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NHS demonstration as local campaigners join national “NHS in Crisis–Fix it Now” protests

Monday, 29 January 2018 11:35
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Press Release – 29/01/2018 – Stroud Against the Cuts

NHS demonstration as local campaigners join national “NHS in Crisis–Fix it Now” protests

Contact: James Beecher 07734 058789

·         Protestors will gather at The Cross in Gloucester from 12noon on Saturday 3rd February.

·         They will form a “waiting line” to represent the growing waiting lists for treatment and people forced to wait in corridors or ambulances as they wait for care in A&Es around the country.

·         The demonstration will be followed by a meeting for campaigners to discuss next steps from 1.30pm.

·         Organisations Stroud Against the Cuts, Cheltenham and Gloucester Against Cuts and Hands Off Lydney and the Dilke hospitals have joined forced to arrange the protest – which will coincide with a massive demonstration in London and other local protests around the country.

·         Facebook event: NHS in Crisis - Fix it Now protest - Gloucestershire.

James Beecher from Stroud Against the Cuts said: “The government is underfunding the NHS by at least £22billion between now and 2020. Gloucestershire faces over £200 million in cuts and a £100 million hole in their capital budget. This financial pressure follows over seven years of the same. This has resulted in chronic bed shortages around the country. Waiting times are getting longer, operations have been postponed and people have died waiting for care.”

He added: “Locally, we’ve seen Cheltenham A&E cease to be a full 24/7 A&E, and Minor Injuries Units around Gloucestershire have had their opening hours reduced. Fed-up GPs and other health workers are leaving after years of pay cuts. Plans to replace two of the county's community hospitals in the Forest of Dean with one have just been approved, potentially leading to a loss of another 20 beds. And services keep getting handed to private companies to run. The patient transport or non-emergency ambulance service has been appalling since it was handed to Arriva, and Out of Hours care is also now run by private company Care UK.”

Health Campaigns Together & The People's Assembly Against Austerity have called demonstrations on Saturday 3 February, under the title "END THE WINTER CRISIS, FUND #OURNHS".

Health Campaigns Together say: “The #NHSWinterCrisis has now descended into a perpetual year round crisis. A crisis that has brought staff to their knees and patients languishing and even dying in overcrowded waiting rooms and hospital corridors. It doesn't have to be this way. Let's be clear and call this what it is: an entirely manufactured political crisis by the Tories. It is time this Government stops blaming patients, nurses, doctors, immigrants, flu and the elderly for their shortcomings. It's time they start listening to the country - sick of empty promises from the mouths of cowardly politicians. The Tories must heed the call of the public, staff and patients alike who demand that #ourNHS is not only funded properly but brought back into public hands away from the waste and demands of shareholders and bankers' bonuses. On the 70th year of the NHS we created - We demand that #ourNHS is given back!"

 

Last Updated on Monday, 29 January 2018 12:07
 

NHS in Crisis - Fix it Now - Gloucestershire PROTEST Feb 3rd 2018

Friday, 26 January 2018 18:43
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Our NHS is being destroyed... it’s not an accident - but it is an emergency!
 

Let’s fight for our NHS: 

NHS in Crisis - Fix it Now - Gloucestershire PROTEST Feb 3rd 2018
Meet at The Cross, Gloucester, 12noon
NO CUTS! NO CLOSURES! NO PRIVATISATION!
 

(Part of nationwide day of protests called by Health Campaigns Together: healthcampaignstogether.com. Please share/invite friends to the protest Facebook event)


Around the country there are chronic bed shortages, waiting times are
getting longer, and operations have been postponed.

 

Cheltenham A&Ehas been downgraded (meaning it isn’t an A&E overnight), Minor Injuries
Units around Gloucestershire have had their opening hours reduced.


Fed-up GPs and other health workers are leaving.

Plans to replace two of the county's community hospitals in the Forest of Dean with one have just been approved, potentially leading to a loss of another 20 beds.


‘Phone/app-only’ services are replacing face-to-face services like the Stop
Smoking service.

Services keep getting handed to private companies to run - from non-emergency ambulances (patient transport, now run by Arriva), Out of Hours care (Care UK), and hospital pharmacy (Lloyds).


The government is underfunding the NHS by at least £22billion between
now and 2020. Gloucestershire faces over £200 million in cuts and a
£100 million hole in their capital budget... and reorganistion into an ‘ACO’.
 


We want an NHS that provides high-quality care, when people need it.
 

To provide good care, the NHS needs enough trained doctors, nurses and other workers - who should be properly paid. We want an end to the pay cap.


