Newsletter – October 2016

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Upcoming rally in support of the NHS Reinstatement Bill

KONP has helped organise a demonstration in support of the second reading of the NHS Bill at 11.00am Friday November 4th. The meeting point for anyone planning to attend is College Green pavement area, opposite the public entrance to Parliament, Abingdon Street.

Whilst it is very unlikely that the Bill will be taken KONP has agreed to mark the day with a public display of support at Parliament. KONP and the The Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill will push for the next opportunity to present the Bill, which is not going away!

Local Workshop in Newcastle

KONP North East has organised an upcoming Health Campaigning Workshop from 10.00 am to 4.15 pm Saturday 12th of November. The event will be held at Broadacre House, Market Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE16HQ. Dr. Louise Irvine from the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign will be facilitating the majority of the workshop. For more information contact John Whalley at [email protected].

Greenwich CCG Board forced to admit no impact assessment was done before awarding contract to private company

In June 2016 Greenwich CCG Board decided to award their Musculoskeletal (MSK) contract worth £73m over 5 years to Circle Health as "prime contractor". Circle, a private company, have previously failed the Hinchingbrooke Hospital and walked away from its contract there in 2015. Circle also have a particularly bad record when it comes to NHS contracts: Bedford Hospital suffered a damaging loss of orthopaedic work when Circle won the MSK contract; and Circle’s takeover of the dermatology contract saw the collapse of a world class service at Nottingham University Hospitals.

Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign (SLHC) feared similar outcomes in SE London. In order to find out more about the potential impact of Circle being the prime contractor SLHC submitted a FOI requests to see copies of the impact assessment conducted by Greenwich CCG. However this uncovered the alarming fact that no impact assessment had been done by the CCG or by NHS England, with both passing the blame to the other for this gross oversight.

Mass demonstration in London on Monday 10th October

Members of local health campaigning groups from all over England converged on Trafalgar Square on October 10th for a demonstration supported by KONP. Hands of HRI (Huddersfield), Fight for Grantham A&E, Keep the Horton General (Banbury), Ealing Save Our NHS, Save Our Hospitals – Hammersmith & Charing Cross, Keep Our St Helier Hospital and Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign were all represented at the event along with many others.

After the rally the campaigners marched to Downing Street, the Department of Health and Parliament to delivery petitions and lobby their MPs. The Hands off HRI submitted a petition with 154,000 signatures only to hear days later that their local CCGs have voted to go ahead and try and close Huddersfield A&E. Despite this setback the campaign is planning its next moves, their fight is not over! Hopefully they and other local groups will benefit from ongoing support and collaboration with one another.

HCT's Sustainability and Transformation Plans Pack

Health Campaigns Together recently produced an STP briefing pack for councillors and campaigners. This a great resource to have when trying to stop your councillors signing or supporting STPs available to download here (PDF).

NHS News

Chris Hopson says STPs risk "blowing up" because of funding shortfalls

Chris Hopson the chief executive of NHS Providers told MPs that the "vastly over ambitious" sustainability and transformation plans being forced on local health economies are unrealistic. He outlined to Health Select Committee inquiry how the gap between the 2021 funding allocations and realistic figures is "scary". Read a full account here

Further reading:

Recently published evidence from the House of Lords NHS Sustainability Committee

Evidence (PDF) submitted by KONP

The Centre for Health and the Public Interest also submitted some important evidence (PDF).

Theresa May reveals her true intentions for the NHS

Despite increasing warnings of a brewing crisis in the NHS due to chronic underfunding among other things Theresa May has reportedly told Simon Stevens the chief executive of NHS England that the NHS will get no additional funding in the November autumn statement. Read more here.

Hands Off HRI campaigners on October 10th
Hands Off HRI campaigners
on October 10th
Campaigners demonstrating in Trafalgar Square October 10th
Campaigners demonstrating in Trafalgar Square October 10th

Ambulance drivers from private company strike outside GP's surgery over unpaid wages

CCGs in Sussex are being blamed for not carrying out proper due diligence in awarding an ambulance contract to Coperforma. Coperforma subcontracted out the ambulance contract to a firm called Docklands Medical Services, who shut up shop this month leaving ambulance drivers with unpaid wages.

A regional GMB organiser Gary Palmer stated that not only had hardworking health care workers been left with unpaid wages, but also "patient journey experiences (have) plummeted to an all time low." While a Coperforma spokesperson stated that "Sussex patient transport service is operating well". The inability of this private provider to acknowledge the severe problems caused by their bad management of an essential service is worrying to say the least.

NHS Summary

David Oliver has written a good summary of the most pertinent problems currently facing the NHS here.

If you have a query or would like to get in touch about anything please contact us at [email protected].

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