SEND In The Clowns

As a follow up to our  SEND for Help  story we bring you this further worrying development in relation to Wirral Council’s treatment of  children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their parents and carers.

Before we provide details of (yet another) Wirral Council investigation report that will never see the light of day we publish the observations of a parent of a child , who by the sounds of it is one of many being failed by the SEND department.

Attached are screen shots of a letter I have received. One of my children’s cases was part of an independent investigation into issues within the SEND department, that  lasted several months.
The independent professional has sent me and the many other families who were part of the complaint the summary you can see in the screenshots.
Although I and others have asked she has been told that the full report is not available for public viewing.
It’s sad when we are no longer shocked by their behaviour.
They are seriously doing everything they can to ‘win’ against the parents of the most vulnerable children.
Where is their duty of care? Myself and others have had no option but to threaten them with judicial review to force their hand to follow the law. I believe that there maybe at least one JR that is being taken all the way.
They’re at tribunal regularly nowadays but say there’s no added cost to this.
There is no excuse at all for their treatment of our most vulnerable and it’s sadly only parents with either decent knowledge of the SEND law or the financial ability to hire someone whose children have a fighting chance.
I just hope that Ofsted come and inspect them soon to shine a spotlight on just how bad the situation is here.
Once again we have a shocking state of affairs where so-called public servants feel as though they have to ‘win’ against our most vulnerable in society and THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THEIR WAGES and without whom THEY WOULD NOT HAVE A JOB ! Even more shocking (but not surprising) are the utterly shameless lengths they will go to ‘win’ !
We can only hope that hauling people through the tribunal system and Judicial Reviews makes these Wirral Council clowns feel better about their manifest failings. However the joke is on us ,whether these clowns ‘win’or ‘lose’ they’re the ones  laughing all the way to the bank and not SEND children or their families or Council Tax payers…
Win

Defend Our NHS: thanks, alerts, invitations, birthdays – and congratulations

Supporting NHS 70
Dear friends of the NHS
First , thanks to everyone who contributed to funding the judicial reviews of the government’s and NHS England’s damaging changes to our health service. You’ll be pleased to know that the funding appeals for the reviews – both of which DONHS is supporting have reached their targets. The case will be heard in Leeds High Court on Tuesday 24th April.
Meanwhile we continue to show our support for the NHS and its staff in other ways. There will be a day of protest all over the country on Saturday 3rd February. A march in London will be mirrored by events right across England.
We urge supporters in Wirral to join us outside  Arrowe Park Hospital from 1.00pm. Show that you  : value hospitals like Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge ; support NHS staff: nurses,doctors,midwives,paramedics and others; and believe in a free,comprehensive ,universal National Health Service . Or if you just want to know more about the crisis in our NHS and the answers to it. Come and join us! Details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/157164351576903/ 
The Liverpool protest will be a day earlier on Friday 2nd February . Details at :
Our next public meeting  (your MP and councillors have been invited) will be on Friday 2nd March in Birkenhead from 7.00pm. The venue is : The Welcome Centre 43 Hamilton Street, Birkenhead, CH41 5AA
The NHS will be 70 this year
To celebrate – and to show our support for the service and all who work with it – we will be holding not one but two parties ! The first will be on Saturday 30th June in Vale Park, New Brighton.
The second will be a social and public meeting in Birkenhead, 5th July
There is another significant birthday this year. The NHS is 70. Defend Our NHS is 7! This group was  was founded exactly seven years ago this month. We’ve grown  – and perhaps to recognise  what has been achieved we won an award ! Take a look at : 
https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/the-leaky-awards-2017-the-grand-finale/  

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

Further information : Leaflet Jan 18 v3 DRAFT

 

 

 

Defend Our NHS – Latest News

Group SELFIE JUSTICE (3)

Launched just over an hour ago is a Crowdfund appeal to fund a Judicial Review against NHS England’s Accountable Care Organisation contract. Set out below is everything you need to know courtesy of Leaky Awards 2017 winners Defend Our NHS – Wirral.

