Tag Archives: health

Health and Social Care Bill passes – Keep Our NHS Public response


Following the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill, here is the press release from Keep Our NHS public. Wendy Savage spoke in Nottingham last year, followed by the relaunch of Nottingham KONP.

Keep Our NHS Public

Media Release
For Immediate Use: Wednesday 20th March 2012

Health Bill Passes: New Campaign Begins

The Health and Social Care Bill has now completed its passage through Parliament and will become law. This is despite the Bill being opposed by the great majority of doctors and health professionals, and by virtually all their professional bodies. It is also despite public opinion: polls have repeatedly shown that a large majority of the public want the Bill scrapped.

Prime Minister David Cameron has put his political future on the line by backing this badly drafted, illegitimate, chaotic and damaging Bill which received over 1000 substantive amendments, most which were not discussed in the Commons. He has told worried Conservative MPs that he is “prepared to take a hit” over the Bill, but that opposition will die away after the Bill becomes law. In this forlorn hope, he is wrong. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has inflicted permanent damage on his own Party by claiming to have transformed the Bill, while in fact leaving all its worst features intact. Even his own Party activists rejected this transparent excuse at the Liberal Democrat Spring conference.

Plans are already in train for a major campaign to save the National Health Service, that will run at a national and local level until the next General Election and beyond. There will be hundreds of battles to be fought across the country in the next few years, as Clinical Commissioning Groups struggle to deal with a morass of contracts and the overstretched CQC try to ‘kitemark’ services; predatory private healthcare companies and management consultants scramble to pick the bones of the NHS; and dedicated healthcare professionals fight against the odds to continue to provide a comprehensive, high quality and free service to the public.

The struggle against this dreadful Bill is only beginning. And the high political price to be paid by those MPs who backed it is only just starting to become clear.

Commenting, Professor Wendy Savage of Keep Our NHS Public said:

“I want to thank everyone involved in the campaign against the Health Bill. It has been a remarkable campaign, uniting doctors, nurses and health professionals with the general public. It has been highly successful in exposing the myths and lies peddled by politicians trying to sneak the Bill past without proper debate or scrutiny.

This is an awful Bill. It will damage patient care. It will waste precious public money on an unaccountable and more complicated bureaucracy and legal costs as private providers fight for thousands of healthcare contracts. It will damage the health of the most vulnerable patients and their communities. If it is not scrapped as soon as possible it will destroy the National Health Service, so valued and loved by those who work in it and those who depend on it.

We will make sure that the Bill haunts the Coalition Government from now until the next General Election. Mr Cameron will find his belief that defence of the NHS will soon fade from the public mind to be an arrogant and stupid delusion.”

ENDS

Contact:

Professor Wendy Savage 020-7837-7635 home 07939-084-544
Ian Willmore (media) 07887 641344 willmorei@live.co.uk

Wendy Savage
Cochair Keep Our NHS Public
19, Vincent Terrace, London N1 8HN
0207-837-7635
www.keepournhspublic.com

Report on NHS anti-privatisation action in Beeston on 10th March


On Saturday March 10th, constituents of Anna Soubry MP’s Broxtowe constituency displayed postcards signed by over 500 people asking her to reconsider plans to privatise the NHS. As well as being a local Conservative MP, Soubry is parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Simon Burns (Minister of State for the Department of Health). Campaigners gathered outside Beeston Library where Anna Soubry was meant to be holding a surgery. Unfortunately when Ms Soubry heard of this she changed the location of her surgery. More details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2467

Nottingham & Notts Branch of Keep Our NHS Public – Letter to GPs and Press Release


Update from Nottm & Notts KONP 10th January 2011: Please find attached a press release from Notts-KONP that has been sent at very short notice to the Nottingham Post – it is based on one issued by the NHS consultants association and supplied by the KONP office. PRESS RELEASE from Notts-KONP 10 Jan 2012 [PDF version] or [Word version]. The stall on Saturday was very successful – see the photographs at Notts Indymedia. Remember to check Bevan’s Run blog every now and then – today has the terrific speech which started the run off this merry morn; down the left hand side up to the minute tweets from Clive P. http://bevansrun.blogspot.com/

Here is a message and standard letter from the recently relaunched Nottingham & Notts Branch of Keep Our NHS Service Public.

LETTER TO GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

The more pressure that is put on personnel involved in changes in the National Health Service the more likely it is that we can obstruct the Government’s privatization plan. Please find below a model letter for patients who are concerned about the Government’s proposed changes to the NHS. We urge you to post or email this letter to the doctors at the general practice at which you are registered. You may wish to alter the text to express your particular concerns. Also please forward this letter on to other people who may wish to use it. It would be useful if you would inform KONP of any responses you receive.

