National KONP and NHS news
NHS at 70: Free, for all, forever
On Saturday 30 June people will be taking to the streets to demonstrate and celebrate the NHS' 70th year.
There will be a national demonstration in London called by Health Campaigns Together and The People's Assembly Against Austerity. As usual KONP are fully behind the event as are numerous unions and the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jonathan Ashworth.
Please see the Facebook event for more information on the London Demonstration.
There will be more information on any regional celebrations in due course.
KONP Annual Meeting
Join us for the KONP Annual Meeting including a short AGM on 16th June 2018
With thanks to Unite the Union (who have kindly offered us the same room we used for last year's AGM again this year), we'd like to invite you to join us on Saturday 16th June - 9.30am registration for 10.30am start (ends 4pm).
The address is Unite the Union, 33 - 37 Moreland St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 8BB and registration will be from 9.30am.
You will need to be a fully paid up individual member of KONP to attend the Annual Meeting. You can pay on the day for membership and registration. By all means check with our national administrator if you have any queries: see below.
AGM registration: £15 waged/good pension; £5 unwaged/low pension
KONP annual membership: £20 waged/good pension; £7.50 unwaged/low pension.
To register now you can:
1. Use Paypal via our website
2. Send a cheque along with this registration form to Keep Our NHS Public, 11 Galileo Apartments, 48 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT
3. Pay electronically by BACS, please make sure you notify us of your payment, our account details and means of notification can also be found on the registration form.
Please get in touch with the national administrator if you have any queries or are unable to pay via [email protected]or call 020 7241 4443 ext:210 Monday afternoon, Tuesdays, Fridays.
The deadline for the submission of motions is 26th May 2018. Please send your motions to [email protected]
Albert Thompson to receive cancer treatment he needs
We wrote about Albert Thompson’s (not his real name) ordeal in our April Newsletter The wide reporting of the Windrush scandal and the problems of families who have been victims of the Home Office’s ‘hostile environment’ has shone a spotlight on Thompson’s case. After previously refusing to intervene on Albert’s behalf Theresa May had to answer direct questions about Albert’s case last week and said that he would 'be receiving the treatment he needs'.
Despite May’s assurances The Guardian reported that Thompson only received a brief call from a consultant at the Royal Marsden telling him that he would receive an appointment letter in 'two or three weeks’ time', and asking him to come in so he could have some blood tests. They said that 'Thompson was despondent about the cursory nature of the contact'.
The team behind the change.org campaign Home Office: Give Albert Thompson the right to cancer care are also asking that people tweet Sajid Javid (who has now replaced Amber Rudd) and Theresa May and ask them to confirm that Thompson will be getting the cancer treatment he needs. The Government are yet to tell Thompson or Praxis (who are supporting him) that his treatment will be going ahead directly.
You can read more about this on change.org.
We hope that Albert's heartbreaking ordeal and the wide reporting on the Windrush Scandal will mean that no more members of the Windrush generation - invited here, working in the NHS and other services for years and paying taxes - will not have to go through what Albert did. Shame on Britain and shame on the Government.
Our condolences to the parents of Alfie Evans
Alfie Evans sadly died on April 28th from the devastating and incurable impact of a degenerative disease, and after a long legal fight by his parents to keep him on life support.
Our thoughts are with his parents, Tom and Kate Evans, who have shown immense courage and dignity in the face of often intrusive scrutiny by the press and commentators on social media.
The tragic situation has prompted debate around the world on medical ethics, parental rights to overrule medical advice and on systems of public health care. Unfortunately right wing forces from the US have teamed up with the likes of Nigel Farage to use Alfie's tragic situation for their own ends to falsely accuse the NHS of licensing death sentences for incurable children. Vicious criticism of the NHS and health staff has flowed from such sources. Others have called for a change in the law to give parents greater rights over the treatment of their children.
Criminal barrister and legal blogger Matthew Scott wrote an online post called The Tragic Case of Alfie Evans where he articulates the details of Alfie's case. He gives examples of tweets from right-wing politicians in America and how they are using this case as a way to present a wholly false portrait of the NHS, which incidentally delivers far better health outcomes than those facing tens of millions of US citizens.
Scott's article mentions the similarities with Charlie Gard and his parents' legal fight. Both cases are tragic and have stirred great emotion within the national consciousness but people have exploited that emotion to present a negative view of the NHS that is simply not true.
It is worth reading the very sensitive and helpful piece by a doctor and parent who went through trauma with her child during a prolonged period of intensive care: As an intensive care doctor and a mother whose own baby son was critically ill, the Alfie Evans case makes me angry (The Independent 25 April).
Our condolences once again to Alfie's family.
An Intensive Care Doctor has written a brilliant article about people capitalising on Alfie's parent's grief. You can read it here.
Privatisation hits Scotland
The Sunday Post produced an article that expressed the concern of campaigners after the first Scottish GP signed on for doctor-on-demand app, Doctaly. They reported that Dr Manzoor Malik, of Lochthorn Medical Centre in Dumfries, is offering the face-to-face consultations in his surgery which can be booked online and cost up to £69.99 depending on the day and time.
