NHS ‘crisis’ laid bare in new documentary to be shown at Sheffield cinema

Health service campaigners in Sheffield are hoping a cinema will be packed this evening when a new film about the ‘crisis’ facing the NHS premieres in the city.

By Dan Hayes
Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 2:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 6:50 pm
Stock photo.

Under The Knife, a documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Susan Steinberg, will have its Sheffield premiere at the Abbeydale Picture House on Wednesday evening.

The film shows the history of the NHS from its stormy birth to the present day, making the case that the service is under threat like never before.

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Ruth Milsom, secretary of Sheffield Save Our NHS, the city-based campaign group who have arranged the screening, said the film was essential viewing.

She said: “Nationally, NHS privatisation is a creeping phenomenon with companies like Virgin Health and Optum getting their foot in the door, the revolving door of directors moving from the private to public sector and the influence of lobbyists.

“Looking more locally, we had the campaign the save the minor injuries unit and walk-in centre and the hospital services review which recommended closing or scaling back some services - fortunately they seem to have backed away from that.

“It is about keeping up the pressure on the Government and NHS England. Everyone would be horrified if they knew how deeply it was under threat. People really love it but we need to keep fighting for it.”

Tonight’s Sheffield screening of the 90-minute documentary is just one of 50 across the country this week.

The film - which is narrated by award-winning actor Alison Steadman - includes interviews with more than 60 people from front line staff to senior politicians.

Ruth said the documentary also included case studies from around the UK where campaigners had successfully fought to save services.

“Nationally there are so many campaign groups so things like this help knit it all together,” she said.

“It is really helpful to see what is going on in other parts of the country and how the piecemeal attacks on the service add up to something much more worrying.”

Under the Knife is being screened by Sheffield Save Our NHS (SSONHS) on Wednesday October 16 at 7pm in the Abbeydale Picture House.

Free tickets are available via www.undertheknifefilm.co.uk screenings but donations will be welcome.