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Cuts bombshell for Gloucestershire's NHS

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 22:52 administrator
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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 ( Tuesday, 31 January 2017 23:23 )
 

NHS exhibition and Campaign Hub

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:53 administrator
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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 ( Friday, 03 February 2017 13:31 )
 

Open Letter to Gloucestershire County Councillors regarding our concerns about the NHS 'Sustainability and Transformation Plan' for Gloucestershire

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:57 administrator
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Dear Gloucestershire County Councillors,

 

We are extremely concerned by the disparity between the level of information, including financial information, contained in  the Gloucestershire NHS plan (known as the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ or STP) as published by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), including the appendices, and the details contained in STP submissions in other “footprints” using the same financial template.

 

Information that has not been published in Gloucestershire, though it has been published in other areas, includes:

  the estates strategy for the county’s hospitals

  projected county-wide bed figures

  projected county-side staffing/workforce figures

  figures for the future projected deficits of each of the four main NHS Trusts providing healthcare to Gloucestershire, and the impact on them of these plans

  a proper Risk Register of planned productivity improvements

 

We note with deep concern that the plan contains no guarantee that current levels of hospital provision will be protected.

 

We further note with deep concern that assumptions are made throughout the plan that may well undermine still further, the provision of hospital and other NHS care in Gloucestershire in future.  Notably, the plan makes many assertions about the potential for arrangements for self-care, active communities, and the benefits of digital investment, without citing one single piece of evidence to justify any of those assertions. It claims that Gloucestershire can become above average (compared to similar counties) in simply everything, without explaining why or how this is possible, let alone how it will save £72.2m, on top of another £70m of ‘provider efficiencies’.

 

Perhaps most worryingly of all, the plan is riven with holes in the capital budget. It makes clear that the savings are ‘capital dependent’ but where the approximately £150m investment is to come from, is left largely unspecified. In both the financial segment of the main plan, and the appendices (notably the digital appendix) we are told that this investment is to come partially from small central government pots, but also from ‘3rd party developer capital’ (private finance initiative?) and from ‘unknown’ sources. Given the lack of guarantees about estates and workforce, the suspicion must be that these holes will be filled with further cuts and sell offs of our much loved and vital hospitals, and greater reliance on private patients.

 

Our concerns about this process are shared by NHS insiders up and down the country – for example Julia Simon, former head of NHS England Commissioning, recently denounced the process as ‘shameful’ and ‘mad’. (1)

 

We are certain that Gloucestershire CCG will hold more detailed information on the financial, operational, estates and workforce plans, more in line with that information provided in other areas, which they have not disclosed. For you to even consider allowing your paid officers to approve a plan whose details you have not been allowed to see, while contracts are due to be signed by 23 December, would be a dereliction of duty. We call on you to reject the plan, pending its full disclosure followed by a full, statutory 3 month consultation with the public and all interested parties, including NHS staff and their unions

 

We will be working with others to ensure that county councillors attention to the future of our local health services is highlighted in the forthcoming county council elections, and to this end have copied the local press in to this email. We thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

Yours sincerely,

 

James Beecher

Chair, Stroud Against the Cuts

 

Caroline Molloy

Co-ordinator, Stroud Against the Cuts, and Editor, OurNHS openDemocracy

 

(1) 'Shameful' pace of STP rollout risks financial meltdown, warns former NHS commissioning chief, GP Online, 28th September 2016

 

It's Our NHS - National Demonstration - March 4th, London. Coach from Stroud

Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:42 administrator
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Stroud Against the Cuts is organising a coach to the March 4th "It's OurNHS" - National Demonstration in London.


Please book coach tickets via this link ASAP to help us make arrangements (please pay £15 if you can afford it to help subsidise tickets at £10 and less for those who can't but want to attend). Call James on 07734 058789 if you cannot book tickets online.


The demonstration is organised by Health Campaigns Together & The People's Assembly Against Austerity, and the calls are:


*For a fully funded, publicly owned, NHS & social care service
*No cuts, no closures, no privatisation
*End the pay restraint for NHS staff

Full info, and supporting organisations:
www.ournhs.info / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | Twitter: @NHS_demo

Assemble: 12pm, Tavistock Square, London
March to Parliament

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 January 2017 10:50 )
 

Support the NHS Reinstatement Bill (in Parliament on Nov 4th)

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 15:06 administrator
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Stroud Against the Cuts supports the Campaign for an NHS Reinstatement Bill.

We have been running stalls recently to build support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill - a piece of legistation designed to deal with the problems that have been created in our health service. The Bill will be in Parliament on the 4th November, and we have been encouraging people to write to local MP Neil Carmichael to encourage him to attend the debate and support the bill [You can copy and edit or send this text to Neil Carmichael via email orpost to him at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA]. Below is a copy of the letter, followed by further information about why the Bill is needed and what is happening to our NHS.

