Defend Our NHS : Annual General Meeting 5th September…and more

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Dear friends of the NHS

®    A reminder that our annual general meeting is next Thursday 5th September   starting at 7:00pm in Birkenhead Town Hall. As promised the annual report (for approval at the meeting) is attached. After what is usually a fairly short formal session we’ll have a chance to discuss any pressing issues and then to gather informally in the nearby Gallagher’s pub.

®    The following day (Friday 6th September)  some of us will be joining campaigners from all over the country in London to hand a petition to the Secretary of State, to hold a silent protest and then a rally in Trafalgar Square. Click here for details.

®    Also on 6th  October we’ll be welcoming James Corbett after his epic march from Glasgow to London to save the NHS. James is presenting his petition the previous day. Click here for details and see this article.

®    There’s an excellent simple leaflet attached for sharing.

®    And now for something completely different… Thursday 3rd October is National Poetry Day. You and friends are very welcome to an ‘open mic’ evening of poetry and music. Anyone can turn up and perform. The venue (in Birkenhead) will be announced soon.

®    Be as creative as you like. (National Poetry Day 2019 has set the theme – TRUTH. WE are calling all campaigners and friends who enjoy the arts to use this day to deliver just that – TRUTH! As well as joining us you can leave a poem on a lamp post, in the supermarket, on the bus or train. Spontaneous pop-up busking poetry spots in shopping centres and on the High Street. Open mic events, poetic letters to the local paper.)

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

Defend Our NHS: FOUR important notices (A, B, C, D).

As ever we’re proud to support Defend Our NHS (who are leafleting  in Moreton TOMORROW- see below) and particularly keen to call out (no pun intended) the local and international trash that are making decisions about OUR NHS. 
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Dear friends of the NHS

A:

This is to give notice of the Defend Our NHS Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2019 on Thursday 5th September from 7.00pm at Birkenhead Town Hall, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, CH41 5BR.

All supporters are invited. The agenda is below. The papers for the event will be emailed to you later this week and will also be available on our Facebook page. Paper copies of these will NOT be available at the meeting. Please bring them in electronic form or print at home.

The AGM agenda is:

  1. Defend Our NHS (DONHS): annual report introduced by the Chair + vote to approve
  2. Financial position: report from the Treasurer + vote to approve
  3. Changes to the constitution: report from the Secretary + vote to approve
  4.    Election of officers: nominations received + vote to elect

Nominations are invited for eight ‘officer’ posts. These are vital roles with active responsibilities to continue and develop the work of Defend Our NHS. Only individuals willing to accept the responsibilities detailed in the constitution should consider nomination. Nominations must be received (by email only to this address) by a week on Thursday (22nd August). All nominees and those voting must be listed on our database and must support the aims of DONHS.

  • Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • External relations officer
  • Two research and policy officers
  • Media officer
  • Events coordinator

If there are insufficient nominations those who are elected will continue to act with other volunteers and will fill any posts after the meeting by invitation. This can be ratified by the next general meeting as allowed by the constitution

B:

The short AGM will be followed by an opportunity to meet socially in the nearby Gallagher’s pub.

C:

We will be leafleting next SATURDAY 17th August (when no storms are forecast!) in a new venue: outside the Coach and Horses pub in the centre of Moreton from 11:00am to 13:00h. Come and meet fellow NHS supporters.

D:

Moreton is one of the walk-in centres which Wirral CCG plans to close. Our new leaflet about this is attached with another detailing the existing and growing American threats to our NHS in Wirral. Please distribute these to your contacts.

