Defend Our NHS : An invitation to an important meeting TODAY

Prior to our final tour of the highways (!) and byways of Wirral political life we have an important message from our friends at Defend Our NHS:

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Dear friends of the NHS

We urge supporters who are patients of Wirral GPs to respond to the email address in the letter below* and to attend this vital meeting. Please try to arrive at around 5:30pm to join in leafleting.

Wednesday 30th October 2019 at 6:00pm at Wallasey Town Hall.

I would be appreciative if you could confirm your attendance with my colleague Alex Davidson, Scrutiny Officer on 0151 691 8381 or alternatively, by email to* alexandradavidson@wirral.gov.uk. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, or require further information, Alex will be happy to assist.

Now please read on.

The letter (from Wirral councillor Moira McLaughlin, who is chair of the Adult Care and Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee) has gone to local GP patient participation groups.

The original text is in italics and we have added some comments.

Wirral Council’s Adult Care and Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee is responsible for reviewing and scrutinising the commissioning, management and performance of health and social care services on Wirral.

[We have criticised the behaviour of this committee and have written to all Wirral councillors to say so. You will remember that in December last year 45,000 residents said ‘no’ to closures or reductions in walk-in services. This is also the declared policy of the Labour Party nationally AND of Wirral Council – yet a majority of councillors chose to support the plans of the clinical commissioning group.]

Later this month, the Committee are holding a workshop for Elected Members to consider Wirral Health and Care Commissioning’s future plans for integrated health and social care services on Wirral.

[We oppose the whole notion of ‘integrated care’ as currently designed. As we have said repeatedly over many years it is all part of the grand plan to slash, trash and privatise the NHS. It is a disgrace that councillors – including from a party which has set its face against these changes – should go along with them.]

As you may be aware, Wirral CCG and Wirral Council have pooled funds and resources in order to provide a seamless provision of care for those requiring intermediate care and those with complex disabilities that require packages of care from both health and social care every day.

[We oppose pooled budgets – the subsidising of private social care from the public NHS purse. Although councillors will argue that they had no choice except to go along with it, they did. They were kept in the dark about a report from PWC which said, “The introduction of an integrated commissioner with a single pool of funds will facilitate the introduction of a wider Accountable Care System / Accountable Care Organisation across the Wirral. Without the ability for Commissioners to ultimately let a single contract for services through the ICH, the ability to move to an ACS would be impaired due to complexity which multiple contracts, budgets and accountabilities would bring.” In other words they supported a change to something they had vowed to oppose.**]

For this reason, I would like to invite a representative(s) from your patient participation group to attend this workshop to provide a brief statement on patient experiences of health and social care services, and to take part in further discussion with Members.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday 30th October 2019 at 6.00pm at Wallasey Town Hall.

I would be appreciative if you could confirm your attendance with my colleague Alex Davidson, Scrutiny Officer on 0151 691 8381 or alternatively, by email to* alexandradavidson@wirral.gov.uk . If you would like to discuss this in more detail, or require further information, Alex will be happy to assist.

Please attend and give the councillors YOUR patient experience.

More background at http://999callfornhs.org.uk/

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

 

** PWC (who were paid £40k for their work) also noted the following. The report was kept SECRET from councillors who were supposed to be scrutinising the changes. It was full of bomb shells.

Both the Council and the CCG (together ‘the Commissioners’) would like to extend their current pooled budget arrangements to incorporate the majority of the total health and social care funding within the health economy. The services that fall under the scope of these new pooled arrangements will be formally commissioned by the Integrated Commissioning Hub (ICH)

The ICH would begin with a financial deficit, with funding insufficient to meet the required expenditure, prior to any additional budget pressures being experienced from 2018/19 onwards.

Additional contingency/deficit funding would be required to be repaid in 2018/19.

Savings plans are still under discussion with community trust to identify and deliver further savings

Pooled budget is underfunded, likely to result in a deficit for the ICH.

Without significant intervention cumulative deficit likely to increase annually as prior-year demand is unmet.

‘Hub’ Hubris – The ‘Defend Our NHS’ fight back opens the party season

Hunt

As the  party season arrives here is our first notification from our good friends Defend Our NHS (DONHS) Wirral that they’re organising  ‘a bit of a do’ .

Of course all we can do is sarcasm and satire so we doff our caps to those out there who actually give a damn and go out there and do something about it. They’ve also listed other dates that should interest you if you care about the future of the NHS – including a Clinical Commissioning Group meeting to be held tomorrow (see below).

We would also add that Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 27th November is a date for the diary for anyone interested in bloody ‘hubs’ and more specifically ‘integrated commissioning hubs’. Sorry scrub that – as you can see all the interesting stuff that affects YOUR life and health will be discussed behind closed doors. Because that’s how Wirral Council roll (over all of us).

