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Stroud Against The Cuts

Celebrating, Defending, Reclaiming our NHS - a weekend of events

Thursday, 28 April 2016 20:33 administrator
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Ahead of the anniversary of the founding of the NHS on July 5th 1948, we've organised a weekend of events exploring the past, present and future of the NHS and how we can campaign to ensure healthcare for all.

The main event is a day of talks, workshops and stalls, 10am-5pm on Saturday 18th - including workshops on researching privatisation, organising in health and social care workplaces and in community campaigns. There will be activities for children at the SVA (12.30-1.30pm), and parents will be able to leave children at the regular creche at the nearby Stroud Baptist Church on Saturday morning.

Caroline Molloy - Editor of OurNHS will offer tips on campaigning and attempt to answer all your niggling NHS questions (11am-12noon), Mark - a Unison rep and member of the Protect CCHP campaign which successfully fought privatisation of children's NHS services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire - will provide a training session for health and social care workers on organising in workplaces (12.30-1.30pm), and Corporate Watch will run a session on researching the private companies taking over our NHS (1.30-3.30pm).
Other health workers and speakers will join us for a panel debate, and we'll have a keynote speech on the past, present and future of the NHS (3.30pm - 4pm, followed by Q&A and debate till 5pm).

This is accompanied by a weekend-long exhibition at the Line Gallery in John St - "How Come We Didn't Know" - featuring Keep Our NHS Public member Marion Macalpine's series of photographs exploring the hidden privatisation of our NHS.

We're also screening Michael Moore's documentary comparing health systems internationally and the health insurance industry, SiCKO, 7-9pm on Saturday night and further entertainment comes in the form of HEARTBEAT! A night of comedy, video and music at the SVA, John St. 8pm - late on Friday night, and a 'Doctors and Nurses' closing party with the Vine Club 9.30pm - late on Saturday night.

Attendance to all events bar the Vine Club Closing Party is free - but we will be seeking to recover costs and collect donations to help us fund our NHS campaigning activity.


For more information read our latest newsletter for our supporters.


Last Updated ( Friday, 10 June 2016 19:59 )

Supporting the junior doctors strike

Thursday, 28 April 2016 08:58 administrator
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Stroud Against the Cuts is supporting junior doctors as they oppose imposition of an unsafe and unfair new contract of employment. Learn about the junior doctors dispute via the BMA's special website.

Below are some videos featuring local junior doctors speaking about the dispute and explaining why they have been left with no option but to take strike action

Farzad Sadaat speaks at a public meeting organised by Stroud Against the Cuts in February:

Charlotte Walker speaks at the rally at the end of the March for the NHS on 12th March in Cheltenham - organised by Stroud Against the Cuts, Momentum Cheltenham & Gloucester, Gloucestershire Socialist Party and Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public.

Sarah Tomlinson speaks at the rally at the start of the March for the NHS:



Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:26 administrator
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  • · 250 people March through streets of Cheltenham on Saturday 12th March to support strike action by Junior Doctors

  • · Protest comes as polling shows 66% of the public support strike action by Junior Doctors


  • · Protestors express disappointment at attendance of MPs to debate NHS Bill on Friday 11th March


Contact: James Beecher 07734 058789 | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photographs are available on request.

More than 250 marched through along the Promenade in Cheltenham to a rally in Montpelier Gardens on Saturday, in a “March for the NHS” organised by Stroud Against the Cuts, Cheltenham & Gloucester Against Cuts, and Momentum Cheltenham and Gloucester (one of the local branches of the group set up to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party).

A video of the March has already been viewed 3,500 times. On Wednesday 9th March, polling firm Ipsos Mori reported that “Public support for the third round of the junior doctors’ strike is as high as it was for the first two strikes in January and February, [with] the same proportion (65%) supporting junior doctors strikes as for the previous round of action in February (66%) [. Meanwhile] Opposition to junior doctors striking has decreased by five percentage points [from 22%] to 17%”.


Local Junior Doctor Charlotte complained (in a speech recorded on video) that David Cameron and other government ministers had been lying about the dispute. “Does he have any idea about the amazing emergency services that we are already providing?”, she asked. “There are Obs and Gynae services [Obstetrics and Gynaecology] 24/7, there is A&E 24/7, there are junior doctors on the wards dealing with all kinds of emergencies 24/7, 365 days a year.” Addressing Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, she said: “We work weekends Jeremy, we work nights Jeremy, we work all year Jeremy. Trying to use the argument that we need a 7-day NHS to change junior doctor contracts is completely flawed. You cannot spread 5-days worth of 9-5 doctors plus doctors that are providing emergency care 24/7, across 7 days. We are not overstaffed in the week and we cannot be then spread to the weekend. They are not proposing that we actually work more hours, they just want to spread us thinner across the week. But we’re already understaffed during the week! We need more resources. If you want to sell a 7-day NHS to the public, you have to be willing to increase funding, increase the number of nurses, increase the diagnostics staff, increase the number of social workers so you can actually discharge patients at the weekend. Junior doctors are already there all weekend. All night, all day – Christmas, Easter – I’m working Easter weekend for example!”