Nottingham and Notts Branch of Keep Our NHS Public

Contact: info@notts-konp.org.uk

* * *

Dear Dr./Drs. … .

I am very concerned about the changes to Primary Health Care that the Government is trying to bring about by means of its Health and Social Care Bill.

The Government intends that the provision of much health care will be brought about by means of Clinical Commissioning Groups purchasing appropriate services. We have been led to believe that it will be general practitioners in CCG’s who will actively choose the suppliers of services. However, close scrutiny of the proposed legislation reveals that most GP’s will not be deemed to be suitably qualified and experienced to make such decisions. In practice it will be representatives of private health care companies who will effectively decide how the money will be spent. As you are probably aware, the British Medical Association has expressed serious concerns about this and other aspects of the proposed changes to the NHS.

In general it seems to me that the Government’s proposed changes to the NHS do not have the aim of creating a more effective health care service. Rather the real aim is to provide opportunities for private companies to make profits. Such a change could well result in a decline in standards of health care. There is some very useful briefing information on the website of Allyson Pollock – http://allysonpollock.co.uk and more campaign information on www.keepournhspublic.com

As one of your patients I would like to know what are your views on the Government’s plans for change in the NHS. I suggest a discussion of these matters at the next meeting of your patient participations group.

Yours sincerely,

(Signature)

Latest news from Notts SOS, Notts Uncut, Occupy Nottingham, plus forthcoming events


A lot has been happening in Nottingham over the last couple of weeks and especially since the weekend … here are some highlights:

Occupy Nottingham! The occupation of the Old Market Square, starting on the same day of the October 15th ‘Jarrow march 2011’ demonstration against youth unemployment, is still ongoing after 5 nights. This was part of a global day of action against austerity and many occupations are continuing elsewhere. Details on Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2100. Although there was a slight drop-off of people after the initial surge over the weekend, numbers now seem to be growing. On day 5 there are now around 15 tents, a gazebo and a marquee. Join the occupation in the market square at anytime. Check out the link for the wishlist of things needed by the current occupiers.
Photos of day 6: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2105

Notts Uncut took action on the 15th October against the corporate tax avoiders on our high street: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2090

Action against benefit harassment: The two participants arrested after the day of action against ATOS Healthcare which saw people going inside the private examination centre on Stoney Street have been bailed again after appearing at the Bridewell, to allow time for “further investigations”. All bail conditions (restricting them from parts of the town centre) have been dropped. Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2087

Universities and Colleges industrial action – UCU members started their first phase of its industrial action on 10th October with ‘Work to Contract’. “By working to contract, staff will refuse to undertake extra duties or work outside their contracted hours.”

Forthcoming events

The Hardest Hit are holding a rally this Saturday 22nd October at 12.30 in Market Square to defend benefits and services used by disabled people. Notts Uncut are planning an action to support this and are meeting outside Parliament St. Boots at 11am. Come along and support the rally.

The next Notts SOS meeting is on Monday 26th October 2011 at the usual venue, the YMCA International Community Centre on Mansfield Rd, starting 7.30pm and finishing around 9pm. Then fortnightly thereafter – all welcome.

A public Meeting, ‘Our NHS is in Mortal Danger’ organised by Bassetlaw SOS with Unison and Unite trade unions will take place on 4th November, at Worksop Town Hall, starting at 7 pm. Go and find out about the Government’s plans for the NHS. Find out what is proposed, how this will affect you and what you can do to make your voice heard. Full venuw address is The Ceres Suite, Worksop Town Hall, Potter Street, Worksop, S80 2AH. A Save Our NHS meeting was held in Nottingham last month.

Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts are preparing for a huge demonstration in London on 9th November: http://nsafc.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/students-to-march-on-the-city-london-nov-9th/

A national day of industrial action will take place on Wednesday 30th November with millions of public sector and education workers going on strike over attacks on pensions. The government will be facing the “biggest trade union mobilisation for a generation” after the Trades Union Congress (TUC) called the day of action. There will be transport from Nottingham.

Keep Our NHS Public & Unite public meeting opposes Con-Dem Health and Social Care bill – plus NHS meetings next week


At a packed public meeting on Thursday 22nd Sepember 2011 at the Mechanics Institute, North Sherwood Street, Nottingham, people heard about the progress of Andrew Lansley’s NHS Bill (having passed its 3rd reading and now going to the Lords). It’s all bad news of course. The meeting heard from speakers, Prof Wendy Savage [Keep our NHS Public], Barry Brown [Unite] & Gill George [Unite] laying out their concerns and all pointing out that this was all a device to dismantle the NHS and privatise many of its service.

Full report continues plus photos on Nottingham Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/2048

The meeting also heard that privatisation was already well under way, with a consortia including Richard Branson’s Virgin having taken over NHS services in Surrey under the name Assura Medical. One of the speakers gave an example of protest by Unite members where speech threapists had harangued Health Minister Andrew Lansley in Downing Street.