That means the NHS needs to be properly funded.
We must stop the underfunding and cuts of recent years.


We don’t want private companies pursuing profits to own or run
NHS services - this risks care and wastes money.


We want an NHS that cooperates to achieve the best care.
We must end forced competition for services that wastes billions in
a fake market - and allows Richard Branson to sue the NHS if contracts
aren’t given to his company.


No-one should go without care because they are unable to pay.
Treatment should be given on the basis of need -
no conditions should get in the way. Funding by progressive
taxation is fairest, charging for care must be opposed.


We want an end to the PFI rip-off, are opposed to the sell off of NHS
land and buildings under the Naylor report, and are concerned
about the introduction of ‘Accountable Care Organisations’ (ACOs),
which may mean private companies deciding which services are
available for free on the NHS.


Finally, we want the NHS to be as democratic as possible - decisions
must be accountable to patients, healthworkers, and the public.

 

Contact us for updates about campaigns, meetings and protests.
Help us spread the word: find the “Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public”
page and group on Facebook, send letters to local papers, and share
copies of this leaflet with friends, family, neighbours or at work.

 

Stroud: 07734 058789 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Cheltenham & Gloucester: 07947 632437 - cheltenham-gloucesteragainstcuts.org
Forest of Dean: holdpressteam.wordpress.com

 

Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS?

Sunday, 15 October 2017 20:57
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Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS? 

Please join us at Stroud Old Town Hall this coming Saturday 21st October for an event for anyone interested in getting involved in NHS campaigning locally.

Displays and drop-in 10am-12noon,

Workshop 12noon-2pm.

  • Do you want to know more about what is being done to the NHS?
  • Want to understand the impacts of cuts and privatisation locally?
  • Want to do something to prevent and reverse privatisation?
  • Fancy working with others including those who've had success fighting NHS privatisation locally in the past?


Then come to our "Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS?" event this coming Saturday 21st October.

We're hoping to create an open and welcoming space for anyone interested in NHS campaigning - from 10am-12noon we'll have displays with information, videos, and an opportunity to ask your questions one-on-one.

Then from 12noon till 2pm we'll have a workshop exploring what people know, what's going on, and what we can do to defend the NHS here in Stroud and Gloucestershire.

There's a lot to do, and we'd really appreciate help - come and find out how you can contribute.

 

More details and articles about NHS issues we will discuss on the day in our latest newsletter.

Facebook event to share/invite friends: Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS?

 

First time you've come across Stroud Against the Cuts? Read our latest newsletters.

Last Updated on Sunday, 15 October 2017 21:39
 

NHS 69th anniversary event - Wed 5th July, 6-8pm

Saturday, 01 July 2017 19:45
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03/07/2016 Press Release: Campaigners mark 69th anniversary of NHS founding

What: Picnic with food and drink, music, face-painting and sharing of thoughts on the NHS

When: Wednesday 5th July, from 6pm (till around 8pm)

Where: Trinity Pocket Park, next to the Trinity Rooms (opposite Stroud Hospital/Stroud Maternity Hospital)

Description:

It's the 69th anniversary of the founding of the NHS on Wednesday July 5th 2017 (1), and campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts (2) will be holding a bring-and-share picnic involving music, face-painting, and thoughts on the past, present and future of the NHS - including short updates on local and national NHS campaigning. The event is part of the national Health Campaigns Together week of events and action in every area (3) which kicked off with the “Not One Day More” demonstration in London on Saturday 1st July (4). Organisers are inviting people to dress in 1948-style or wear NHS blue/white, and to prepare "party pieces" - short comments on recent experiences of the NHS, memories of how the service has changed, and perspectives on which aspects of the NHS we should celebrate.

Quote:

James Beecher, one of the organisers said: “We want to celebrate the principles behind the NHS – of comprehensive and universal health care provided on the basis of need not ability to pay, paid from taxation – the fairest way. We think high-quality, prompt, healthcare needs well-trained, well-rewarded workers – and that achieving a system that provides this efficiently and affordably means a service that is publicly owned and run – accountable to the public. On Wednesday, we will both celebrate the NHS and reaffirm our commitment to fight the policies which have undermined our the service in recent years and decades - through privatisation, emphasis on competition rather than cooperation, and attacks on the terms and conditions of workers – from doctors and nurses to cleaners. We’ll be mentioning the ongoing local Minor Injuries Units, privatisation of the Out of Hours service, the problems of the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ for Gloucestershire and other aspects of health campaigning locally and nationally.”

