and months of hard work, a group of 38 Degrees members in Essex have saved their hospital’s A&E. They proved to NHS bosses that the plan to downgrade Broomfield Accident & Emergency department was unpopular and dangerous. Now the plan has been scrapped.

Here’s how they did it:

November: Andy from Chelmsford sprung into action when he heard about the threat to Broomfield A&E. He couldn’t accept that people in a life-threatening emergency would be forced to take a longer, riskier drive to another hospital. So he started a petition on the 38 Degrees website and set up a Facebook page.

December: Andy’s petition had gathered thousands of supporters already! Many of them wanted to roll up their sleeves too, so together they set up petition stalls to get even more signatures.

January to March: Andy and the other campaigners organised a march for hundreds of people. Lots of other people emailed the NHS bosses, demanding they scrap their plans, and they delivered the 22,000-strong petition.

April to June: They organised lots more petition stalls and public meetings, including a hustings to quiz council candidates on what they’d do to save the A&E. The campaign kept hitting the front pages of local newspapers, and loads of people wrote in to share why the A&E matters to them.

Last Friday: NHS bosses announce that the A&E will be saved! NHS boss Claire Panniker said that it was the “significant concerns” of so many people that made it happen — that’s the 30,000 people who supported Andy’s campaign.

“Battersea hand in 11/06/11” by 38 Degrees licensed under CC by 2.0

Check out this video with more information on the campaign!

This victory was possible because of 38Degrees’ Campaigns By You site, where members can create and launch campaigns on issues important to their communities. In addition the easy-to-use tech tools provided by ControlShift, 38Degrees staff offer strategic support to member campaigners to help them escalate and win.