Newsletter – September 2018

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National KONP and NHS News

Decision to strike Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba from the medical register overturned

On Monday 13 August, after a battle that has lasted nearly three years, the court of appeal ruled that the decision to strike Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba from the medical register should be overturned.
This is testament to the unceasing campaigning work of her supporters. And it is fantastic news for doctors working in every part of the UK.
Team Hadiza, who ensured that this appeal took place, released their statement welcoming the ruling on Dr Chris Day’s (champion of whistleblowing protection for Junior Doctors) website 54000 doctors.
Keep Our NHS Public have been following Bawa-Garba’s case throughout. In February we wrote a post entitled GMC must not deny doctors a fair hearing encouraging medical practitioners to write to Charles Massey of the General Medical Council (GMC) expressing concern over the their involvement in the case.
Our press officer Samantha has subsequently posted Medic or not, Dr Bawa-Garba’s case affects us all where she details why the overruling is so important.

The head of the Royal College of Nursing resigns over pay deal

Janet Davies, the former head of the Royal College of Nursing, has stepped down over rows over the ‘misrepresented’ pay-deal. According to The Independent the RCN had initially claimed all nurses would receive the three per cent uplift in their July salaries.
In actuality only those at the top of their pay bands saw this uplift in their pay.
Dame Professor Donna Kinnair has assumed the role of acting chief executive and general secretary. The RCN have said they are conducting a review into the events of the past months and will then be able to make an informed decision about the future long-term leadership of the organisation.
Caroline Molloy has written for Open Democracy about the pay-deal and NHS staff anger at finding out it is not as good a deal as they had hoped.

Please respond to NHSE’s consultation to limit access to 17 procedures

NHSE is going to severely restrict access to 17 procedures on the NHS: four interventions that ‘should not be routinely commissioned, because they are ineffective or have been superseded by a safer alternative; with patients only able to access such treatments where they successfully make an Individual Funding Request’; and 13 interventions that ‘should only be commissioned or performed in specific circumstances where they have been proved to be clinically effective and specific criteria are met’.
The deadline to respond to the consultation is 28 September. KONP are urging anyone able to do so.
We have created a guide to completing the online consultation form and you can read more about what the consulation means in our post on the topic and through this detailed article by HCT and KONP co-chair, John Lister.
NHSE consultation document
NHSE consultation online survey

Study headlines suggesting closure of A&Es does not affect mortality rates is debunked

A recent study from National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), suggested that mortality is ‘not affected’ by closures of A&E departments and subsequent longer ambulance journey times.
KONP asked Dr Robert Gouldon; a KONP supporter and emergency department doctor, to comment on the study.
Dr Gouldon concluded;

Despite the positive headline, this new study of areas which have had their A&E departments closed or downgraded, we can still see that the proportion of people with an emergency condition who died went up by 2%.
There were also large increases in the number of incidents that ambulances had to respond to (14%), and it took longer to get to hospital from the time 999 was called (by as much as 17 minutes in some areas).

For his full analysis please see our post on the KONP website.

Dr Ameen Kamlana on why Babylon Health App is a serious risk to patient safety

Since Matt Hancock’s appointment we’ve seen some positive media about GP at Hand such as Hannah Parkison’s piece for The Guardian and this tweet from BBC GP Dr Renee Hoenderkamp.
Dr Ameen Kamlana has kindly written a response for our website entitled Babylon’s health app puts patients at risk.
Through the post she flags a number of issues with the app including her worry about patients’ safety given that Babylon’s AI chatbot screening tool has not undergone robust, independent trials, and has failed to identify red flag symptoms for potentially life-threatening conditions including heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, cancer and meningitis.
She also mentions that the app provides a selective service that may be less appropriate for pregnant women, people with complex physical, social, and psychological needs, adultsadults with a safeguarding need and many others.
To read her full article please head to the KONP website.
The Shadow Health Minister, Justin Madders, has also written a response to Matt Hancock’s endorsement of GP at Hand which can be found on the Labour website.

Local Group News

Cautious welcome for a ‘publicly funded’ Midland Met Hospital in Smethwick/West Birmingham (no PFI!)

We received the following update from Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham:

It looks like we’ve won our campaign for a publicly-funded (non-PFI) Midland Met Hospital in Smethwick/West Birmingham!