Thanks and best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

Defend Our NHS : public meeting, film show and discussion TOMORROW 30th July

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Dear friends of the NHS

Two announcements:

  1. A reminder of next Tuesday’s (30th July) public meeting, film show and discussion in Birkenhead Town Hall. See the flyer below. PLEASE SHARE and make every attempt to be there. The film will start promptly at 7:00pm. A collection will be taken.
  2. Following a shocking decision on our walk-in services last night by a Wirral Council committee we invite you to an emergency gathering in the nearby Stork Hotel immediately after the film show ends. A brief discussion will include agreement on further imminent urgent action.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

 

DON’T WALK ON BY – Defend Our NHS: Wirral walk-in centre scandal

Here’s the latest from our friends at Defend Our NHS. Misleading local press reports?   You don’t say!

 

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Dear friends of the NHS

We have some very bad news.

Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group board members (CCG) have decided to CLOSE two local walk-in centres.

They have ignored the protests of:

  • 45,000 petitioners;
  • Over 60% of the two thousand detailed responses to their ‘consultation’; AND
  • The unanimous decision of Wirral & Cheshire West and Chester Joint Health Scrutiny Committee (made up of councillors from Labour and Conservative parties, representing Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester councils)

What was billed as a meeting of the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board on 9th July was turned into a meeting of the CCG Board and they approved their own plan unanimously*.

Sadly they were supported by some GPs (including one who at least declared an interest as his practice would benefit from the change). And shockingly by a councillor who had previously written to DONHS to say, “The community consultation the CCG delivered on the urgent care review proposals showed unequivocally strong opposition to any closure of walk in centres. I stand by the wishes of Wirral residents and council and will oppose any closure of services”.

What now? We must renew our efforts to educate and inform (and if necessary expose) Wirral councillors. Of ALL parties. All opposed the plans, all say they love the NHS, and we doubt that very few of them are aware of the source of the deeply ideological changes to our NHS (in Minneapolis!) of which this is just part.

What can you do?

  1. Please write to Wirral and Cheshire West councillors asking them to support a ‘reference back’ of the decision to the Secretary of State for Health.
  2. Attend our next public meeting. It’s on TUESDAY 30th July at 7.00pm at a venue to be confirmed. Tell your friends and neighbours about this.
  3. Consider becoming more involved in NHS campaigning. Our AGM is in September and we would welcome new enthusiasts onto the DONHS executive committee. Details will follow soon.

See our Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

* The story this week in the Wirral Globe and Liverpool Echo about the protest is misleading in several serious ways. 45,000 people (not 30,000 as they report) and the overwhelming majority of those who sent detailed responses to the CCG consultation protested against ANY closures. And it is important to note that, while DONHS has serious concerns about the behaviour of some councillors, the vote to close the centres had nothing to do with councillors; it was a decision of Wirral CCG and was opposed UNANIMOUSLY by Wirral and Cheshire West Councils…

WALK ON BY – Defend Our NHS: 45,000 people or a committee?

In all of the recent local press coverage about the proposed closure of Wirral’s NHS Walk–In Centres  it seemed to us it was a case of mutual arse-kissing with Frank Field/Abhi Mantegni/Wirral Globe thanking each other for saving us all from the bleeding obvious decision that closing local NHS Walk-In Centres makes no sense whatsoever – economically or politically.

Meanwhile our unrelenting friends at Defend Our NHS were dismissed and unnamed in these reports as ‘campaigners’.

So let’s give these true defenders their due and support their efforts to save us from a fate worse than a total fuck up.

 

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Defend Our NHS: Trump, Wirral and scandalous behaviour

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Following on from our last post and continuing our support to keep public services out of private hands we bring you the latest missive from Defend Our NHS. We’d also like to give you the heads up on a new website launched next week by the NHS Support Federation  NHS for sale

Dear friends of the NHS

First, Mr Trump and his view that OUR health service has to be part of any trade deal with the USA. Well, of course we oppose that completely. But for British government ministers to bluster that it will never happen ‘on my watch’ is total hypocrisy. Parts of our NHS – nationally and HERE in Wirral – are already controlled by American corporations. A former boss of United Health of Minneapolis is the head of NHS England. 

