Doctors of the World take the battle to Westminster by parodying Theresa May’s ‘Go Home’ vans

Published 2nd May 2018

Today, we took the battle to Westminster by parodying Theresa May’s ‘Go Home’ vans. While the vans drove around Westminster and looped around the Home Office, we, along with doctors, nurses and patients stood in protest outside the Home Office saying NO to sharing patient information for immigration purposes. The ‘Go Home’ vans have become synonymous with May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policies incepted in 2013; we mimicked the visuals but changed the messaging to read: ’70,000 doctors and patients say NO to the sharing patient data with the Home Office.’

We were joined by MedAct, DocsNotCops, the National AIDS Trust, the Helen Bamber Foundation, Migrants Organise, 38 Degrees and other organisations in the fight to end hostility in the NHS and make it safe for patients to access care without fear. We chanted ‘patients not passports’ and crowded around the van, blocking the roads directly outside the Home Office.

Our Doctors were quoted in the media:

Our President, Tim Dudderidge, wrote for the Guardian today highlighting why we spoofed May’s ‘Go Home’ vans & the terrible impact the Hostile Environment has on both patients and doctors.

Tim was also quoted in Novara: “For us it is of great concern that patients with serious health needs are scared of attending NHS services because they fear the Home Office,” he said. “Doctors should not be prevented from caring for patients in need in this way.”

One of our Volunteer Doctors and practising GP, Pratheep Suntharamoorthy, was featured in the BMJ: “In the work that I do for the clinic we see a lot of patients who have always been hesitant about registering with GPs because of the risk that their information will be shared, but we used to be able to persuade them to do so,” he said. “Now we have to tell them that it is highly likely that information about them will be shared with the Home Office, and this has made them even more reluctant to register with a practice.”

Our Trustee and doctor, Peter Gough, was quoted in Huff Post:“Today, as doctors and nurses who work in the NHS, we are fighting for the right to provide care to our patients, and we look to the secretary of state for health and social care to protect the NHS from policies the that undermine the provision of healthcare.”

While today was a great success in the bid to raise awareness about the hostile environment, we still have a long way to go and will keep campaigning until the Home Office is OUT of our NHS.

Read more about our #StopSharing Campaign here: https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/what-we-stand-for/campaigns/