We are Deborah Harrington and Jessica Ormerod.
On this website you will find our blogs, briefings and articles on public service, with a particular focus on the NHS. Our interests lie in policy with a broad public service remit, collectively known as the socio-economic determinants of health, which create the bedrock of a healthy society.
We were previously part of the National Health Action Party (NHA) policy and campaign team, which Jessica joined after having stood as a candidate for the European elections. Having accumulated a great deal of expertise, we decided to leave the NHA after the 2017 general election, to concentrate on research into the more hidden aspects of privatisation and its dramatic consequences for healthcare accessibility, such as the increase in private patient services within NHS hospitals and the extensive sell-off of the NHS estate.
The patterns of dis-investment and privatisation of both property and service delivery appear across all areas. As Public Matters we research and inform on the consequences of that process; we highlight the similarities in different service areas and add our voice to raising the alarm on the loss of the public voice and public influence in matters of public service. We see public ownership and provision as the most effective tool for tackling inequalities and providing equitable, universal and comprehensive services.
Deborah has been a member of the committee for the NHS Reinstatement Bill since 2014 and Jessica was previously the lay chair of the Lewisham Hospital Maternity Liaison Committee. She was subsequently part of the high-profile campaign to save the hospital services which eventually won a judicial review against Jeremy Hunt.
We currently provide the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Health in All Policies chaired by Debbie Abrahams, MP for East Oldham & Saddleworth.
We are founder members of the Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies whose purpose is to provide an accessible information source on how our economy works to anyone from the compete beginner to academics. You can find our own Public Matters articles on the Economy here.
Our work has also been published in OpenDemocracy; is used in the mainstream media (such as this in the Independent); and was recently referenced in The New Enclosure: The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain by Brett Christophers (Verso 2018).
We have recently received a grant for £6000 from the Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust for a media project.
Our financial support currently comes from individual donations. If you would like to donate to us you can do so here. You can stay up to date with our newsletters by signing up on the right hand side of this page.
Public Matters is published by Public Citizen UK, a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.