Newsletter – November 2018

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oveoveeNational KONP and NHS News

Scrap ICPs & Support the NHS Bill: Rally & Petition at Parliament & DoH

Thank you to the over a hundred supporters who turned out on Friday 26 October to support the NHS Bill, protest the government’s proposed Integrated Care Partnership contracts and accompany the petition to the Department of Health.
KONP campaigners from across the country joined others from HCT, We Own It, Justice4NHS, and JR4NHS in demonstrating outside parliament that we will not let our NHS be carved up. We heard speeches from many inspiring Health Campaigners including KONP Co-Chair Dr Tony O’Sullivan who summed up the day by saying:

KONP and HCT have really enjoyed working alongside We Own It, Health Campaigns Together, JR4NHS, and Justice4NHS in organising the petition which we delivered to the Department of Health today and the preceding rally outside parliament in support of the NHS Bill. Over 33,000 people signed our petition to scrap the contract in just one month showing what an opposition there is to this.

In addition to protesting the proposed ICP contracts campaigners were gathered to lend their support to the National Health Service Bill 2017-2019 (‘the NHS Reinstatement Bill’) which was tabled for the same day. Eleanor Smith MP the bill’s sponsor spoke to the rally of her commitment to the NHS, stating that saving it was the reason she wanted to become an MP in the first place. She said to those gathered:

I’d like to thank all you NHS campaigners for your support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill. It’s because of your hard work we now have the leadership of the Labour Party behind the bill … Go out into your communities, it’s you that can save the NHS.

After everyone had spoken, the crowd marched en masse with banners raised and chanting to the Department of Health & Social Care on Victoria Street to deliver the petition against ICPs.

The petition is handed in.

The petition has more than 33,000 signatures and you can still lend it your voice by signing online here.
You can also read a full write-up of the day in our campaign manager’s report.
You can also read KONP’s submission to NHS England’s consultation on ICPs in our Resource Cabinet (under Accountable care).

Review of Mark Thomas: Check Up at the Arcola Theatre

As our office is around the corner from the Arcola Theatre we thought it only right that we drop by to see Mark Thomas’ excellent one-man show Check Up NHS@70. The show is directed by Nicholas Kent and has had favourable reviews from – amongst others – The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times.
Based on a series of interviews with leading experts and residencies in hospitals and surgeries, Mark explores our NHS to see where we are, where we are going and where we should be. We found it to be well researched, well staged, funny, informative and poignant. It is only running until 3 November at The Arcola but Mark will be in Bristol in February.
You can read the KONP verdict in the review posted on our website.

David Bailey: In Memoriam

We have added a section to our in memory page to commemorate David Matthew Bailey who died in August.
Jeremy Corbyn once described David as ‘a wonderful NHS campaigner and nurse, who I had the honour of knowing. People like David are the backbone of the NHS and of our country.’
His friend and fellow NHS activist Cathy Augustine sent us some words about David and some wonderful pictures of him in action. Please head here to see them or see our post In Memoriam: David Matthew Bailey – What can never die, Went on to organise.

Crowdfunding for film – Under the Knife

Please support the feature length documentary Under the Knife by donating to their crowdfunder. The documentary contains interviews with 50 people about the NHS – it demonstrates that the health of a society is reflected in its institutions, and that the NHS is seriously ill. It calls out the ugly self-interest, corruption and deceit that are slowly bleeding our NHS dry and they need more funds in order to get the film finished and released. The money raised will go towards animation, archival rights, sound editing and mixing, promotional costs and distribution.
The film will be a wonderful medium to reach people up and down the country who are currently unaware of what is happening to our NHS and the country as a whole under austerity.
You can find out more about the project, watch interviews with the producer and director and make a donation by visiting the crowdfunding page on IndieGoGo

BBC2 Horizon programme features KONP protesters

On Thursday 1 November the BBC broadcast a Horizon episode focusing on Artificial Intelligence in healthcare and did a reasonably good job of presenting a balanced argument about Babylon and GP at Hand.
Health Campaigners and GPs Jackie Applebee and Anna Livingstone were interviewed for the programme and it features footage of a protest outside the GP at Hand base in Fulham organised by Save Our Hospitals Charing Cross and Hammersmith who have been doing wonderful work in opposing and protesting against GP at Hand. KONP campaigners from Lewisham and Tower Hamlets KONP groups, the Save Our Hospitals (H&F) group, Waltham Forest Save Our NHS and Newham Save Our NHS were also in attendance at the protest where they handed out leaflets about the dangers of GP at Hand to passers-by. You can order a version of these leaflets via our shop.
You can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer
If you haven’t already seen Dr Murphy’s twitter threat where he tests the app you can do so here. A spoiler alert: it fails.

