National KONP & NHS News
3 February we highlighted the NHS in Crisis: Fix it Now!
On Saturday the 3rd February The People's Assembly Against Austerity and Health Campaigns Together have called for a Day of Protest. In London we will be assembling at 12 noon in Gower Street, London WC1E. There will also be regional protests taking place throughout the UK.
Please head to the upcoming events section of this newsletter or see our website to find out what's happening in your area.
By protesting we are demanding that the Government:
- End the winter crisis with a cash injection to restore the NHS budget
- Commit to increased funding each year
- End the cap on NHS pay
- Ensure there are no cuts, no closures and no privatisation
Join us on the 3rd Feb!
HELP!! Called at short notice, the demonstration costs are over & beyond our funds. Please make a contribution to our Crowdfunder appeal here link.
Westminster protest about Winter Crisis
KONP members joined The People's Assembly against Austerity on Friday 26th January outside Westminster to protest the Winter crisis. Please see a write up in the Daily Mirror where KONP co-chair Tony O Sullivan is quoted: 'We believe Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt are responsible for the deaths and misery this winter that are totally avoidable'. The successful event was part of the build-up to the NHS in Crisis demonstration 3rd February.
The Daily Mirror has covered the NHS and the march daily from Friday 26 January.
The collapse of Carillion
The major construction company going into liquidation served to highlight the fiasco of PFI and the dangers of privatisation.
We'd previously reported on Carillion when we wrote in December 2016 about Nottingham KONP's success in persuading the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust to discontinue their cleaning contract. Sadly, Carillion held over £1.7b worth of contracts including two PFIs for new hospital builds at the Royal Liverpool and the Midlands Metropolitan Hospital. These will now face further delays.
As well as being picked up by the mainstream media, other organisations (such as Real News, People Vs PFI and LabourList ) used the opportunity to highlight the collapse as an example of how damaging and dangerous privatisation is in our NHS and other public services. Tony O'Sullivan, KONP Co-chair, spoke to BBC Radio Merseyside about Carillion and The Royal Liverpool, available online from 09.30 - 14.20.
JR4NHS wins a national public consultation on ACOs
The team calling for a judicial review into Accountable Care Organisations gave us the following statement on Wednesday 24th January:
Thanks to the fantastic, far-reaching and committed campaign involving thousands of people, and our brilliant legal team, the government and NHS England have now accepted that there must be a national public consultation on ACOs, and that no ACO contract will be signed until that’s happened.
This is great news, and a clear concession in response to our seeking a judicial review.
NHS England’s lawyers promised this to our lawyers on Monday evening, and Jeremy Hunt confirmed this at the Health Select Committee yesterday.
But don’t be fooled into thinking they’ve given up. Despite repeated questioning from Sarah Wollaston MP, the Committee chair, Hunt:
- Refused to delay the ACO regulations that he’s still planning for February, which are intended to facilitate the ACO contract – even though there’s no longer an urgent need for them; and
- Has still not accepted the need for an Act of Parliament before ACOs can operate lawfully.
This is very important because the government has said they will change the definition of ACOs with input from NHS England, but we have absolutely no idea what the new definition will be.
We still remain very concerned about the lack of transparency and the need for primary legislation on ACOs, and so we have told the court this afternoon that we want to press ahead with these points.
Private companies lack transparency and accountability, the opposite of what we want for our public NHS.
This is why we want to make absolutely sure of the definition of 'Accountable Care Organisations' in any consultation. We think there is no point in a consultation if the ACOs they consult on are unlawful.
We have been told by the court that we can expect a decision on permission tomorrow, or very early next week.
Thanks once again for all your incredible support.
The Independent ran with this as their top story on Tuesday 30th January. Great work everyone.
A further update on the Judicial review was sent to us via Peter Rodderick, it means that the team are in need of more financial support so please consider helping:
Disappointingly, the judge also decided not to cap the costs that the claimants might have to pay the government and NHS England if the judicial review is lost. In view of the large amounts already spent and claimed by the government and NHS England in opposing the case every inch of the way, we are giving careful consideration to next steps on this at the moment.
Help fund this key battle for the NHS. Please dig deep into your generosity again so the Famous Five can continue this important legal defence
Local Group News
Oxford KONP campaigner on Ch5
Oxford KONP campaigner, A&E Nurse and cancer patient David Bailey spoke to Channel 5 about Cancer Care in the local Churchill Hospital which was labelled 'unsustainable'. Well done to David and everyone at Oxford KONP who have also been raising awareness by flyering outside the hospital alongside Unison and the local Labour and Green parties.
Sunderland and District hit the ground running
New KONP group, Sunderland and District, had their launch meeting on Friday 19th January and sent us this update:
There was a turnout of about 60-70 people which was great on a cold and snowy Sunderland night! Sharon Hodgson, MP and Shadow Public Health Minister gave an impassioned speech about the crisis in the NHS and the dangers it faces. John Whalley, KONP North East Coordinator explained what action was going on in the region and Gemma Taylor from Unison and Coordinator of the local Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign talked about the fight to save local services. There were a lot of questions and the atmosphere felt very positive towards the KONP aims. We managed to sign up a lot of new supporters and hope now to build on this further.
