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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"

 

Answers to our NHS questions for 4th May County Council Elections

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 10:17
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Answers from parties contesting the May 4th 2017 Gloucestershire County Council elections. We will continue to publish answers received before the election - we encourage members of the public to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

We received answers from the Labour Group, from County Councillor Iain Dobie, GCC Liberal Democrat Group Spokesperson on Health on behalf of the Liberal Democrat Group, and from The Green Party. We have not received any response from either the Conservative Party or UKIP. The answers below are copied in their entirety as recieved. We have not included further information from The Green Party so as to keep the format consistent:

 

1. Do you support the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for NHS Gloucestershire and if (re-)elected what will you to support/improve/oppose its implementation?
 

Labour Group:

"The Labour Group does not support the STP and would look to review it at the earliest time. It is not democratic, and is not representative of how decisions should be made. The Tories have made this Plan in secret, and have purposely excluded Councillors from shaping it."

 

Liberal Democrat Group: 

"To date, the Gloucestershire STP lacks the detail needed to form a judgement on it. Whilst supporting the general principle of better integration of health and social care, we are concerned that in practice the STP may - after the May elections - reveal itself as a vehicle for "rationalisation" of services. For which read cuts, e.g. to maternity services at Cheltenham and Stroud hospitals."

 

Green Party:

"The Sustainability and Transformation Plan is a document of little substance, and nationally the Kings Fund has criticized their development due to their lack of funding, strategy, ambitious timeframes, and lack of consultation. Two glaring examples of issues with the STP in Gloucestershire are: firstly, it has been identified that there is a £100m hole in the plan, with no clarity as to where this money will come from. The fear is the money will come from the closure of hospitals and a reduction in beds, a situation, which, if done before there is greater community capacity, will create an even bigger crisis than we already have. Secondly, the plan mentions ‘radical self-care’ as a strategy for reducing people’s need to use health and social care services – but at the same time the Tory administration at Shire Hall have slashed the budget for public health. The Greens believe in a publicly owned NHS. It belongs to all of us. We built it. And we will oppose the further selling off of the NHS in Gloucestershire."


2) Do you believe the private sector (including Third Sector) has any role in services traditionally provided by the NHS or GP practices, or in loaning or providing capital?
If not, what will you do if (re-)elected to:
a) prevent further privatisation of services,
b) get non-emergency ambulances, community hospital pharmacies and Out of Hours services back into the NHS,
c) prevent the use of PFI in Gloucestershire's NHS?
 

Labour Group: 

"The private sector should have little to no role in the provision of healthcare in the UK. We have seen locally what has happened to services when they are contracted out to the private organisations. Labour would look at all available options to make sure that services are provided by the NHS. We will also fight against any more attempts to further privatise the NHS at a national or local level."

 

Liberal Democrat Group: 

"The Liberal Democrats believe there may be a subsidiary role for private or Third Sector providers, for example in enabling specialist minor surgery to be delivered more quickly and conveniently under NHS direction. Pharmacies, likewise, might provide more services. However we oppose any privatisations which may threaten the essential viability of a publicly funded and provided health service for all."

 

Green Party: 

"Whilst we believe that there is a role for voluntary organisations in health and social care, we are opposed to privatisation, and don’t believe the provision of public healthcare should result in private profits. Green Party policy is for healthcare and social care to be free at the point of use. We will support the return of privatised services to the council, and to the NHS. We are committed to transparency in all public contracts: and scrutiny of deals – to make sure they are in the public interest. We have seen the costs of PFI to public services and will oppose any proposal to use the PFI for construction procurement in the county."


3) Do you believe that health and social care in Gloucestershire have the funds they need? If (re-)elected, what will you do about funding of these services?
 

Labour Group: 

"Health and Social Care is in dire need of help. It has been savaged by the current Tory administration, with cuts close to £11m this year alone. The Labour Group have a plan that would see the Council deliver home care services, create a joined up relationship with the NHS and provide outstanding care to every resident. We would also fight for a proper funding formula to make sure that health and care services were protected."