Theresa May appoints ‘Suicide Prevention Minister’

Dr Mona Kamal has written an article for Counterfire (and now available via the KONP website) entitled Hollow Mental Health Proposal from Government through which she discusses the Conservatives’ latest appointment of a suicide prevention minister.
Appointed on World Mental Health Day, Dr Kamal talks about the announcement as an exercise in PR for the Conservatives whose years of imposed austerity have seen mental health rates rise not diminish.
Dr Kamal talks of the current government’s

disgraceful record on mental health by a government who have not only continued to withdraw funds from psychiatric services but have been responsible for a social agenda which has wrecked mental health and wellbeing.

In evidence she mentions the real term budget cuts of 8.25% year-on-year since 2011 and the fact that the NSPCC say that at least 150 children a day are being turned away by mental health services who simply don’t have the funding or therefore the capacity to treat them.
Please see the full piece here.

Dr Phil Hammond on tour

In celebration of the NHS at 70 Dr Phil Hammond is touring the UK with a combination of his two successful 2016 Edinburgh fringe shows. Phil Hammond is an NHS Doctor, Private Eye journalist, and whistleblowing comic. He has made multiple television appearances and the show has been well reviewed by The Times and The Guardian amongst others.
You can see all the tour dates and book your tickets here.

The Budget 2018

On to another Phil Hammond – our Media Officer, Samantha Wathen, has written a post for the KONP website in response to the budget announcement. Please read it here.
Through the article Samantha explains how the budget is a disappointing one for the future of our NHS with no extra funding promised. With this government’s track record this should not come as much of a surprise. The post discusses the most recent budget but also exposes how the extra funding for the NHS, promised at the time of the NHS 70th birthday this year, is not enough. She says:

The 3% annual increase in funding represents an ongoing underfunding of at least 1% per year and only sounds plausible when compared to the disastrous 2.5% annual de-funding over the last 8 years.

She further goes on to discuss social care, mental health policy and the winter crisis under the Conservatives and austerity.
It paints a damning portrait where there is (as ever with this government) plenty of spin but no more money for the NHS.

Local Group News

Royal Liverpool Private Finance Initiative (PFI) collapse vindicates KONP campaign

On 25 Sept, the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital Trust announced that the PFI scheme would be terminated and The Hospital Company (Liverpool) will ‘hand over its contracts for construction, supply chain and facilities management, to the Trust, over the course of the next few months’.
Keep Our NHS Public campaigners began a campaign in conjunction with Unison and the Joint Staff-side at the Royal Liverpool Hospital to stop PFI at Royal Liverpool Hospital over 10 years ago.
Campaigner and KONP member Greg Dropkin was there at the beginning and has written a full account of the battle from then to now. You can read it on labournet here.

Upcoming Events

Public Ownership 2.0: There is such a thing as society

Saturday 10 November 2018. 10am-4pm
Oasis, 1A Kennington Rd, Lambeth, London, SE1 7QP
We Own It‘s second annual conference will be taking place on Saturday 10 November in Lambeth.
‘Public ownership is on the agenda after 30 years of privatisation. Let’s make it happen – and make it so wildly successful that it can never be dismantled!’
KONP Co-Chair, Tony O Sullivan will be joining Caroline Molloy (OurNHS), Ameen Kamlana (GP and NHS activist) and Deborah Harrington (Public Matters) to talk about the NHS. They will be heading up the opening workshop at 10.30 so make sure you don’t miss them.
You can see the agenda and get your tickets via Eventbrite.

Reclaim Social Care

Saturday 17 November 2018
11am, Birmingham and Midland Institute, 9 Margaret St, Birmingham B3 3BS
Organised by Health Campaigns Together, this conference is a great opportunity to take forward our thinking and campaigning around social care following the commitment made at the KONP AGM in June.
Members from KONP, HCT, the Socialist Health Association, the National Pensioners Convention, and the Green Party have come together under HCT’s banner to organise what we hope will be an exciting and challenging day. The morning will be kicked off by John Lister and a speaker from the Labour Party
Then there will be a range of contributions from campaign groups and trade unions fighting for better care, dignity, the ethical care charter, proper wages, better conditions and training for care staff and support for carers amongst other things.
Please see our website for more information about why this conference is vital.
HCT Website
Buy tickets
Download PDF of Flyer

Rethinking healthcare: What next for the NHS?

Tuesday 11 December 2018, 7.30pm–9pm
Royal College of General Practitioners, London, NW1 2FB
The Guardian have organised a panel including Sir David Nicholson, former chief executive of NHS England; author of The Language of Kindness and former nurse of 20 years, Christie Watson; and chair Denis Campbell, Guardian health policy editor, to discuss the future of the NHS.
Get your tickets here.

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