What a great start to your local campaign and a very warm welcome to KONP.
A patient, supported by Defend Dorset NHS, and represented by Leigh Day Solicitors, is seeking Judicial Review of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) plans to downgrade Poole A&E, close Poole Maternity, close Acute Hospital Beds, and close Community Hospital beds in 5 of 13 Dorset locations.
In two weeks they raised all the money they needed for Merits Hearing. Their spokesperson has said:
Thank you so much!
We were perhaps lucky to have a lower target as our Claimant from Defend Dorset NHS, who is severely affected by the loss of Poole A&E as she attends regularly due to her condition, has been granted legal aid. If granted a full hearing we expect to have to raise £10,000!
Good news and good work in Bristol
Plans to recruit a private company to head up staff employment at Southmead Hospital in Bristol have been scrapped after criticism and protests from campaigners, unions and workers.
The Bristol Post reported on the proposal initially and explain more about the circumstances of the turnaround in their recent article.
Shaun Murphy, campaigner from local KONP group Bristol Protect Our NHS, is quoted in the article as having said; 'Isn’t it disgraceful and scandalous that at a time when the NHS is facing one of the worst crises in its history, North Bristol NHS Trust executives are spending a substantial amount of time on preparing such a sleazy plan.'
Well done to Bristol Protect Our NHS for your fantastic work helping to get these plans scrapped!
Rally in Southend
On the 27th January hundreds of protestors joined a demonstration organisation by Save Southend NHS in a march through Southend High Street. KONP group Southend Keep Our NHS Public were in attendance and reported that, besides Southend campaigners, the rally was addressed by KONP campaigners from as far afield as Huddersfield and more locally, Halstead and Basildon.
Well done to all involved.
NHS in Crisis: Fix it Now - Saturday 3rd February
12 noon - Gower Street, London, WC1E (Near UCL Hospital)
Assemble for demonstration
14.00 - 17.00 - Newcastle City Centre
City centre information stall
Join with us in Newcastle city centre on the National Day of Action for the NHS - 3rd February 2018. There is much happening across the country in support of our NHS and, here in the North East, Keep Our NHS Public North East and North East People's Assembly are joining forces in hosting a city centre information stall.
Chester Unite Community and the West Cheshire TUC are organising as part of the National Day of Action:
- A vigil in support of the NHS at 9:30 at the Countess of Chester Hospital on Liverpool Road followed by
- A rally at The Cross in the centre of Chester at 11:00 with various speakers.
Contact Nigel James for more information.
Southampton KONP are holding a local rally on 3 February from midday at the Bargate. Please turn up at 12noon if you'd like to help out.
This is being organised by Southampton with Unite the Union, Unite Community and Southampton People’s Assembly. The star of the day will be a skeleton, sadly representing NHS patients. There will also be a full-page advertisement in the Echo on the day, asking people to write to their MPs.
For more information please email [email protected]
Other demonstrations and events will be taking place around the country, please follow the links for your area:
- Wyre Forest
No cuts to children’s mental health services (CAMHS)
Public meeting in Lewisham
Tuesday 6th February 2018, 19.30
New Cross Learning, 285 New Cross Rd, London SE14 5TH
Speakers include parents and clinicians, Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Vicky Foxcroft (for both – Commons votes permitting). See Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign Facebook for details
Who Cares About Care?
TUC and London East and South East Pensioners' Network Annual Seminar
Mon 9 Apr 2018, 10:00 to 15:30 Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3LS, London
Every week we hear about failures in the care services: neglect and ill-treatment in residential homes, limited care times and poor service in users' own homes. This is aggravated by the bad working conditions and low pay of carers.
In 2016 LESE asked what can be done to support and improve conditions both for service users and service providers. This seminar is a follow-on and will outline the problems of the system, point to new ways forward, and give participants the opportunity to express their own views.
From the KONP office
Increased costs for individual membershipsThe cost of individual membership increased last year from £5 to £7.50 if you are unwaged and £10 to £20 if you are waged or have a high pension.
Many of our members have chosen to set up an annual standing order via Paypal and we therefore only receive the lesser amount. If this is the case for you it would be very much appreciated if you could make a donation of £2.50 or £10 to reflect the price increase.
Please email Bri via [email protected] if you have any queries.
Improvements to the website
We’ve been making further improvements to the website. We’ve added social media sharing on each post and also tweaked our RSS feed to make it more efficient. There is more information about the RSS feed on our About Us page.
In the coming weeks we are going to be adding a Video Resource page under the Resources section of the website. Keep your eyes peeled for this.More improvements to come!
Health Campaigns Together
For a wealth of useful information on campaigns across the country or to download a copy of their Newspaper please visit the Health Campaigns Together Website.
Join or Donate to Keep Our NHS Public
We need your help more than ever. Please consider helping us in our campaigning by joining or donating. There are many appeals at present. Please remember KONP and consider a regular contribution however small – even £1 per month helps secure our ability to campaign. For instructions on how to join please head to our Support Us page.