STP Hub

Dear friends of the NHS,

First the good news: we’re having a Christmas Party! We wanted to celebrate all we’ve done in the past year and give everyone a much -needed chance to relax from campaigning and to make and renew acquaintances with fellow NHS defenders.

It will be in central Birkenhead on the evening of Friday 8th December. There will be hot and cold food available. If we are to go ahead and make final arrangements, we need to know who is coming AND if you want food. (Food – something like chilli/curry with a vegetarian option – will be available at a cost of up to £10; it could be less if we have enough people. Any extra money will be used for printing leaflets and room hire.)

Only people who reply by 27th November to say they are coming will be sent the final details and ticket arrangements. Email now!

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But now the bad news – and we’re afraid there’s little else.

You will know that our campaigning this year has concentrated on Wirral Council. We wanted them to do a simple thing: to make good on the agreed policy to oppose the so-called ‘sustainability and transformation plan/partnership’ (STP).

They agreed this in December 2016 – yet it took the leader of the Council, Phil Davies, eight months to send off the letter to Jeremy Hunt.

We’ve been lobbying and briefing councillors and pointing out the wickedness of the STP and its associated ‘accountable care organisation/system’.

Only last month councillors agreed that, “This Council will, therefore, remain opposed to changes and savings which place the achievements of our NHS at risk.

The STP would involve £1bn CUTS for the Cheshire and Merseyside area.

The reduced budget will have to pay for social care AS WELL AS our NHS services.

Meanwhile the party to which most Wirral councillors belong has adopted a policy of complete reinstatement of the NHS.

So imagine our surprise when we discovered the following…

21 11 2017 - DONHS picture (1)

Guess who’s advising Wirral on this? Yes, Private Eye’s old friends, global auditing company Price Waterhouse Cooper– PwC (known in the trade as ‘profits without conscience’). 

On Wirral we have already seen how quickly cuts can be implemented. Eastham Walk-In centre was closed within days with no consultation with the public. We have already been warned about the “really big cuts to come” and everyone has evidence of long delays for appointments, staff shortages, service cuts and rationing.

Thanks to a fantastic community campaign the Eastham centre is to be re-opened. But will this be at the expense of A&E at Arrowe Park?

To compound the misery Wirral clinical commissioning group have secretly agreed to talk to Wirral partners (including the Council) and potentially to send a letter to NHSE requesting Wirral CCG join something called the ‘Capped Expenditure Programme’. If you want to know why this is terrifying read this from the BMA:

Have YOU been consulted on any of this? Does any of it meet the NHS mission of ‘no decision about me without me’?

We are simply flabbergasted – but we will fight back, and we urge you to do the same.

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What can we do if the NHS is to have a happy Christmas?

Join us and fight to reverse NHS cuts & privatisation

      Oppose the STP and ACS

      Insist that your councillors and MPs do the same

      Fight for the full restoration of an effective NHS

      Ensure that the Eastham NHS Walk-In Centre is re-opened without damage to other services (for example NO cuts to Arrowe Park A&E)

       Achieve an emergency £20m increase for Wirral NHS funding

      Come to the CCG ‘consultation’ meeting in Mayer Hall, Bebington from 6.30pm WEDNESDAY 22nd NOVEMBER

      Protest at the Wirral cabinet meeting, Wallasey town hall, 9am MONDAY 27TH NOVEMBER

      Protest at the Wirral council meeting, Wallasey town hall, 5pm MONDAY 11TH DECEMBER

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ALL Wirral councillors have been asked these three simple questions:

  1. Do you support our campaign to stop the STP/ACS and oppose the further near £1 billion cuts? YES/NO
  2. Do you support the reinstatement of our NHS? YES/NO
  3. Will you tell Wirral voters what your responses are in any forthcoming communication? YES/NO

The replies we’ve received so far are very interesting.

And note that all Wirral MPs have been asked to pledge allegiance to the NHS at https://weownit.org.uk/nhstakeback Guess how many have?

IF OUR COUNCILLORS AND MPs FAIL TO JOIN US IN DEFENDING THE NHS WE HAVE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.

SOME OF THEM WON’T LIKE IT.

                        ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………                        Reminder:

  1. Reply now and tell us how many tickets you want for the Christmas party.
  2. Put those meeting dates in your diary and join us.
  3. Share this email and the information as widely as you can. And finally:
  4. We have been campaigning locally to defend our NHS for almost seven years. We need some new blood in the team who will DO things. If you are as determined as us to make this a happy NHS Christmas get in touch.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………                        Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

                        defendournhswirral@gmail.com

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                        https://twitter.com/DefendourNHS