As well as the speeches from another Junior Doctor, a member of the Royal College of Nurses, and local campaigners, a statement was read out on behalf of Shane Clark - a UNISON steward in the ambulance service who was working and hence unable to make the protest: “UNISON members from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation that provides 999 and out-of-hours doctor services to Gloucestershire has massive concerns about the state of emergency service provision in the NHS.  This is not limited to Gloucestershire because this is a national issue and one that our UNISON colleagues within other neighbouring NHS organisations continue to highlight on an almost daily basis.  

So what is the root issue? Put simply it's a lack of government funding over a long period of time. This long term neglect has all of a sudden caught up with us. […] Our members in UNISON also stand in solidarity alongside the Junior Doctors and groups such as 38Degrees, Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance and Stroud Against Cuts to name but a few - all with the same aim of highlighting these concerns. Together we are stronger and it's great to know so many people care about the great work done by those in the NHS.”


James Beecher from Stroud Against the Cuts spoke about why the group supported the NHS Reinstatement Bill that had its second reading in Parliament on Friday 11th March: “The Bill seeks to reverse not only the Coalition Government’s Health & Social Care Act introduced by Andrew Lansley – which introduced Clinical Commissioning Groups, mandatory tendering of services, and removed the duty to provide comprehensive healthcare – but previous marketising reforms too. Crucially including not only a resolution on PFI and protection for international trade agreements, not only the end of the ‘external market’ that allows private companies to take over our health services, but the ‘internal market’ that forces even public NHS bodies to compete against each other […] The NHS Reinstatement Bill calls for an “organisation” of what is currently disorganised – fragmented and competing.””

Mr Beecher and others expressed disappointment that under 50 MPs attended the debate on the Bill, including only 14 Labour MPs. They said Stroud Against the Cuts would continue to support the bill and encourage MPs to do so. The group will also be supporting further strike action by Junior Doctors, set for 8am on Wed 6th - 8am Fri 8th April and 8am on Tues 26th- 8am Thurs 28th April.


Notes for editors:

1. For more information on the March, including photos and videos, go to the Stroud Against the Cuts Facebook page.

2. For more information on the Junior Doctors strike, organised by the British Medical Association.

3. The full details of the Ipsos Mori polling are available online.




NHS Reinstatement Bill - letter to SNJ from SATC Treasurer Hannah Basson

Thursday, 17 March 2016 16:22 administrator
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Dear Sir,

In 2012, Stroud Against the Cuts fought hard and
won to keep local health services publicly-owned.  Now many people are scared that a deal being
done behind closed doors between the EU and the USA (known as TTIP) will lead
to further expensive privatisations and reduction of services, with an increase
in user charges and the introduction of the government’s much debated health insurance

This Friday 11th will see the 2nd reading in Parliament of the NHS Bill.

This Bill is the first serious attempt in over 30 years to restore the NHS to its founding values as a publicly-owned, economically-sensible service that would offer universal health and wellness services, funded via taxation.  This Bill would stop the NHS being treated as a service of ‘economic interest’ which keeps it vulnerable to the vulture-like
picking off of more profitable aspects by large corporations.  It would also remove the NHS from TTIP.

The cost of enacting this Bill would be saved very quickly, with savings from then on of up to £20 billion a year according to some academics. This is the price of running the NHS for the benefit of privateers and those who wish to promote the idea that the NHS is unaffordable (more precise costing has been embargoed indefinitely by this government).

Although, its detractors say NHS staff do not want another reorganisation, under the current system thousands of NHS staff will be ‘reorganised’ every 3-7 years as services are re-tendered and staff contracted over and over.  

This is the only sensible reorganisation that puts patients first.

To find out more, please have a look at or and look out for people giving
out leaflets with more details.   

Hannah Basson


Protect NHS staff, Protect Our NHS - Public Meeting Monday 8th February

Friday, 22 January 2016 11:23 administrator
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WHAT: Public Meeting on how we can support health workers and protect our NHS

WHERE: Stroud Old Town Hall, The Shambles, GL5 1AP

WHEN: Monday 8th February, 7-9pm


Stroud Minor Injuries Unit was recently forced to close overnight due to a shortage of staff. 50 protestors gather hold a banner reading "Protect NHS Staff, Protect Our NHS - fight the #juniorcontract"

Our local non-emergency ambulance service in Gloucestershire is run by private company Arriva. The local A&E at Cheltenham has been downgraded. Around the country, government policies and funding cuts are leading to closures, restrictions, longer waiting lists and privatisation. Health workers are under attack.


But there is a fightback - Junior Doctors recently took historic strike action, students and nurses are organising against the removal of bursaries that fund training, and campaigners in Bristol and elsewhere are winning local battles against privatisation. Join us to discuss how we can help protect NHS staff, and protect the NHS.


This public meeting will involve short presentations from Protect CCHP - who have been successfully keeping Virgin out of children's health services in Bristol, specialist, campaigning news project OurNHS, and (TBC) a Junior Doctor and member of the British Medical Association.

More details to come, but please put the date in your diary.


Find out more, let us know you're coming, and help us publicise the event on Facebook.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 January 2016 22:39 )

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