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Letter to local papers re: NHS exhibition and Gloucestershire STP

Monday, 20 March 2017 10:43
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The letter below was published in the Stroud News & Journal as "Reader's Letter: ‘Thanks for coming to hub’":


We would like to express our thanks to everyone who attended our NHS exhibition and campaign hub on Stroud High St from February 4th-11th. We wanted to raise awareness about the Gloucestershire NHS five-year “Sustainability and Transformation Plan”, which claims that – through partnership between the County Council and local health bosses in the Clinical Commissioning Group - a plan has been made to provide more joined up care to meet people’s needs more effectively despite huge funding pressures. SATC believes that cuts to services and sell offs are being hidden as the plan demands £226 million of savings and there is a £100 million hole in the capital budget, the local share of a national £22 billion gap in funding provided and the estimated requirement.

 

Our “Hands Off our NHS” postcard asks all County Councillors to robustly defend Gloucestershire NHS services against further loss of hospital beds and services by opposing the local plan and the government’s underfunding of the NHS and social care. The plans are a fantasy wish list, heavily dependent on the NHS spending large sums on IT, with no guarantees about the future of our hospitals, and with no evidence to back them up. Although the Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council is a signatory to the plan, financial and other details have not been made available to the public or even to our elected representatives. We fear that information is being withheld because of the County Council elections which are happening in May - not having the detail is a significant restraint on the democratic process.

 

Health Campaigns Together – joint organisers of the national protest in London this Saturday, believe that “by trying to engage local authorities into signing off  STPs, NHS England has for the first time opened up the possibility of forcing some accountability” (through our elected councillors). We urge our County Councillors to speak out, and are encouraging our Gloucestershire politicians to follow the example of those in other areas who have successfully opposed their local STPs.

 

This government is making a political choice to underfund the NHS, to close and privatise services and to reduce our access to healthcare as the system becomes more like the disastrous one in America. We hope people will join us on the coach to London or at our stall on Kings St at 12 noon this Saturday to show their support for a publicly-funded, publicly-owned NHS providing comprehensive, universal care on the basis of need not ability to pay, and to demonstrate their opposition to this government’s policies.

 

Yours,

Caroline Molloy, Editor of ourNHS openDemocracy campaigning journalism website, and James Beecher, Chris Stockwell, Hannah Basson, Stroud Against the Cuts

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 20 March 2017 12:10
 

Gloucestershire campaigners to march on Parliament as part of national NHS protest

Sunday, 26 February 2017 23:11
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Press Release 27/02/2017 – Stroud Against the Cuts - Contact James Beecher: 07734 058789

Gloucestershire campaigners to march on Parliament as part of national NHS protest

What:

Around 100 people from Gloucestershire will take coaches from Stroud, Gloucester and Cheltenham to the national “It’s Our NHS” demonstration organised by Health Campaigns Together and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.


Stroud Against the Cuts will also hold a stall on Kings St – next to their window display in the former Thomsons Travel shop opposite Barclays.


When:

Saturday 4th March. Coaches will leave to arrive in London for the demonstration which starts at 12 noon. The stall in Kings St will operate from 11am – 1pm with a photo-call at 12 to coincide with the start of the demonstration in London

 

Campaigners against NHS cuts, closures and privatisation will join thousands of people from around the country in a march on Parliament this Saturday 4th March. Stroud Against the Cuts (SATC), which is affiliated to the national group Keep Our NHS Public, have organised a coach from Stroud to go to the rally. Tickets are available from www.tinyurl.com/stroud-nhs-coach, or via James on 07734 058789 - and coaches from Cheltenham and Gloucester have been organised by Cheltenham & Gloucester Against Cuts. SATC is also organising a protest outside their window display on Kings St (opposite Barclays) for people who cannot go to London, but wish to show their support. A variety of posters, produced by the public at a recent pop up NHS exhibition in Stroud, will be turned into placards and made available to people attending the NHS protest. 