Also note : On SATURDAY 3RD FEBRUARY there will be a national day of action in support of the NHS with various local activities. In WIRRAL this will involve a gathering outside ARROWE PARK HOSPITAL from 1.00pm to show DONHS solidarity with NHS staff, to alert the public to what’s happening to our health service, and to continue to #DefendOurNHS.
The next PUBLIC MEETING  will be in Birkenhead on Friday 2nd March from 7.00pm. More details soon. PLEASE put the date in your diary now.

 

Defending the NHS nationally and in Wirral

A judge has granted permission for national campaign group 999 Call for the NHS to bring a Judicial Review of NHS England’s draft Accountable Care Organisation contract. The group believe this is not only unlawful under current NHS legislation, but would threaten patient safety standards and limit the range of available treatments. The case will be held in Leeds High Court at some date after 16 February.

Wirral’s NHS campaign group Defend Our NHS support the Judicial Review; they recognise that the legal challenge affects everyone – patients, public and NHS Staff.

Kevin Donovan from Defend Our NHS urged people to support the appeal to fund the Judicial Review. He noted that, “The leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Phil Davies, says he opposes the government’s so-called ‘sustainability and transformation’ plans which are the framework for the Accountable Care Systems and Organisations. Yet, behind closed doors he has been supporting the development of the whole apparatus. The documented policy of Wirral Council – in collaboration with the local clinical commissioning group (and quoting from Council papers) – is now ‘the development of a single ‘Accountable Care System’’. Wirral Council acknowledges that, ‘The STP will operate at Cheshire and Merseyside level’.”

“Defend Our NHS members are yet to find anybody in Wirral outside of a campaign group who has heard the initials ‘STP’ or ‘ACO’ or ‘ACS’, let alone understands what they will mean for our beloved National Health Service. The issue is that Accountable Care Systems and Organisations are being planned secretively, including right here in Wirral. They are a new form of local NHS and social care organisation; the intention is to cut costs by managing demand for health and social care. This will speed up the creation of a two-tier system – where those with money will use private providers and the rest will be left with reduced health and social care services.  Protecting the NHS as a fully funded public service of comprehensive healthcare is vital for us all.”

The Judicial Review and the national campaign

999 Call for the NHS and internationally recognised public law firm Leigh Day are launching the third and final stage of their ‘crowdfund’ on 12 January, in order to cover all the costs of bringing the Judicial Review, and are appealing for £12,000. This amount, when added to existing funds donated by hundreds of generous members of the public in 2017, will cover the £37,000 cost of the Judicial Review.

The link to crowdfund is: Crowd Justice Healthcare4All Stage 3

Recognising that it is in the public interest to establish if the Accountable Care Organisation contract is lawful or not, the Judge has awarded 999 Call for the NHS a capped costs order of £25K. This limits the costs that the campaign group would have to pay NHS England, were they to lose the case.

999 Call for the NHS were originally well known as the Darlo Mums who organised a 300 mile Jarrow to London People’s March for the NHS in 2014. This culminated in a rally in Trafalgar Square attended by 20,000 people.

Jo Land, one of the original Darlo Mums who marched from Jarrow to London, said,

“In 2014, 20,000 people felt so strongly about the devastating effects of marketisation on the NHS that they joined us at the end of our 300 mile march to London to take a stand against it and spread the word.

Please join us again, in marching on the courts to challenge the Accountable Care Organisations contact.  This is a big step for us and we need your support. We believe it is vital to determine if the new contract is lawful or not. We all have to fight this together for the sake of the nation’s health and democracy.”

What is an ACO?

The Judicial Review is a direct challenge to NHS England’s introduction of a model contract for use by new local NHS and Social Care organisations, known as Accountable Care Organisations (ACO).

ACOs are based on the business model used by the USA’s Medicare/Medicaid system, which only provides state-funded “managed care” for the elderly and people who are too poor to pay for private health insurance. “Managed care” involves a variety of mechanisms used by managers of American healthcare companies to get doctors to avoid expensive forms of treatment.