The construction of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick collapsed after the construction firm Carillion crashed spectacularly in Jan 2018 leaving the hospital half-built. Then, in June, the bankers behind the ‘private finance initiative’ pulled the plug on the deal, so KONP Birmingham immediately organised a protest outside the hospital site demanding that the Treasury, health ministers, and the Government should FULLY FUND THE MIDLAND MET HOSPITAL AND RUN IT PROPERLY UNDER GOVERNMENT AND NHS CONTROL!

The protest, held on the NHS’s 70th Birthday on 5th July, was a major success with 100-120 people from diverse communities, when we’d had only expected 30-40 in attendance. We had fantastic support from organisations such as Birmingham TUC (BTUC), Unite the Union West Midlands, Unite the Community Birmingham, West Midlands Pensioners Convention and Birmingham Against the Cuts.

A month later, the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust Board voted to tell the Government that the only viable option for the completion was direct Government-funding, a full vindication of the KONP Birmingham campaign argument. Two weeks later, the Government and Hospital Trust reached an agreement to finish construction work with the Government providing funding for the remainder of the building work at Midland Metropolitan Hospital – which will see the new hospital built by 2022.

It’s a very cautious welcome to the news. Firstly, there is a delay in starting completion until early summer 2019, partly because the half-built hospital was rotting away without any protection for 6 months and an additional £20m worth of work will have to be done from this September. Additionally, the Hospital’s Trust Board Chief Executive has been dropping in phrases to his announcements such as ‘making cost improvement programmes above national norms’, ‘limited reconfigurations’, etc, which reflect the concern in Dr John Lister’s 2016 review of the privately financed hospital published by KONPB and BTUC when the Midland Met was first mooted.

Notwithstanding our continuing concerns, we believe that the Midland Met fiasco is a final nail in the coffin of successive governments’ love affair with PFI /2. (You’ll note that a number of ‘the great and the good’ pictured in local press articles celebrating the decision were originally opposed to our position on a publicly funded solution to the construction of the new hospital!). However, it’s a long time till 2022, so we will keep you updated and we’ll keep campaigning where necessary.

In the meantime, we would like to thank those of you who came to the July protest and to those of you who signed petitions on street stalls, online, and all of you who’ve supported us in whatever way possible. By the way, please keep in touch with Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham for further campaigns to defend our NHS. For information, our next meeting (and AGM) will be on Wednesday 5th September at the Wellington (Upper/Middle Floor meeting room) 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5SN
In Solidarity, the Keep Our NHS Public Birmingham Secretariat

This article is dedicated to the late, great & fantastic Jolyon Jones who started this campaign in 2015.

NELSON take on racism at Barts Health NHS Trust

KONP local group North East London Save Our NHS (NELSON) is undertaking a powerful campaign to say no to racism, no to scapegoating and no to the Tories ‘Hostile Environment’ in the NHS and the wider community.
The introduction of a ‘health surcharge’ on visa applications and more recently the introduction of upfront charging and ID checking across the NHS have worried health campaigners across the country. Like others, local KONP campaigners in North East London have been watching their local trust, Barts Health NHS Trust, with growing concern.

There are already many cases in Barts Health Trust of vulnerable migrants being charged for care, sick people being mistakenly denied access to free care, and our friends, family and neighbours being fearful of approaching their doctor in case the information they provide is used to detain or deport them.

NELSON are urging local residents to sign an open letter to Barts Health NHS Trust protesting the introduction of ID checks and upfront charging.

For a template letter and more information please see our Campaign Manager’s post No to Hostile Environment at Barts Health NHS Trust

Monday April 30, 2018. Protestors from Global Justice Now demonstrate outside the Home Office in London demanding an end to the Hostile Environment policy, ahead of parliamentary debate on the Windrush scandal. Photo: David Mirzoeff/Global Justice Now

Ealing Save Our NHS protests against Virgin Care

Ealing Save Our NHS organised a lively protest outside Ealing Town Hall on 17th August when Virgin Care came to town to promote its bid to run Ealing’s Out-of-Hospital services, which are up for grabs in a 10-year single contract worth up to 1.2 billion. Virgin came to sell themselves to community organisation and no doubt pick up ideas for their bid.