 

 

James Beecher said “This government is making a political choice to underfund the NHS, to close and privatise services and to reduce our access to healthcare as the system becomes more like the disastrous one in America. The news has been full of terrible stories recently – but these are the direct results of government policies over the past 6 years, not the fault of patients, health workers, or the principles of the NHS. We hope people will join us on the coach to London or at our stall on Kings St at 12noon to show their support for a publicly-funded, publicly-owned NHS providing comprehensive, universal care on the basis of need not ability to pay, and to demonstrate their opposition to this government’s policies.”

 

The protest comes as local campaigners have been highlighting private company Care UK’s takeover of the management of Out Of Hours care in Gloucestershire, and concerns about the new 5-year Gloucestershire “Sustainability and Transformation Plan”. Opposition to the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) which have been produced for 44 areas in England, have been attracting much national press coverage.  Stroud Against the Cuts is encouraging councillors in Gloucestershire to follow the example of other councils who have successfully opposed their local STPs. Although the Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council is a signatory to the plan, financial and other details have not been made available to the public or even to our elected representatives.

 

 

Writing in a letter to the Editor today, Caroline Molloy, Editor of Open Democracy Our NHS, and colleagues in Stroud Against the Cuts said “SATC believes that cuts to services and sell offs are being hidden as the plan demands £226 million of savings and there is a £100 million hole in the capital budget. Our “Hands Off Our NHS” postcard asks all County Councillors to robustly defend Gloucestershire NHS services against further loss of hospital beds and services by opposing the local plan and the government’s underfunding of the NHS and social care. The plans are a fantasy wish list, heavily dependent on the NHS spending large sums on IT, with no guarantees about the future of our hospitals, and with no evidence to back them up. Not having the detail is a significant restraint on the democratic process.”  

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2017 19:39
 

Campaigners' anger as another local NHS service privatised

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 15:49
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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

For further information contact James Beecher 07734 058789

Campaigners' anger as another local NHS service privatised

 

Campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts has reacted angrily to news that Gloucestershire's Out of Hours primary care services are to be handed to private company Care UK (1).

 

James Beecher said: "We're angry that yet another local NHS service is set to be privatised. We've already seen terrible results when non-emergency ambulances were handed to Arriva (2), and now Out of Hours care is to be taken over by a company that was found to be discharging patients before they had been treated - with a 2015 ITV probe finding they put patients at “huge risk” (3). The company is well known for cutting care workers wages by up to 35% in Doncaster - prompting 90 days of strike action (4). The ongoing privatisation and underfunding of our NHS is exactly why we've organised a coach to take people to the National NHS demonstration on Saturday 4th March (5) - and are holding an exhibition about the damage being done by the government and how we can defend our health services from this Saturday 4th till Saturday 11th February, in the former Millets shop on Stroud High St (6)."

 

Notes for editors:

 

1. "CCG announce preferred bidder for the primary care Out of Hours service", Healthwatch Gloucestershire, 1st February 2017

2. E.g. "24 hours into new Gloucestershire ambulance service and patients had to wait hours for a lift", Gloucestershire Live, December 6th 2013

3. "Private NHS contractor 'boots out patients before finishing treatment to meet targets'", The Mirror, July 22nd 2015

4. "Care UK workers celebrate pay offer to end 90 days of strikes", The Guardian, November 8th 2014

5. National Demonstration - Coach from Stroud, details from Stroud Against the Cuts website

6. NHS Exhibition, details from Stroud Against the Cuts website

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:19
 

Cuts bombshell for Gloucestershire's NHS

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 22:52
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The text of our latest leaflet:

Cuts bombshell for Gloucestershire's NHS?

You’ve probably heard lots of news about problems in the NHS.
Now Stroud Against the Cuts have learned that Gloucestershire’s new plans for NHS include a £100 million hole in the budget. This is just one result of the government underfunding the NHS by at least £22 billion between now and 2020.
It’s a threat to our local hospitals and services.