In granting permission for the Judicial Review, the Judge commented that it would not consider the merits or demerits of the ACO model, but would focus on the lawfulness of the method for paying Accountable Care Organisations. 

The group say that the current lack of a legal framework for Accountable Care Organisations – and in particular the way they would be paid to provide local NHS and social care services – is simply not compatible with democratic control and oversight of the resources and future of our biggest public service. And the government has backtracked from its 2017 Manifesto promise of new legislation for this radical shake up of the NHS and social care.

The Wirral campaign

Defend Our NHS has existed for seven years. It was formed in January 2011 by a small group of people concerned about the changes to the NHS proposed by the then Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. The warnings given by the Group’s founder members (who included Margaret Greenwood, now MP for Wirral West) about the likely damage to the NHS have sadly come true.

Since 2011 the group has been active in informing the public about the growing local and national crisis in the NHS. It has a large mailing list and massive support for its Facebook page. Scores of people attend its public meetings and demonstrations.

In recent years Defend Our NHS in Wirral has:

  • Joined the junior doctors on their picket lines as they campaigned for safe conditions for patients;
  • Uncovered the hidden involvement of Richard Branson in Wirral general practice;
  • Challenged Wirral Clinical Commissioning group over its implementation of government health cuts;
  • Identified the now public crisis at Arrowe Park Hospital;
  • Supported the community campaign to re-open the Eastham Walk-In Clinic;
  • Revealed (in 2015) Wirral’s invitation to and involvement with Advocate Health Care, a US organisation well known for its ACO dealings; and now:
  • Exposed the secretive plans by the leaders of Wirral Council to defy their own party’s policy by implementing the STP/ACO.

Email: defendournhswirral@gmail.com 
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Notes 

1. 999 Call for the NHS is a grassroots, volunteer-run campaign organisation. It has been actively campaigning since 2014 to restore the NHS as a properly funded, publicly owned, managed and provided comprehensive health service that is free at the point of need for everyone with a clinical need. www.999callfornhs.org.uk

2. Defend Our NHS was established in Wirral in 2011 and is also entirely volunteer-run. It has attracted a large and active group of supporters. As well as concerned local residents its supporters now include a significant and growing number of doctors and nurses, outraged by what is being done to the NHS. Its Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

3. From 6pm on 12th January, the crowdfund will be live at: Crowd Justice Healthcare4All Stage 3

4. Campaign groups are concerned that the contract, if implemented, would threaten patient safety and force hospitals and doctors to restrict treatment, making decisions based on money not clinical judgement. They believe that this new contract is unlawful under current NHS legislation.

This is because the new ACO contract does not link payment to the number of patients treated and/or the complexity of the medical treatment they need, as required by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act,  but is based on a fixed budget for an area’s population.  This budget would be  geared to helping to meet the £22bn+ funding shortfall by 2021 that the government is imposing on the NHS in England.

5. As well as bringing this Judicial Review, 999 Call for the NHS – all unpaid volunteers – is also campaigning with other grassroots groups across England for the passage of the NHS Reinstatement Bill, the restoration of proper levels of NHS and social care funding and the protection of NHS healthcare for all – not the fragmentation and downgrade of our NHS to something resembling the USA’s Medicare.

6. A Judicial Review is a process of examining in court whether the government and/or its agencies are acting lawfully.

7. CrowdJustice is the only platform dedicated to raising funds and awareness for legal cases. CrowdJustice has established legal crowdfunding as a powerful tool for citizens to access justice and lawyers take cases that otherwise would not be heard. CrowdJustice is democratising the justice system by empowering people and communities to champion and build support for legal issues that matter to them. CrowdJustice has raised more than £4 million from over 100,000 backers to support legal action in the courts.

 

A New Year Message from ‘Defend Our NHS’

 

999

Dear Friends,

Happy 2018!