We have warned about this since we were formed over eight years ago; other campaigners have been sounding the alarm for a lot longer*. Our Facebook page lists American outfits active in Wirral.

PLEASE read and share these articles which explain what has been going on and what’s behind it.

USA healthcare is already here!

The NHS is already on the table. But here’s exactly how Trump wants to sharpen the knives.

And watch this succinct and heartfelt video explanation by our friend Steve Carne and which refers to the first link above. 

Second, Wirral, and our alert about meetings to decide the fate of our walk-in centres. These were a joint scrutiny committee of Wirral Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council on Tuesday 18th June at 6.00pm in Wallasey Town Hall and a joint strategic board meeting (i.e. Wirral Council and Wirral CCG) on Tuesday 9th July in Birkenhead Town Hall. (The meeting starts at 2.00pm and we will meet outside the Town Hall from 1.00pm.)

18th June? Imagine our shock when we learned that Cllr Moira McLaughlin has CANCELLED the meeting, writing (in her words) “Cllr Gilchrist has been made aware that members of the public believe that a meeting has been arranged with Cheshire West and Chester Scrutiny cttee to look at the implications for both authorities of the Urgent Care review which was examined in detail by the Wirral Adult Scrutiny cttee during the last municipal year…. I have asked that the provisional notice of a joint meeting on the 18th June be removed from the Council calendar” 

Can you understand why Wirral (and Cheshire) Council would give up this opportunity to scrutinise this hugely important issue? We can’t. Please ask your own councillors to investigate and intervene. They are either for our NHS… or not. What are they trying to hide?

9th July? Thus is even more shocking. We are now told that the vote at the Joint Strategic Board meeting will be just by members of the CCG board and not by the representatives of the Council. JOINT?!!! Wirral Council has pooled budgets and agreed to joint decision-making on health issues and is now surrendering all its powers to the local branch of NHS England.

The CCG could vandalise our walk-in and urgent care provision against the wishes of FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND people and the vast majority responding to their ‘consultation’.

A date which will live in infamy? Don’t let them get away with it. PLEASE contact your councillors now to protest against this arrogant behaviour. It cannot be allowed. There’s even more reason to gather on Tuesday 9th July from 1.00pm outside and inside Birkenhead Town Hall.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

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 * To prove this is not new, try to answer this quiz:

What date is this conversation in the House of Commons? And who answered the question?

Q: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the agreement between his Department and the United Healthcare Group?

A: The government is committed to encouraging expressions of interest from successful international organisations to partner Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in developing and testing models of integrated care in the national health service. In line with this commitment, the Department is in discussion with United Healthcare Group with a view to entering into a contractual relationship with them to provide hands-on support to a number of PCTs to test elements of United Healthcare Group’s Evercare model in this country and tailor it to the needs of the NHS. Under the Evercare model, doctors and nurses in primary care work together with care staff to identify vulnerable individuals at highest risk of hospitalisation. This allows for early intervention and treatment, thus avoiding inappropriate hospital admission, and facilitating safe, early discharge where a stay in hospital is necessary. The work will be carried out under the national primary and care trust development programme to promote significant transformational change.

 

Election Anticipation Part 1

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OK gang are you all set for tomorrow’s local elections? We have a slew of last minute election news for you. It’s been a bumper time for us – but then it always is at this point in the political cycle. Sometimes we know when we’re being played and sometimes we play along and sometimes we don’t  but a cause we’re always happy to support is Defend Our NHS . We’ve been asked about prospective councillors who also support the cause – answers below:

