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Campaigners' anger as another local NHS service privatised

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 15:49 administrator
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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 ( Wednesday, 01 February 2017 16:19 )

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: 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:


no cuts | no closures | no privatisation | 07734 058789 | Facebook and twitter: stroudanticuts


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 January 2017 23:23 )

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: / 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 )

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


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