 

We will visit Neil Carmichael on Friday 28th October, and hold stalls on Saturday 29th. If you can attend/help, please contact Christine Stockwell: chris [AT] candmstockwell [DOT NET], or phone James Beecher on 07734 058789. We would particularly like to hear from people able to help with stalls in Dursley, Nailsworth, and Stonehouse.

 

Letter to Neil Carmichael

Dear Neil Carmichael,

The NHS Reinstatement Bill is scheduled for its second reading on 4th November 2016. I urge you to ensure it is granted time for debate in the House of Commons, and to support this Bill - which has cross party support.

 

The NHS Bill will provide the legal framework to:

Ø  Restore the NHS as an accountable public service

Ø  Reverse 25 years of marketisation in the NHS

Ø  End contracting out of services, which destabilises and fragments  the NHS; enabling billions of pounds currently spent on “transaction costs” to be re-directed to frontline services

Ø  Support integration of health with social care

Ø  Remove the NHS from EU competition law

Ø  Restore the duty of government to provide health services across England

 

The present costly, chaotic, fragmented and ineffective system urgently needs to be replaced by one that will allocate resources according to need, through a fair, democratically accountable and integrated planning system, removing the market and competition from the NHS. The Government’s current Sustainability and Transformation Plans will only perpetuate the market system.  We need our services to be comprehensive, transparent, equitable and affordable.  The only way all these goals can be attained is through full public ownership of our NHS.  Such a change requires legislation to win back our NHS in England.  Please support the bill.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible

Yours,

Stroud Against the Cuts 

Why do we need an NHS Reinstatement bill?

The NHS has been undermined as a public service over the last 25 years with increased outsourcing of services to private companies. From the privatisation of cleaning in hospitals which led to a rise in hospital super-bugs (MRSA); to the setting up of an expensive system of buying and selling services within the NHS (purchaser/ provider split); through costly PFI mortgages on new NHS buildings; through the expensively-run privatised social care of our elderly and more vulnerable adults; closures and transfers, many hospitals in Gloucestershire reducing beds by 100s; NHS money going on new private facilities instead of put in to the current ones; NHS trusts being run by private companies; the fully marketised structure introduced by the 2012 Act; the reduction of our A&E services and the privatisation of many services locally and nationally.


The Health and Social Care Act 2012 broke up the national system for needs-based health care planning in England, replacing it with a market model, which is destabilising and fragmenting NHS provision, AND which costs more to run than the public system.  The NHS Reinstatement bill has cross-party support. It will restore the NHS as an accountable public service, where taxpayer’s money goes to care not profit.  

Can we afford the National Health Service?

According to the national press, NHS trusts are running a deficit of anything up to £3 billion.  Apparently, drastic action must be undertaken or services will break down as hospitals become bankrupt.  In spite of this, the NHS is being made to find savings of £22 billion.  Yet an analysis of the Department of Health’s latest Annual Report and Accounts by Health Care Audit, a group of finance and business consultants, show that the DoH does have adequate money to cover the deficit. They simply choose not to.  Only one side of the finance story is being printed in our national papers.

We are the world’s sixth richest country.  We CAN afford a comprehensive health service for all, which will maintain the health of the nation and contribute to our economic well-being.   

What are Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs)?

In her speech introducing the bill, Margaret Greenwood MP explained:

“England has been divided into 44 areas, each of which is required to come up with an STP.   The first priority for the STP is that Clinical Commissioning Groups and providers must cut expenditure, stay within budget for 2016-17 and continue to do so for the next 4 years in order to be entitled to access centrally controlled transformation funding.  They will face tough choices – they could sell assets, cut services, ration services or actually charge for services.  …. we can expect to see hospitals taking private patients to generate extra cash, putting NHS patients at the back of the queue. 

The concept of a comprehensive service free at the point of use will be lost within a generation, and we will all face the real possibility of having to buy health insurance, just as people do in America.

 ….these hospitals are ours.  They have been paid for out of our taxes and are run by our NHS staff – they are not the Government’s to give away.  This bill provides a viable alternative to the current system.”

Yes to

Public ownership of NHS assets
Comprehensive care from high quality staff
Enough Doctors and Nurses to keep our hospitals open and safe
Legally protected from dodgy deals like TTIP
An NHS that’s for everyone without discrimination –its founding vision
Health Secretary has the duty  to provide a  comprehensive, secure NHS

 

X  No to

Private companies cherry picking easy operations, quick procedures, easy cash

Competing NHS  trusts, fighting off bids from private companies like Virgin

Longer waiting times; more bed closures, rationing of operations & aids

Dangerously underfunded emergency & maternity services

Expanding insurance based care

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 October 2016 15:47 )
 


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