 

Liberal Democrat Group: 

"The Liberal Democrats have campaigned, both nationally and here in Gloucestershire, against Conservative cuts to health and social care. Not only do we as a party propose an increase in funding for both, but we have also proposed - in a motion passed at the last County Council meeting - that there should be a major, national, cross-party, commission to agree a long-term and sustainable solution to the issue of funding for both. "

 

Green Party: 

"Health and Social Care are badly underfunded. As a full-time carer said, “it feels like the drawbridge has been pulled up when it comes to accessing services”. We need better scrutiny of contracts, which the Greens will bring through the open contracting motion. We will put pressure on central government for more money, not just roll over as the Tories are doing. Underfunding health and social care is a false economy – as a society we will always have to pay for it elsewhere. For example, poor social care funding makes for delayed transfer of care, or queues and long waiting times at A&E. There are choices which can be made by the County Council, and the Greens will fund social care instead of white elephant projects such as the incinerator."


4) Where integration of NHS and Social Care provision is proposed, will you work to:
a) ensure any service previously provided to all remains so and that
there is no extension of means-testing,
b) oppose any homogenisation of staff employment that reduces terms
and conditions?


Labour Group: 

"Means testing has limited use and should not be a default position. The
Labour Group would also commit the County Council to signing up to the Ethical Care Charter, which would not only protect front line services but also boost terms, conditions, and pay for the thousands of healthcare workers.

 

Liberal Democrat Group:

"Yes."

 

Green Party: 

"The integration of health and social care should be an opportunity to deliver better services: not a cover for cuts. We will make the case for investment in long-term change, not short-term fixes that cost more in the long-run.

We will oppose changes that undermine the security and conditions of the social care and healthcare workforce – as supporting staff is essential to making sure good care can be delivered."

 

 

5) Will you work with NHS campaigners in Gloucestershire to prevent closures or privatisation of services traditionally provided by the NHS or GP practices and to oppose cuts and changes that will have negative impacts on patients?

 

Labour Group:

"The Labour Group have a strong record of fighting and standing up for
the NHS across Gloucestershire, and we see no reason why that would change."

 

Liberal Democrat Group: 

"We oppose cuts and privatisations which will have negative effects on patients and will work with those campaigners who think likewise."

 

Green Party:

"We will continue to campaign with local residents to prevent cuts to health and social care: and to make sure everyone has access to care and support when they need it."

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 16:21
 

Our questions for candidates in the 2017 Gloucestershire County Council elections

Friday, 14 April 2017 16:01
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On Thursday 4th May 2017, there will be elections in Gloucestershire for County Councillors. There are 53 places on the council where elections are being contested. You can find out who is standing for Gloucestershire County Council where you live on the council's website.


While Stroud Against the Cuts could ask many questions of councillors, we have chosen to focus on one of our core areas of campaigning: the NHS (and Social Care).

We are sending the following questions to all candidates and will publicise the results on this website.

In the meantime, you may like to ask candidates who appear at your doorstep or put leaflets through your door these questions. If you receive answers in writing, please send them on to us via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


  1. Do you support the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for NHS Gloucestershire and if (re-)elected what will you to support/improve/oppose its implementation? 
  2. Do you believe the private sector (including Third Sector) has any role in services traditionally provided by the NHS or GP practices, or in loaning or providing capital? If not, what will you do if (re-)elected to: a) prevent further privatisation of services, b) get non-emergency ambulances, community hospital pharmacies and Out of Hours services back into the NHS, c) prevent the use of PFI in Gloucestershire's NHS?
  3. Do you believe that health and social care in Gloucestershire have the funds they need? If (re-)elected, what will you do about funding of these services?
  4. Where integration of NHS and Social Care provision is proposed, will you work to: a) ensure any service previously provided to all remains so and that there is no extension of means-testing, b) oppose any homogenisation of staff employment that reduces terms and conditions?
  5. Will you work with NHS campaigners in Gloucestershire to prevent closures or privatisation of services traditionally provided by the NHS or GP practices, and to oppose cuts and changes that will have negative impacts on patients?
Last Updated on Friday, 14 April 2017 17:19
 


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