  1. Wirral! The fight to #DefendourNHS continues! In the absence of a meaningful response to the 32000 residents who demanded the protection of our walk-in provision we are restarting the campaign.
    Watch for more information but meanwhile SIGN and SHARE the petition!
  2. Wirral! If you want to #VoteNHS in the local council elections on Thursday we can help you decide who to vote for. Ten candidates turned up to our hustings last week. Others sent apologies and a total of twenty-six sent answers to our questions about their stance on the NHS. (All ninety candidates were offered this opportunity but as you’ll see sixty-four did not reply.) You can find out who responded and what they said here.  
  3. Wirral!  Everyone! If you value your GP service then please note this urgent campaign to STOP PRIMARY CARE NETWORKS / SAVE OUR GP PRACTICES. GPs are being pressured into signing up to these new networks by MAY 15TH. Please watch this short film, and do all you can to tell your GP and fellow patients about the dangers they face.
  4. Everyone! Why the NHS long-term plan is a #longtermscam
Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

Wirral Council Candidates Defending Our NHS

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The picture above represents a very big reason why campaigners are looking forward to new faces amongst Wirral councillors. The upper circle shows the logos of private NHS contractors given contracts since 2012. The lower circle shows the logos of AMERICAN corporations operating in the NHS in Wirral. The linked quotations speak for themselves. This is very much part of departing Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’s appalling legacy which we will be shortly exploring in full. He may soon be gone but will not be forgotten.

Meanwhile ten of the ninety candidates in next week’s local elections (Green, Red,Yellow but no Blue – see photo below) turned up at a Defend Our NHS hustings last Thursday and pledged total support to reverse the damage done to local health services by the unholy alliance of Wirral Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group. A total of twenty-six sent messages of support and/or explaining their position when it comes to voting on health issues.

Onwards to 2nd May! But before then it’s your chance to play  ‘Name That Candidate!’ . We’ll start you off by giving you some clues – to the left there’s a former Lib Dem councillor, to the, er, right is a controversial Labour candidate for Rock Ferry and somewhere in the middle is another Labour candidate with the surname ‘Davies’ .  However, whoever they are, we anticipate that some will become more familiar than others over the coming months and years. Let’s just hope their support for the NHS is sustained long after the polls have closed…

Councilcandidates

 

 

 

Defend Our NHS: important public meeting – 25 April

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Dear friends of the NHS

Attached is our latest leaflet which will be distributed widely in the coming weeks. Please read and share it.

The leaflet is linked to our next public meeting which we urge you to attend (and to publicise widely):

Thursday, 25 April 2019 from 7:00pm

Birkenhead Town Hall, Hamilton Square.

At the meeting there will be an update on saving our walk-in services.

But the main focus will be our campaign urging people to #VoteNHS.

We are writing to and inviting EVERY candidate standing for election in May’s local council contest in Wirral. Those who are sitting councillors are being asked about their record in relation to health and care; new candidates are being asked about their position and their intentions if elected.  If they can’t attend they can still communicate their views.

Our message to candidates is clear: we have had enough warm words from councillors; we want ACTIONS which defend our NHS. Councillors have the power to do this. And our message to fellow residents of Wirral is clear: #VoteNHS

In December Wirral Council agreed overwhelmingly (a decision by councillors from the three main political parties) to collaborate more formally with the decisions of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG, the local subsidiary of NHS England*).

They had previously rolled over and accepted the government’s decision to abolish the NHS and replace it with local variations: the STP, the ACS and (the latest) the ICS or integrated care system. They had also actually welcomed US health corporations into Wirral.

We want our new council to set about reversing this complicity and to join with campaigners to reinstate our NHS locally and nationally.

Come along and join us. Let’s see how candidates respond to our reasonable request for answers. If you can’t attend please ask your candidates these questions before you vote.

    1. Did any sitting councillors vote for the new ‘integrated’ health and care arrangements with Wirral CCG last December – and if so WHY?
    2. By forming the partnership with the CCG Wirral Council is obliged to support (for example) the urgent care review and therefore to support whatever the ‘commissioners’ decide to do with walk-in services. Were your councillors or candidates aware of this?
    3. CCGs were set up by the government to bring about their plan to Americanise our NHS. Councils in other parts of the country have withdrawn their cooperation** with their CCGs and are refusing to go along with cuts and closures. Do your councillors and candidates support withdrawing support from the CCG and the plans to ‘slash, trash and privatise’. If not, WHY NOT?