Our new Media Officer, Samantha Wathen, ensured that KONP's views were quoted. Commenting on Doctaly and related private companies' parasitisation of primary care, KONP co-chair, Tony O'Sullivan stated:
Doctaly is sadly just one of a number of new profit-based private healthcare initiatives exploiting pressures and recruiting NHS GPs to offer private appointments. Inevitably this places extra pressure on NHS time for patients. It undermines the founding principles of the NHS by creating a two-tier system – the better off jump the queue. The more these businesses are utilised, the more the idea of paying for healthcare will be normalised, further exacerbating the creeping privatisation we are seeing under the UK Government and eroding the principles of our NHS as a publicly-owned, publicly-provided service.
Apps encouraging paid-for consultations with a GP are becoming worryingly prolific and it is concerning that the first GP has signed up in Scotland.
Local Group News
CovKONP petition to end privatisation at walk-in centre
Please sign Coventry KONP's petition to help halt the privatisation of Coventry GP Out of Hours service: Stoney Stanton Coventry Walk-in-Centre.
In a city of over 300,000 people the GP out-of-hours Service at the Stoney Stanton Walk-in Centre is essential to help stop their local A and E departments being overwhelmed. Campaigners are calling upon Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CRCCG) and Coventry Council leaders involved in the retendering process of the Coventry GP out-of-hours service to respond to the petition. By signing the petition you are asking them to stop the privatisation of this service which is currently run by the NHS Trust CWPT.
Read more about this and show your support on the 38 degrees website.
Hunt unwelcome in Stroud
After finding out a few hours previously that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care would be visiting Stroud General Hospital, over 80 campaigners from Stroud Against the Cuts, Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public and other groups braved the rain in demonstration against Jeremy Hunt and the critical defunding and privatisation of the NHS on his watch.
The protestors had wanted to ask him some questions which can be found in their Press Release but were unable to do so.
This could be the first of many planned stops at hospitals around the country so local groups should keep the ear to the ground in order to stage similar events in their area. Stroud Against the Cuts campaigners did a fantastic job in organising so quickly and gaining such wide reportage.
Their demonstration and the visit were covered extensively by The Stroud News and Journal in which Stroud Against the Cuts member Caroline Molloy commented that 'Next month Jeremy Hunt will become the longest serving Health Secretary – there’s no one else that he can blame for the crisis in the NHS that’s occurring under his watch. [Hospitals] are ours and people are here because they know that they need to protect them.' The demonstration was also covered on BBC Radio Gloucestershire
Please see Stroud Against the Cut's YouTube video about the day. Stick around for the ending when Hunt's car is covered in flour by brave protester James Beecher. James was arrested and held briefly but was released without charge.
TUC March and Rally: a new deal for working people
Saturday 12th May, 11amAssemble: Victoria Embankment
On 12 May 2018, thousands of people will march through London to demand a new deal for working people. They are marching because real wages are still lower than before the crash in 2008. Because three million workers are stuck on zero hour contracts, in agency work and in low paid self-employment. Because hardworking public servants haven’t had a proper pay-rise for eight years. Because our NHS is at breaking point. And because years of cuts have led to poverty, homelessness and despair for too many.
For more information please see the TUC website.
SOS NHS: the crisis in Nottingham Healthcare: the truth behind the headlines
Saturday, 12th May 2018, 12.30 – 4 pm
Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon Street, Nottingham NG1 5JD
A public meeting arranged by the Socialist Health Association (SHA) with speakers including Jonathan Ashworth (by video link), Dr Sally Ruane, Prof Sue Richards, Marie Hannah and Mike Scott. Chaired by Alex Scott-Samuel and supported by Unite the Union EM/NG58 Branch.
For more information on the SHA and how you can get involved please visit their website
JR4NHS judicial review hearing!
Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th May 2018, 09.00am
Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2R 2LL
Please join JR4NHS at the High Court on 23rd and 24th May 2018 where their legal team will be challenging the lawfulness of NHS England's and the Department of Health's accountable care organisations as part of the campaign against privatisation of #ourNHS. Stand outside in dignified and visual presence (no megaphones) and you are welcome to take a seat in the court. You will need to go through airport-style security to enter the Royal Courts, so please ensure you leave enough time. Proceedings will start any time after 10am and last the whole day. Please see the Facebook group for more details.
NHS 70th Anniversary Celebration and Protest #ourNHS70
Jointly called by TUC, Health Campaigns Together, People's Assembly
Saturday 30 June 2018, 12pm
Assemble: Portland Place, London WC1A 1AA
#ourNHS is a loved and cherished part of every community. Come out and celebrate with us on 30th June. Bring your family, your friends, your loved ones and anyone who cares about the future of the NHS - under real threat and great pressure from 8 years of underfunding and a drive to privatisation.
More details on the #ourNHS70 leafletbelow and via the Health Campaigns Together website
Save Liverpool Women's Hospital Campaign march
22nd September 2018,
Assemble: Liverpool Women's Hospital marching to Albert Dock
Please see this leaflet from Save Liverpool Women's Hospital Campaign.
Will you join us, become a member, or donate
Thank you to everyone already supporting us. To everyone, we need your help more than ever. Please consider helping us in our campaigning by joining as an individual member and/or donating. There are many NHS-related appeals at present. But 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 or donate please head here.