Newsletter – December 2016

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New Year Message

Very best wishes to all our KONP members and supporters for 2017 – we are in very difficult times and our fight for the NHS has never been more important. But we have fought hard in 2016 and have many things to look back on with pride. Last December 2015 saw the election of the first executive committee for KONP, and this had ended a difficult year with a huge setback at the General Election. Since then KONP has worked so positively with strength and determination up and down the country. We have new affiliations for example in Shropshire and Dorset and several Unite branches. We have led the establishment of Health Campaigns Together as a positive alliance of 30 organisations local and national – and this work now sees a great opportunity to defend the NHS and expose the dangers of the whole STP process at the HCT demonstration 4th March. Already this demo has the backing nationally of Unite the Union, PCS union and People’s Assembly who are working with HCT to ensure it is a success.

Thank you for all your work and support in 2016. See you together shoulder to shoulder in 2017

Tony O’Sullivan and Keith Venables, KONP co-chairs

Trade Agreements Sub-Group

Many of you will be aware of CETA (the comprehensive and economic trade agreement) and TTIP (transatlantic trade and investment partnership) and the threat that ISDS (investor-state dispute settlements) pose to all manner of services we hold dear. None more so than our NHS.

KONP has a Trade Agreements Sub-Group headed by Jan Savage and Gay Lee, members of the KONP steering group and from Tower Hamlets and Lambeth KONPs respectively. To improve communication they now have their own email for this work [email protected].

They are currently reviewing their work and would be grateful if you could let them know:

A. if you or your local group campaigns around trade agreements like CETA or TTIP (and which group this is)

B. if so,

  • what materials you use (e.g. War on Want, Global Justice Now.)
  • what sort of campaigning you or your local group is doing (e.g. writing to MPs or MEPs, street stalls, marches etc)

C. what support you might want from the KONP sub-group for campaigning around trade deals (eg regular updates, template letters, etc)

Please reply to them via [email protected].

For those interested there is a European day of action scheduled for 21st January. See for more information. This site also provides a map where you can find out about any actions, or post information.

More information on CETA and the NHS can be found in the following documents compiled by the Trade Agreements sub group.

Demo outside parliament protesting TTIP
Demo outside parliament protesting TTIP

Nottingham KONP succeeded in urging Nottingham University Hospitals Trust to cancel their cleaning contract with Carillion

Members of Nottingham KONP employed a giant inflatable rat to protest outside of Queen's Medical Centre. They were protesting NUH's contract with cleaning contractors Carillion which has left hospitals in dire states of cleanliness including dirty wards, broken-down lifts, failure to provide enough sheets for patients, nursing staff forced to make up for the lack of cleaners and rats seen in hospital kitchens. Because of the protest organised by Nottingham KONP the NUH have now cancelled their contract with Carillion. A job well done!

Rally organised by Nottingham KONP to urge NUH to cancel their cleaning contract with Carillion
Rally organised by Nottingham KONP to urge NUH to cancel their cleaning contract with Carillion

Dorset KONP

Dorset KONP have been out campaigning to stop closures in their locale. They have created this brilliant YouTube video with interviews of their campaigners highlighting local issues.

A screenshot from Dorset KONP's youtube video Save the NHS for Christmas
A screenshot from Dorset KONP's youtube video Save the NHS for Christmas

Howl in Protest on the 23rd December organised by Hands Off Our NHS

On the 23rd December KONP members from Ealing Save Our NHS, Save Our Hospitals Hammersmith and Charing Cross, Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, Lambeth KONP, Tower Hamlets KONP and KONP Oxford joined Banbury's National Health Action Party and others in supporting Hands Off Our NHS' rally in Whitehall to protest against STPs.

Campaigners from KONP and other organisations at Howl in Protest outside Whitehall, protesting against STPs.
Campaigners from KONP and other organisations at Howl in Protest outside Whitehall, protesting against STPs.

NHS News

Jeremy Corbyn held a 'care for the NHS rally' on the 15th December, attended by some of our KONP members.

The rally was well attended and the audience enthusiastic about keeping our NHS public.

The panel was chaired by Tracey Brabin (MP for Batley & Spen) and included Aneira Thomas who was the first baby born under the NHS after her mother was told to 'hold on' by midwives, Jeremy Corbyn and the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equality and MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion. The leader of Greenwich Council - Denise Hyland, Eleanor Smith (representative of Unison and a theatre nurse in the NHS for 39 years) and John Ashworth were also on the panel.

John Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health, spoke of fighting over the next few weeks to end the secrecy of the STPs and the cuts contained in them. He also spoke of bringing back the student bursaries and the trebling of beds occupied with cases of malnutrition.

Momentum has now launched a campaign encouraging people to ask their local Counsillors to block STPs.

The panel at Jeremy Corbyn's 'Care for the NHS' rally
The panel at Jeremy Corbyn's 'Care for the NHS' rally. From left to right Jeremy Corbyn, Aneira Thomas, Jon Ashworth, Eleanor Smith, Sarah Champion, Denise Hyland, Tracey Brabin.

STP updates

NHSE have not approved the Shropshire STP.

Councils not endorsing their area's STPs.

Warwickshire County Council, Liverpool City, Camden and Isle of White councils have chosen not to endorse the STP in their footprint. They join Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham Councils who were the first to refuse to endorse their STP. Thanks to local KONP groups for continuing to engage with and lobby their councils to inspire these outcomes.

Local press successes soar

There have been a ‘mini-flood’ of local press stories featuring KONP in the past month, with an increasing number of these quoting KONP as the first source or as the story lead. Here are the links from the past 4 press summaries (compiled by Alan Taman) that are local in nature and include KONP:

This is by no means exhaustive, and the trend is very encouraging. Nationally, KONP is now turned to as a ‘reliable’ source for NHS stories most weeks even if we don’t end up in print or on air – which we increasingly do. This will continue to grow in 2017 as the fight to save the NHS continues.

If you hear of any local success with the media or send out a release, please let Alan know ([email protected]). Alan will be happy to advise you if you want to approach your local press or they contact you and you are unsure how to comment. For urgent enquires, ring 07870 757309.

From the Hackney Office

If you have a query or would like to get in touch about anything please don't hesitate to contact us via [email protected] or on 0207 241 4443 ext:210.

Very best wishes for the New Year.

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