June Newsletter 2019 – Trump, Mental Health Crisis, Annual Meeting

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This June Newsletter, has the biggest stories in health campaigning, Donald Trump flip-flopping on the NHS, speaker announcements for our upcoming Mental Health Crisis Summit, some fantastic news for domestic NHS staff and our annual meeting, which is now only a week away.

Trump, Trade Deals and the NHS (and why we're wary of both)

While the NHS is clearly under serious threat from commercial interests on both sides of the Atlantic, our huge petition – and the massive anti-Trump demonstrations which had concerns about the NHS at their heart – prove it’s the will of the people to defend it from attack.

Donald Trump had the effrontery to say that the NHS would be on ‘on the table’ in any future trade deals with the US ‘or a lot more than that’, while outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May stood by and facilitated the sorry scene at a press conference at Downing Street. He has since backtracked, saying: ‘I don’t see it being on the table’ while on Good Morning Britain the next morning. But we know that Donald Trump is not to be trusted on the NHS or indeed much else – he was revealing his true intentions for US corporations to further parasitise the NHS in England.

The huge and immediate backlash was perfectly encapsulated by the ‘Donald Trump: Hands Off Our NHS!’, Change.Org petition that was launched within hours by Keep Our NHS Public and KONP member Dr Sonia Adesara.

At the time of writing the petition has received over 310,000 signatures.


We also produced a video to help promote the petition which you can watch here:

The petition has already secured fantastic coverage across print and broadcast media.

The Daily Mirror carried a headline directly relating to our press release ‘Petition demanding Donald Trump keep his hands off our NHS hits over 230,000 signatures’ whilst the Metro put out ‘More than 240,000 people sign petition telling Donald Trump ‘hands off our NHS’in response to the petition’s viral success. There has also been passing reference to the petition in a number of other publications.

Keep Our NHS Public member Dr Sonia Adesara, wrote a comment piece in The Huffington Post, and we secured an opinion piece in IndyVoices (The Independent) by Co-Chair Dr Tony O’Sullivan on how, quite apart from a deal with Trump, there are other domestic threats we need to guard against.

Sputnik radio also interviewed Tony about the nature of the ‘special relationship’ and the implications this has for the NHS, and a transcript of the conversation can be found here. All in all, this partnership with Change.org has been a brilliant vehicle for continuing to expand our media presence, and bringing KONP to new audiences.

In light of the massive news attention, Keep Our NHS Public have released a new statement on trade deals which you can read here. 

This morning Keep Our NHS Public was also asked to appear on Sky New Politics Live Dr Sonia stepped up and said,

I started the petition because I don’t want to work in a health care system where patient care comes second to profits

The NHS is in crisis at the moment, if you talk to anyone working in the NHS it is facing serious problems, when I talk to my consultants and my colleagues and ask has it always been like this and they say no… if you look at the 2000s we had world-class health outcomes, and why was that?

Because our NHS was properly funded properly staffed and properly resourced. Since 2012 we’ve brought in the Health and Social Care Act which has brought in the private sector and marketisation of the NHS and what’s also happened for the past 12 years we’ve had year on year of underfunding of the health care services, under-resourcing, under-staffing of the health care service to the point where we have 100,000 staff vacancies.

To find out more on our response to Trump and the strong NHS messaging on the anti-Trump demo, read more


Speakers announced for Mental Health Crisis Summit

We can't stay quiet anymore. Chronic underfunding has pushed mental health services to the brink, and the problem is getting worse. Keep Our NHS Public, Mental Health – Time for Action and Health Campaigns Together have launched the Mental Health Crisis Summit.

Saturday 28 September 10am – 5pm
Royal Free Hospital School Of Medicine Rowland Hill Street
NW3 2PF London

Get your tickets here


So far we are going to be joined by Jonathan Ashworth MP Shadow Secretary for Health (tbc), Ken Loach film director (tbc), Kevin Courtney NEU General Secretary, Ian Hodson National President BFAWU, Dr Louise Irvine Health Campaigns Together, Rachel Bannister mother and activist, David Munday mental heath lead Unite the UnionDr Vic Chapman from the Royal Free, Cath Wakeman trauma therapist, Dr Nihal Fernando Consultant Psychiatrist

and many more…

Jonathan Ashworth MP Said,

Our NHS should be there to offer help to those in need. Instead, lives have been lost due to lack of care. Labour will invest in the mental health of our people. We’ll listen to and involve users, carers, unions and campaigners in providing excellent NHS mental health services. I welcome this conference highlighting the importance of these issues.

Clinicians, patients, campaigners and carers will meet for the Mental Health Crisis Summit, to demand better mental health services for all. Please join us. Mental Health Summit Flyer
When: Saturday 28 September, 10am-5pm
Where: Royal Free Hospital School Of Medicine
Rowland Hill Street
Getting there: The nearest tube station is Belsize Park, and the nearest train station is Hampstead Heath. The numbers 24, 46, 168, 268 and C11 buses serve The Royal Free Hospital. Find out more on the How to get to the Royal Free page.

Book tickets here


One week to go: KONP Annual Meeting & AGM 

KONP’s next Annual Meeting for members will take place on Saturday 15 June at the London Regional Office of Unite the Union, at 33-37 Moreland St, EC1V 8BB in Central London (nearest tube is Angel).

The short AGM will start the day.

Registration: We are asking everyone who plans on attending to please fill out this online registration form in advance, which only takes a few seconds.

A registration fee applies of £5 (unwaged / low pension) or £15 (waged / good pension). There are two ways of paying this: online in advance, using a link that is included in the registration form linked above, or in cash on the door. (We may be able to take card payments on the door but we cannot guarantee this.)

We cannot process payment of registration fees by BACS, cheque or over the phone.

To attend the AGM, you need to be a registered KONP member and up-to-date with your subscription payments. If you know you are not currently registered as a member and up-to-date with subs, you can join easily by using this link. If you are not sure whether you are currently a registered member or not, contact Max at [email protected] to clarify.

We look forward to the usual range of excellent contributions from members, and hope to see as many of you as possible there on the day!



09:30 – Registration

10:30 – 11:45 – Welcome & Annual General Meeting (AGM) – motions, elections and officers’ reports.

11.45 – 12.45 – Privatisation (With John Lister and Cat Hobbs)

12:45 – 13:45 – Lunch

13:45 – 14:30 – Integration? – What kind of NHS services do we want? (With Helen Salisbury)

14:30 – 15:30 –  Hostile environment in the NHS: migrant charges (with James Skinner and Sophie Williams)


John Lister (Co-chair of KONP, Editor of Health Campaigns Together). John Lister of London Health Emergency is a writer and academic who has campaigned against NHS cutbacks and privatisation for almost 30 years. He has taught journalism and health policy at Coventry University, is a founder member of Keep Our NHS Public, and a board member of the International Association of Health Policy.


Cat Hobbs, Founder and Director of We Own It.  Cat ran a successful local rail campaign in Bristol before working at Campaign for Better Transport for three years where she lobbied nationally on behalf of bus and train passengers. She has also worked for a credit union and a sustainability consultancy. Cat studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.  Here’s the story behind why she set up We Own It.


Dr Helen Salisbury, Oxford GP; columnist for the BMJ (British Medical Journal). Helen is a GP in Oxford where she also teaches medical students and trains junior doctors. She has twice been a parliamentary candidate for the National Health Action Party and serves on their National Executive Committee. She writes a weekly column for the British Medical Journal and also answers readers’ medical queries for a women’s magazine. She is particularly concerned about continuity of care within General Practice and its importance for patients and doctors.


James Skinner (Medact). James is a Nurse and campaigner who works alongside Docs Not Cops and Migrants Organise on the Patients Not Passports campaign calling for an end to charging for the NHS. Before that he worked in A&E and spent many years working on community-led planning in North London.



Dr Sophie Williams (Docs Not Cops). Sophie is a doctor practising in London and a campaigner against racism and xenophobia in the NHS.




Excellent News for Unison NHS Domestic Staff

Domestics at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow have scored a dramatic victory against a threat to outsource their jobs.

Management confirmed yesterday that they are committing to keeping the workers in-house, narrowly averting a strike action that would have begun on 6 June and had effect on six days throughout the month. This followed a period in which the managing Trust purported to be market-testing the service and preparing to put it out to tender.

The strike action had received an overwhelming vote of approval from the domestics (who are members of UNISON), with 99% voting in favour in a ballot that achieved 84% turnout.

Read more



Keep Our NHS Public is the longest running national and local membership campaign fighting to save our NHS. You can find out more about us here. By joining us you’ll become part of a community of health campaigners with unparalleled experience and passion, will belong to a nationwide network of activists and have the support of a core team of experienced organisers at a national level. It’s easy and doesn’t cost the earth. Join today.

Join Keep Our NHS Public today!


Keep Our NHS Public is the longest running national and local membership campaign fighting to save our NHS. You can find out more about us here. By joining us you’ll become part of a community of health campaigners with unparalleled experience and passion, will belong to a nationwide network of activists and have the support of a core team of experienced organisers at a national level. It’s easy and doesn’t cost the earth. Join today.

Join Keep Our NHS Public today!

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1 Comment

  1. We are not making enough of these facts..Our NHS cost us all 8% gdp and covers the health needs of every man woman and child in the uk..Tories want the USA health system model..which will cost us all when privatised 17% gdp and perhaps 30% will not be covered at all.It is well known that 65% of bankruptsies in the USA are health related debts and many have lost their homes to pay for lifesaving surgery.The Tory paryty and individual ministers will gain financialy by this privatisation. Many ministers of all parties have shares and interests in US and uk Private heath companies. The list is on the net. Companies like Bupa obtain staff and nurses that have been trained and paid for by uk tax payers. This must be investigated and the training fees extracted from these companies in retrospect and any future staff transfers. Please use this common and easily obtained information in the fight to prevent the theft and fraud by the Tory party of the most wonderful institution ever constructed to look after the British people..Thank you..

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