 

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS 

   

* The boss of NHS England is Simon Stevens. Previously he spent a decade working for United Health, the USA’s leading private health corporation. He is a world expert in health privatisation. His ‘alternative’ CV is available on our Facebook page.

** For examples only: 1: Hammersmith & Fulham council successfully blocked the closure of Charing Cross Hospital; 2: Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest councils all opposed CCG cuts ; 3: Luton council pulled out of its local ‘integrated care system’ because it had little influence over the plans 4: seven councils rejected local ‘sustainability’ plans.

 

 

Defend Our NHS: another urgent request – this time to save your GP from a stealth attack

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Dear friend of the NHS

Please urgently help to annul the Dept of Health’s stealth changes to legislation about how GPs work

Please will you help to stop the government from bypassing MPs as it sneaks in big changes to the way GPs work?

All it takes is to ask your MP to support National Health Service Early Day Motion #2103.

You can download this template letter to MPs and change it in any way you like. You can find your MP’s contact details here.

Regulatory changes that bypass MPs’ scrutiny and debate

NHS England knows that 999 Call for the NHS has applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against the contentious Integrated Care Provider contract (formerly called the Accountable Care Organisation contract).

But the NHS Long Term Plan has announced that the NHS England quango will make the contract available for use in 2019.

To enable this, on 13th February the Department of Health sneakily introduced big changes to the way GPs work, without giving MPs any say in the matter. It did this through Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 248 – The Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019.

Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 248 makes major changes to the existing contractual arrangements for providing GP Primary Care services. These changes are to enable Integrated Care Providers (formerly called Accountable Care Organisations) to run a whole range of hospital, primary care and community health services for their given area and its population.

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Now Jeremy Corbyn, Jon Ashworth and other MPs are sponsoring a Prayer Motion (National Health Service EDM #2103) that calls for the Statutory Instrument’s annulment:

“That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 248), dated 13 February 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 13 February 2019, be annulled.”

Please will you call on your MP to support this PRAYER MOTION?

Time is short. The deadline for the Prayer Motion is 24 March. The Statutory Instrument is due to take effect on 1 April.

Please visit this web page to find out more.

The last time a “prayer” was answered was in 2000. If it succeeded then it can succeed again. But it needs us all to push it, so that it has wide support from MPs.

Please get in touch if you need any further help or information.

WHY WE’RE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP

Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 248 makes major changes to the existing contractual arrangements for providing GP Primary Care services.

It would enable new Integrated Care Providers (formerly called Accountable Care Organisations) to directly employ GPs to deliver a model of primary, mental health and community health care that would radically change patients’ (and GPs’) experience of the NHS. This is likely to damage an area’s NHS organisations AND the health needs of the public.

Recent reports by the National Audit Office and the Nuffield Trust say there is no evidence that this new model would meet the intended aims of reducing costs and improving quality of patient care. And the Chair of the BMA has told GP members they ‘should not feel pressured into entering an Integrated Care Provider contract as to do so could leave their patients worse off.’

We must take this seriously. We feel strongly that these major changes should not slide through Parliament in secondary legislation without any oversight by MPs.

THERE IS HOPE

Getting this Prayer Motion passed is a long shot. But we hope you’ll agree it’s worth trying. The stakes are high and we should seize any chance of stopping this undemocratic move by the Dept. of Health and NHS England.

If a Prayer Motion succeeded in 2000, then it can succeed again.

The Integrated Care Provider contract aims to “manage demand” for NHS care

This means it could threaten patient safety standards and restrict patients’ access to treatments.

Standards of NHS care are already under pressure, and all of us will have begun to see restricted access to a full range of high quality health care in our local areas.

The Integrated Care Provider contract is set to make this worse.

In and out of the courts, we continue to oppose its introduction.

Thanks and best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS