September has been a busy month for KONP, we have been campaigning both nationally and locally. However I would like to start this newsletter by thanking our generous CrowdFunder donors, who were able to contribute financially to our campaign over the summer. We raised £6,782 after costs and VAT. We will keep you updated on our further efforts to reach our target.
Setback for Circle in SE London
At a local level we achieved a major victory this week. Greenwich KONP and Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign worked together to raise awareness about the Musculoskeletal (MSK) contract in Greenwich being awarded to Circle, despite a very well coordinated bid from NHS providers. Through their hard work these local groups managed to persuade Cherry Parker the Chair of Healthier Communities Panel of Greenwich Council to refuse to endorse the contract award, and to demand further investigation into the matter. The outgoing Chief Officer of Greenwich CCG Annabelle Burn took a combative stance on the issue and stated that she intended to go ahead with the contract. However Cherry Parker replied, "You and I know we have the powers to require further engagement and we will execute those powers." It remains to be seen how this will end, but for now Greenwich KONP and Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign have managed to potentially delay the contract which was due to start on 1st December. Hopefully they can go further and prevent it entirely!
Do you live in Wandsworth?
The national office is asking any members who live in Wandsworth to get in touch. If you are an individual member of KONP living in Wandsworth, who would consider becoming more involved with a local group please let me know at [email protected]. And if you aren't already an individual member please consider joining here.
KONP media interviews
KONP has been active in the press this month. Tony O'Sullivan, Co-chair of KONP, gave an interview for the James Whale show, advocating for the NHS against a member of the Tax Payers' Alliance. You can find the segment between 1.08.45 and 1.25.30 on the time-line. At the same time Jacky Davis our Treasurer gave an interview promoting KONP and defending the NHS on LBC . Allyson Pollock a KONP supporter also appeared on Woman's Hour on to discuss the ways NHS underfunding has particularly negative impacts on women's health.
Liverpool Women's Hospital protest
Finally many KONP supporters headed to Liverpool to demonstrate against the closure of Liverpool Women's Hospital. Diane Abbott came to the event from the Labour Party Conference to speak. Wendy Savage, KONP's President, and Ken Loach also attended the event.
The junior doctors' dispute continues
KONP has been very involved in supporting the junior doctors' struggle against the imposition of Jeremy Hunt's unfair and unsafe contract from the beginning of the dispute. On Wednesday the junior doctors' took their case to the High Court with an application for a judicial review and exposed Jeremy Hunt's lies.
Hunt has stated many times in the press and in Parliament that he was imposing the new contract on the junior doctors. Yesterday Hunt and the Government were forced to make a U turn, and admit that although Jeremy Hunt has approved the new contract he cannot impose it. It is too early to know if the contract will stay a national issue or will become a local fight against Trusts and CCGs adopting the contract. Either way KONP needs to keep up our support of the junior doctors, and carry on campaigning until a fair and safe contract is agreed upon. Tony O'Sullivan, Co-chair of KONP, interviewed Amar Mashru a junior doctor and member of Justice for Health about the outcome of the Court's decision, you can watch the interview on YouTube.
“Austerity has failed” demonstration
A demonstration is being organised by People's Assembly and the Midlands Trade Union Congress outside the Tory Party Conference on 2nd October in Birmingham. If you would like to attend to show your support for a properly funded NHS contact Keith Venables KONP Co-chair at [email protected].
If you want to find out more about our campaign or have any questions, please get in touch with us at [email protected].