 

The Gloucestershire Plan offers no guarantees of the future of our district hospitals – even though we’ve lost too many beds and local services already. They’ve hinted to Stroud Against the Cuts that Gloucestershire’s £100m financial hole will be filled by selling off more buildings, withdrawing NHS treatments and services - and more privatisation & PFI.


Gloucestershire NHS and County Council signed off more detailed plans and sent them to government before Christmas – but kept them secret from Gloucestershire residents. Will we only find out the truth after May’s County Council elections?


The government has said that the plans can be stopped by strong objections from councils - and other councils are opposing their local plans. Our Tory-led County Council claims these plans “aren’t cuts”, but in January the British Medical Association wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May telling her that the Tories must stop “presenting cuts as improvements in the face of palpably deteriorating services”.

Gloucestershire’s NHS has already been hit by:

  • Privatisation of hospital pharmacy, patient ambulances and more
  • Cuts to A&E opening times - Gloucester is now the only 24/7 A&E
  • ‘Phone/app-only’ services - replacing the Stop Smoking service
  • Bed shortages and longer waiting times – patients left waiting on trollies at Gloucester A&E!
  • GPs and other health workers leaving - fed up with government plans
     

What can you do?
Fill in a postcard to council leaders

Demanding they publicly oppose-the NHS cuts bombshell (‘Sustainability & Transformation Plan’).


Come to the National NHS Protest on Sat 4th March


Book a seat on the coach from Stroud at: tinyurl.com/stroud-nhs-coach or
contact James on 07734 058789 for a place (tickets £15/10/less if needed).
 

Learn more at our NHS exhibition - February 4th-11th


Come and talk to us and make protest placards to display and take to the March
4th demonstration at the former Millets shop on Stroud High St.
Open 9am-2pm Sat 4th & Sat 11th, 10-6pm Monday 6th-Friday 10th February.
 

It doesn’t have to be this way! Back the ‘NHS Reinstatement Bill’, to
end privatisation and save a fortune currently wasted on running the NHS as a
‘market’ just so private firms can bid for what they want: www.nhsbill2015.org
 

#ourNHS

no cuts | no closures | no privatisation
stroudagainstcuts.co.uk | 07734 058789 | Facebook and twitter: stroudanticuts

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 23:23
 

NHS exhibition and Campaign Hub

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:53
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What do you love about the NHS?

What message would you want to put on a protest placard about it?

From Saturday 4th February - Saturday 11th February, Stroud Against the Cuts will host an exhibition on the NHS in the ex-Millets shop on Stroud High St to help publicise a National Protest on the NHS in London on Saturday 4th March.

We are inviting submissions of placards that could be taken to the protest about the NHS - to be exhibited. As the exhibition will be held ahead of Valentines Day, we will be asking passers-by to tell us what they love about the NHS. More information on the Facebook event page - please invite your friends/share.

 

From 12-2pm Saturday 4th February, we'll have a workshop for accompanied children aged 3+ making and decorating posters.

And all week at our NHS Exhibition-with your placards! we'll have materials available for you to contribute your designs to our exhibition - and perhaps to be photocopied for the National NHS Protest - Stroud to London Coach. Join us to design something in the shop or bring a poster you've made along... or send designs to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

We would like artists - and anyone who wants to have a go - to design a placard according to the following rules:

  • Must be A4 portrait format, ideally A2 size
  • Ideally black and white, or using primary red and blue colours (as used in NHS logos) - suitable for photocopying
  • Bold designs that catch the eye, with limited text
  •  
  • You might like to focus on your personal experience of the NHS or that of your friends and family
  •  
  • You may wish to highlight the privatisation of services - such as local non-emergency ambulances which are now run by Arriva
  •  
  • The design could focus on government ministers including Prime Minister Theresa May or Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, or on the bosses of private companies who now run parts of the NHS, like Richard Branson of Virgin - or on the people who work in the NHS
  • Stroud Hospital or Maternity Unit - or other local NHS buildings - could feature in designs
  •  
  • Valentines-themed contributions are welcome!
Last Updated on Friday, 03 February 2017 13:31
 


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