In Nottingham there are two significant meetings to do with the NHS next week:

NHS Nottingham City AGM and Annual Public Meeting, Wednesday 28th. September 12.00 to 15.00, Council House, Old Market Square.

Nottingham University Hospitals Annual Public Meeting, Wednesday 28th. September 17.00 to 19.30, Cityside Restaurant, City Hospital, Hucknall Road. The meeting is open to all. Free car parking will be available in the purple car park, which is the closest car park to the Cityside Restaurant. It takes place at the Cityside Restaurant at the City Hospital campus from 5pm-7.30pm.

A map of the City Hospital showing the location of the car park is available here: http://www.nuh.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/transport/city_maps.aspx (marked ‘P’ opposite the Purple entrance).

We are going to attend these meetings in order to point out that:

1. The reorganisation of the PCT being carried out by NHS Nottingham City is illegal because the legislation to authorise this action, the Health and Social Care Bill, has not yet been passed by Parliament.

2. The plan by Nottingham University Hospitals to become a foundation trust should be dropped.

We urge as many people as possible to attend these events. What is needed are effective actions to disrupt the “reforms”.

Save our NHS Protest in the Market Square on 6th September – report and photos


On Tuesday 6th September 2011 people gathered from 5.30pm in the Market Square, Nottingham to protest at the Health and Social Care Bill.
MPs vote on the Health and Social Care Bill this evening. A public meeting Save our NHS: Kill Lansley’s ‘amended’ Bill will be held in Nottingham on 22nd September. Find more photos on Nottingham Indymedia.

Nottingham Save the NHS demo 6th Sept 2011 Market Square

SAVE OUR NHS protest in Nottingham on 6th Sept in advance of public meeting on 22nd + other meetings


SAVE OUR NHS Protest!
Old Market Square, Nottingham
From 5.30pm Tuesday 6th September 2011.

Download flyer: NHS Protest 6th & Meeting 22nd Sept 2011

This is the evening before the final reading of the Bill in the House of Commons. Despite their “listening” exercise, they are still determined to put profits before patients. Don’t be fooled by cosmetic changes. We must say “NO!”

Come along to help save our NHS. Tell people to attend. Bring banners, placards, flags, love and rage. Wear NHS uniforms.

Public Meeting
Thurs 22nd September, 7 – 9pm
Mechanics Institute,
3 North Sherwood St NG1 4EZ
Speakers:
Dr Wendy Savage, co-Chair Keep Our NHS Public
Barrie Brown, UNITE National Health Officer
Gill George, UNITE Health Sector
Organised by UNITE 713 Branch, with UNITE Heath (Nottm) & UNITE East Midlands Region
supported by Notts SOS & Nottingham Trades Council

Other meetings that may of interest/opportunities to make feelings known:

1. Sept 6th 6-8pm – High Point Health, the Clinical Commissioning Group for Mansfield & Ashfield, are holding a Big Health Forum at The Towers, Botany Avenue, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 5NG. (The event is open to anyone who is interested in health and having a say in the planning and commissioning of health care in Mansfield and Ashfield. It will be an opportunity for you to:

· find out about the work of High Point Health from the clinical lead

· get an update on proposed changes to the NHS

· meet members of local Patient Participation Groups

· contribute to the development of plans for involving local people

To register, please call 01623 673329 or email ppi@nottspct.nhs.uk

2. Sept 22nd 10.30am – AGM of NHS Nottinghamshire County at Birch House, Ransom Wood Business Park, nr Rainworth NG21 0HJ. To register communications.team@nottspct.nhs.uk

3. Sept 28th 1-3pm – AGM of NHS Nottingham City at Council House, Old Market Square. Info 0115 9123384

PATIENTS, NOT PROFITS!

Our National Health Service is under vicious attack from the Coalition Government. For decades people in Britain fought to establish a universal health care system, the NHS, which was born on 5th. July, 1948. Now Health Minister Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill aims to destroy OUR NHS.

SPENDING CUTS: At the last General Election David Cameron said he would protect spending on the NHS from cuts. Now he wants £20 billion cut from the NHS budget by 2014.

PRIVATISATION: The Government want most NHS patient care provided by private, profit-making companies. This will not mean better care for patients but huge profits for owners of private firms.

STAFF CONDITIONS: Already the pay and conditions of medical staff are deteriorating as they are pushed out of NHS employment into private companies. The Government aims to carry further this attack on our medical carers.

KILL THE BILL!

For other Notts SOS activities see our website and get involved.

NOTTS SAVE OUR SERVICES
Website: http://www.nottssos.org.uk
Contact: nottssos@gmail.com
Twitter: @NottsSOS

ATOS Healthcare medical examiners & admin under fire for bad-mouthing ‘customers’ and improper conduct


Highlighting the level of contempt for people receiving sickness and disability benefits, that has been cynically mounted by politicians and amplified by the media over the past few years, a medical examiner working for the private company ATOS Healthcare has been caught calling people they are assessing ‘the down and outs’ on Facebook, whilst an administrator called them ‘parasitic wankers’. ATOS Healthcare, a division of ATOS Origin, is operating under a multi-million pound private contract to the Dept. of Work and Pensions to carry out computerised face-to-face medical assessments of all people on disability benefits. This is a programme of harassment of claimants and those on essential disability allowances which can readily be identified as being part of a as an ideological attack on welfare provision by successive governments. This revelation follows news that twelve ATOS medics are under investigation by the General Medical Council for improper conduct.

ATOS Healthcare are not only involved with medical testing. They have also also dabbled with private running of NHS facilities, winning a bid from the Primary Care Trust to run a GP surgery in Tower Hamlets. But they had to leave the 10 year contract as they were not up the to job and due to considerable local protest. “Local doctors passed a motion of no confidence in Tower Hamlets PCT. Angry medics and patients, fearful of the potential impact of the privatisation of this part of the NHS, staged a protest march, and wrote to MPs and the PCT to complain about the decision.”
This is only one part of the stuggle against NHS privatisation which obviously needs to be linked to the attack on benefits as well. A meeting about NHS privatisation will take place in Nottingham on September 22nd. In Nottingham, ATOS Healthcare runs an examination centre on Stoney St. in Hockley/Lace Market.

New!: ATOS take legal action against Carerwatch and get their bulletin taken down. (temporarily we hope).

New: ATOS take legal action against Carerwatch and get their bulletin board taken down.

Save our NHS: Kill Lansley’s ‘amended’ Bill – public meeting in Nottingham – 22nd Sept 2011


Public meeting hosted by UNITE the union with Keep Our NHS Public. Supported by Notts TUC and Notts SOS.

Save our NHS: Kill Lansley’s ‘amended’ Bill
7:00-9:00pm Thursday 22nd September – refreshments from 6:30pm
Nottm Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, NG1 4EZ (Near to Orange Tree pub)

Speakers: Wendy Savage : co-chair Keep our NHS Public
Barrie Brown : UNITE – Health National Officer
Gill George : UNITE NEC
Chair: Garry Guye UNITE Officer – East Midlands Health Section

Download flyer: UNITE KONP public meeting

Some useful reading matter:
For-profit companies will strip NHS assets under proposed reforms, British Medical Journal, BMJ 2011; 342:d3760, 15 June 2011.
Department of Health guidelines falsely inflate NHS costs, False Economy website.

Reports from Notts SOS July 9th protest and rally against the Health and Social Care Bill & NHS privatisation [plus Notts UnCut action and poem]


Campaigners from Nottinghamshire Save Our Service (Notts SOS) protested outside Virgin Media on Clumber Street, Nottingham on Saturday July 9th against government plans to open the NHS up to private companies.

The protest at Virgin followed a rally at Speakers’ Corner, Market Square, where Secretary of State Andrew Lansley was ‘put on trial’ for his role in promoting the Health and Social Care Bill, which campaigners fear will open the door to the privatisation of the NHS. Virgin Media was targeted because of a report which revealed that Assura Medical, part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was particularly well positioned to benefit from the Bill.

Full feature on Indymedia http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1927Press release: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/1917
Leaflet text: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/1918
Photos/Audio of Lansley trial: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1921

Notts Uncut report on July 9th: HSBC occupied to save the NHS

The Clumber Street branch of HSBC in Nottingham was occupied for 2 hours this morning by Notts Uncutters. This was part of the day of action to save the NHS called for by Notts SOS. The protest targeted HSBC for its involvement in PFI contracts that drain tens of millions of pounds from the health system. Also, due to its offshore tax arrangements, HSBC only pays a tiny fraction of its profits in tax. Full report: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1916.
Photos of Virgin protest: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1922

Poem sent to Notts SOS

Privatisation, a Step to Far

The New Pork Farms
Geriatric Medical Centre
Don’t sound up to much!

Fancy using a pig’s
trotter to replace
A sawn-off owd foot

Lord Biro

(not far from the truth either … although this was about Samworth Academy school).

Date for diary

Sicko by Michael Moore
Friday 14th October 2011
Paradiso Cinema at Chilwell Arts Theatre

The film investigates health care in the USA where illness can easily lead to bancruptcy (and worse) due to the greed of the health insurance business and pharmaceutical industry. The film compares the for-profit, non-universal U.S. system with the non-profit universal health care systems of the UK (now under threat) and other countries such as Cuba and Canada.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFkoX5l_4lU