Thank you for signing – if you have – the petition to STOP the new plans to dismantle our NHS. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-plans-to-dismantle-our-nhs

If you haven’t, please do!

Now NHS campaigners have got together with the University of Brighton and the NHS Support Federation to bring you this short survey about NHS changes in YOUR area. The results of the petition will be sent to your local decision makers.

This is a chance for you to make your views known at a local area level at last, whether the council or NHS have asked you or not!!! (Certainly, if you live in Wirral – like many other places, the Council and CCG have been conniving in total secrecy to dismantle our NHS and implement the so-called STP, while hypocritically claiming opposition. Nobody, except those in the conspiracy and those attempting to expose it, are aware.)

A tip would be to strongly disagree with the statements which indicate some sort of cut AND that prioritise financial savings over patient care.

https://healthcheck.nhsfunding.info/survey/

Please take a few minutes to fill it in. Carl Walker from the School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton, says: “I’d be grateful if you could share as widely as possible to friends around the country. We are aiming for 10,000 people around the UK to complete it. Thanks

https://healthcheck.nhsfunding.info/survey/

And remember to share the petition, which is an important indicator of the public’s feeling towards this completely unacceptable, top-down reorganisation involving £22bn of cuts, to the NHS. ONE BILLION in Cheshire and Merseyside alone (as recommended by the infamous PWC).

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-plans-to-dismantle-our-nhs

Here’s to a successful 2018. On 23rd December the lawyers for the campaign group 999 Call for the NHS told them that “a judge had considered our papers and those of NHS England… and granted permission for our JUDICIAL REVIEW to go ahead – some time after 16th February 2018! ”

Another good reason to sign and share this: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-plans-to-dismantle-our-nhs

Happy New Year everyone and THANK YOU!

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

A Thornton Huff : Where once again ‘ignorance is bliss’ when it comes to the Green Belt

Thornton Manor

A marquee of distinction

We’d like to thank Heswall Today for their excellent coverage of yet another Wirral Council debacle. Their report , which can be read in full  HERE  states as follows : 

Thornton Hall Hotel in Thornton Hough has applied for a judicial review against Wirral Council that aims to explain and overturn planning permission given in error by the Council that allowed nearby Thornton Manor to erect three large marquees without any conditions.

As reported in Heswall Today, despite the land being Green Belt, the Council decided to give permission to Thornton Manor on the basis that it would last just five years, and that some of the profits generated by the new facilities would be reinvested in parts of the estate considered to be “at risk”. Other conditions included the installation of noise limiters and restrictions on the use of fireworks.

However, for reasons which, the Council says, are “impossible to understand”, the Decision Notice was sent out without any such conditions, and the Council was blissfully ignorant of the error.

When the five years elapsed late last year and planning officers assumed a new planning application would have to be made, Thornton Manor produced the Decision Notice it had received and stated that its terms were the ones it intended to abide by. In other words, the three marquees were here to stay and there was nothing the Council could do about them.

So basically,  the privileged folk who run Thornton Manor have done what the less privileged and long suffering council taxpayers of Wirral would like to do and stick two fingers up to Wirral Council.

Meanwhile equally privileged local hospitality rival Thornton Hall Hotel have issued Judicial Review proceedings because they claim they’re not on a level playing field with their local rival.

However what galls us at Leaky Towers is that whilst the application for the Judicial Review by Thornton Hall Hotel will not be contested by the Council,  Thornton Manor will oppose it. Which means, yes, you guessed it, that it will be Wirral council taxpayers who will once again have to stump up for costly legal proceedings because some numpty at Wirral Council can’t do their job properly and send out a Decision Notice specifying exactly why the Green Belt should not be despoiled by money-grasping opportunists.

We are led to ask ourselves as to whether all of this might explain why Thornton Hall Hotel swiftly withdrew their advertising from Wirral Council’s woeful Wirral View publication and whether the future venue for Wirral Council Mayor’s Balls be left dangling ?