They were met by over 50 protesters who had gathered together at less than a week’s notice. Local MP Rupa Huq and Ealing Council Leader Julian Bell joined the protest as well as KONP activists from Lambeth, Lewisham, Greenwich, Waltham Forest and Save Our Hospitals Hammersmith & Charing Cross, and Unite Community.

The protest carried on inside the meeting where campaigners pretty much disrupted proceedings as Virgin Care struggled to answer questions about profits made from the NHS and declining services where they are the providers.

To get involved with the campaign in Ealing you can contact the Secretary for Ealing Save Our NHS, Eve Turner

Virgin take over GP service and it goes from outstanding to inadequate in just two years

Ealing’s efforts to keep Virgin Care out of their hospital have been proven to be vitally important given the news that a GP practice taken over by Virgin Care has been placed in special measures. It has gone from an official rating of ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’ in less than two years despite increased funding.

The Sutherland Lodge practice in Chelmsford, Essex, was taken over by the private provider in July 2016 after the previous partners handed back their contracts following a £400,000 funding cut to their contract with NHS England.
Prior to Virgin Care taking over, the practice was among the 4 per cent rated outstanding across England. But an inspection report published 14 May by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reveals that Sutherland Lodge is now rated inadequate overall. The report is based on an inspection carried out in December 2017 – just 18 months after Virgin Care took over the practice.
This story has been covered byI News and a write-up and video can be found on theirwebsite.
You can also read the CQC report online here.

999 Call for the NHS – court grants appeal against Judicial Review decision

The Court of Appeal has issued an order granting campaign group 999 Call for the NHS permission to appeal the ruling against their Judicial Review of the proposed payment mechanism in NHS England’s Accountable Care Organisation contract.
The campaign group will shortly be launching a further CrowdJustice appeal to raise £18,000 needed to cover the costs of the appeal. You can keep an eye on their website. For a full write-up on the appeal decision please see this article by Calderdale and Kirklees 999 call for the NHS.

Upcoming Events

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign march

22nd September 2018, 12pm

Assemble: L8 7SS corner of Grove Street

Please see this leaflet from Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign and the Facebook event page for more information.
You can also visit their website or Group Facebook Page for more information on the campaign and the work they are doing.

Save Our Children’s Services Pilgrim

Sunday 23rd September 2018, 1pm

Central Park, Boston, Lincolnshire

A family-friendly march to say no to downgrades for neonatal, maternity, children’s ward and A&E U16s at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital
Please get in touch via [email protected] or via Twitter.
The group are also appealing for funds

Save Leicester General’s Intensive Care Unit

Saturday 29th September 2018, 2pm-3.30pm

Hansom Hall, Leicester Adult Education College, 50-54 Belvoir St, Leicester, LE1 6QL
A Public Meeting called by Save Our NHS Leicestershire.

As NHS campaigners, patients, and members of the public we are furious that those running Leicester hospitals are taking a significant step towards closing Leicester General as an acute hospital without any public consultation.

Please head to the Save Our NHS Leicestershire website for further information or to get involved with the campaign.

Rally and march for HRI – we demand a fully functioning A&E

Saturday 6th October 2018, 12pm-1pm
Market Cross, Market Place, Selby, YO8 4JS
Hands Off HRI are planning on holding a march to demand a fully functioning A&E.
More information to follow via their Facebook Page.

Sussex Defend the NHS and Brighton and Hove Trades Council march for the NHS

Saturday 13th October 2018

The organisers aim to bring together as many public services, organisations and unions to show their collective outrage against the destructiveness and inhumanity of this government’s policies and to show solidarity with those whose lives have been, and are being, and will be, destroyed.

If you’d like to get involved please get in touch with Carolyn

From KONP Office

Sign up to our mailing list

If you have happened upon our newsletter via the website and would like to receive an email notification ahead of its publication each month you can now sign up to our mailing list.

Events Page

If you have a campaigning event, demonstration, stall, or meeting coming up that you’d like to publicise please email us to let us know and we can put it on our new events section of the website as well as including it in this monthly newsletter.

Will you join us, become a member, or donate?

Thank you to everyone already supporting us. To everyone else, 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.

Join Keep Our NHS Public today

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