More information is available on the Stroud Against the Cuts website and on Facebook

Notes:

1.       The 5th July is the day then Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (now known as Trafford General Hospital). Stroud Against the Cuts held a similar celebratory picnic last year and plan to hold a larger event to mark the 70th anniversary in 2018.

2.       Stroud Against the Cuts was formed in November 2010, and in 2011/12 successfully fought to prevent privatisation of Gloucestershire’s community health services – the event, like that campaign, is organised under the Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public name through which the group is affiliated to national groups Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together.

3.       Health Campaigns Together is a national network of national and local groups campaigning on health policy.

4.       Members of Stroud Against the Cuts joined thousands of people at the Not One Day More demonstration in London, on a coach of 65 people including members of Unite Community, Cheltenham & Gloucester Against Cuts, Unite the Unison and other groups.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 July 2017 10:47
 

Letter to local papers on NHS

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 09:51
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The following letter has been published in at least one local paper and was sent to others. It is written by Hannah Basson, Treasurer of Stroud Against the Cuts. References for the points made follow the text.

 

Dear Sir,

Stroud has a history of supporting health services being publicly-owned and funded. This is the most economical and fair way to distribute services, yet this government keeps attacking the NHS.

Of promised funding, less than half is new money. Once maintenance backlog and PFI repayments (including very recent ones) are factored, the real terms increase is about 13% of what’s being offered. Costly tenders for contracts, enforced since 2012, and forced savings of £22 billion hurt even more. Are these privatised contracts any better? Locally Out of Hours, hospital pharmacies, buildings maintenance, smoking cessation clinics, and transport services suggest not.

We are told investment is being made to GP services but unprecedented numbers are leaving and surgeries are shutting. GPs are told to refer patients on earlier, yet being told to refer less. Admissions to nursing schools have reduced by 23% since the government stopped training bursaries, there have been 90% fewer job applications from EU nurses since the referendum and there are still 1000s of vacancies.

The government says that the NHS will remain ‘free at the point of use’, but this does not necessarily mean comprehensive, universal, or treatment according to need.

The national media publish stories of the cost of ‘health tourism’ (0.3% of NHS budget actually), yet seem at ease with a system that costs about 15% to simply fragment services in order to feed a growing private sector.

Our NHS costs less than most other comparable countries in the world and the Commonwealth Fund named it the most efficient. Seven years ago, it was at the top of the Commonwealth Fund league tables in most categories.

Think that we can’t afford the NHS? This is a fiction to divert your eyes from the truth, by a Health Secretary who co-authored a book that called for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system. He is ably abetted by colleagues, such as a Conservative policy advisor who advised that the NHS would “cease to exist” within five years of a Tory government.

Sincerely,

Hannah Basson

(Treasurer, Stroud Against the Cuts)

 

This letter was sent without references but should you wish to follow up claims made, a few links are pasted below:

 

"Stroud has a history of supporting health services being publicly-owned and funded"

 

"[public ownership and funding] is the most economical and fair way to distribute services" - read e.g. "At what cost? Paying the price for the market in the English NHS" (direct link to pdf)

 

"[Of funding promised by the Conservative government], less than half is new money. Once maintenance backlog and PFI repayments (including very recent ones) are factored, the real terms increase is about 13% of what’s being offered" - read e.g "NHS spending per person will be cut next year, minister confirm"

 

"Costly tenders for contracts, enforced since 2012" / "a system that costs about 15% to simply fragment services in order to feed a growing private sector" - read Caroline Molloy from Stroud's essential article "The billions of wasted NHS cash no-one wants to mention"

 

"forced savings of £22 billion" - read Caroline Molloy's "NHS cuts - are we in it together?"

 

"Are these privatised contracts any better? Locally Out of Hours, hospital pharmacies, buildings maintenance, smoking cessation clinics, and transport services suggest not" - read e.g. "Private health contractor comes under fire for "putting profit before service""

 

"We are told investment is being made to GP services but unprecedented numbers are leaving and surgeries are shutting." - read e.g "If general practice fails, the whole NHS fails"

 

"Admissions to nursing schools have reduced by 23% since the government stopped training bursaries"

 

"there have been 90% fewer job applications from EU nurses since the referendum and there are still 1000s of vacancies"

 

"The national media publish stories of the cost of ‘health tourism’ (0.3% of NHS budget actually)"

 

"Our NHS costs less than most other comparable countries in the world and the Commonwealth Fund named it the most efficient."

"Seven years ago, it was at the top of the Commonwealth Fund league tables in most categories."

 

"a Health Secretary who co-authored a book that called for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system"

 

"a Conservative policy advisor who advised that the NHS would “cease to exist” within five years of a Tory government"

 


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