Campaigning journalism in support of our NHS

Out of the huge struggle with the pandemic must come far better support for the NHS and our health staff.

The Lowdown is a publication that sets out to give NHS supporters the facts and analysis to understand what’s happening in the NHS, to challenge our politicians, and to support and protect our NHS.


For many years the NHS has been unable to escape crisis and has struggled to keep up with the needs of patients. undermined by flawed government policy.

As NHS campaigners, we have worked to defend the NHS and change policy, but despite the popularity of the NHS, it has often been difficult to create enough pressure on our politicians because of low public awareness about some of these issues –

  • Too often people don’t hear about threats to their services at an early stage
  • The truth can be obscured by misinformation or lies
  • The issues behind the NHS crisis are complex and the media have not consistently covered them

We decided that we could help address this problem by creating a new, evidence-based, and regular source of public information, by running public interest investigations, and by explaining policy problems and solutions in accessible ways.

This is why In 2019 we set up The Lowdown – which produces campaigning journalism and research for the public and NHS staff.

It is run by journalists and researchers, is published bi-weekly, and is freely available.

It is already providing regular analysis of the government approach on the NHS, early warning of threats to services, and is an antidote to frequent misinformation from ministers.

Working together with other journalists, activists, trade union members, and NHS staff we have been working to create a larger and more active network of NHS supporters.


NHS staff are making mighty efforts to care for Covid patients and to keep the NHS open to all, However, thousands of non-covid patients are being forced to wait for treatment, and to cope with considerable pain and worry.

It is vital that coming out of the pandemic, a funded strategy is in place to raise NHS capacity. In England, there is a workforce plan, but shockingly it is still not properly funded.

After a decade of underinvestment in staff and equipment, wasteful reorganizations, and the rapid increase in the use of the private sector it is crucial to help the NHS to adapt to the rising demands of our population.

This recent history tells us we can’t leave it to our politicians and that the public and NHS staff must be involved.


If you can, please donate to help fund the work of our journalists and researchers – so that they can improve public awareness and challenge our policymakers to build a more sustainable NHS, that is comprehensive, publicly driven, and available to us all.

Here are four of the crucial issues around which you will be helping to develop the public debate.

  1. Why is there still no funded plan to raise staffing across the NHS?
  2. Why is the government investing in the private sector rather than NHS capacity?
  3. What can we do to make NHS decisions more accountable to the people they affect?
  4. The level of unmet need is rising and access to some care more inequitable, how can we change that?
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Paul Evans (NHS Support Federation) and Dr John Lister (London Health Emergency, KONP and HCT), with over 50 years combined experience between them as researchers and campaigners are leading this project to build a news and investigation unit to inform NHS supporters and workers.

We have a small staff team and a growing community of freelance contributors. we are non-profit making, independent and our work is evidence-based and freely available.

We are committed to helping to train and support the next generation of health journalists, as they are essential to holding our politicians and health leaders to account and getting to the truth.


‘Great journalism giving campaigners the evidence we rely on to defend the NHS – a really valuable asset.”
– Tony O’Sullivan, Co-chair Keep Our NHS Public

“It is a classy font of investigative journalism,”
– David Baines, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Newcastle University

Dear Reader,

If you like our content please support our campaigning journalism to protect health care for all. 

Our goal is to inform people, hold our politicians to account and help to build change through evidence based ideas.

Everyone should have access to comprehensive healthcare, but our NHS needs support. You can help us to continue to counter bad policy, battle neglect of the NHS and correct dangerous mis-infomation.

Supporters of the NHS are crucial in sustaining our health service and with your help we will be able to engage more people in securing its future.

Please donate to help support our campaigning NHS research and  journalism.