More Transport Trauma

Wirral Screwed 007

Yesterday’s story prompted one of our readers to forward a story from the latest edition of Private Eye which also concerns local transport woes. This particular story is about non-emergency ambulance services.

Strangely this is one that , as far as we know has evaded the local press. However as you can see for yourself it speaks volumes about the shambolic decisions being made Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and others. And it is you dear reader who pays through the nose for procurement failures and poorer services every single time !

*whispers* The people running the show on Wirral (both at  Wirral Council and Wirral University Teaching Hospital)  don’t know what they’re doing. Just sayin’……….

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Audit Trail of Destruction

Frank meat cleaver

The latest Private Eye reports that our very own local MP Frank Field has (quite rightly) been tearing strips off auditors/accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers  (doing business as PwC) in the House of Commons.

Their summary is:

Field Day 005

As you can read for yourselves we once again witness Frankenfield’s flair for Gothic melodrama. “Waving his cleaver'” (oo-er missus!) as if he’s auditioning for the lead role in a remake of ” Mommie Dearest” ( “bring me the axe!)  – but then as we’ve said before he’s always been a Freudian case study waiting to happen.

Wirral Leaks readers will know that PwC are internationally renowned as the favoured go-to accountants of the tax avoider[i] and money launderer[ii].

So who does Wirral Council (with their chums in the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group ) choose to undertake ‘due diligence’ (cue hysterical laughter) as they help to dismantle the NHS locally?

We really don’t need to give you the answer do we?  But we’ll give you a clue – can you spot the business acronym below?

PwC CCG

How much did that ‘due diligence’ work cost us ? And have we heard a peep out of our local hero about PwC’s involvement in it?

Once again we don’t need to give you the answer do we?

Under the circumstances all we can say to Frankenfield is this :  If you’re going to play the people’s champion and defender of the NHS you have to be true to yourself and true to us. If not – what are you? That’s right – it makes you a duplicitous politician! But then we’ve long known that at Wirral Leaks!

[i] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31147276

[ii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/08/18/pwc-to-pay-25-million-to-settle-money-laundering-report-allegations/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03f32dddcd

 

Defend Our NHS : Heads Up On Pop Up

Our Birth Rights and Wrongs story caused quite a stir . Fortunately there are people better informed than us to to tell you about the pop up /pop out birthing centre in Seacombe.  So we are giving you the heads up about a public meeting organised by our friends Defend Our NHS and to also tell you to watch BBC1 North West Tonight tomorrow night which will feature a report about the opening of the centre and hopefully featuring a well informed ,dissenting voice facilitated by Wirral Leaks.

Dear Friends of the NHS

  1. Please find attached a leaflet for our next public meeting which will discuss the controversy surrounding the new Seacombe ‘pop-up’ Birthing Centre*. Please attend if you can – and share this information widely.
  • Wednesday 28th March at 7.00pm in St Paul’s Church Hall, Church Road, Seacombe, CH44 7BA.
  • Guest speakers: Felicity Dowling from the Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital campaign and Stephanie Miller, retired local midwife.
  1. We had another successful open meeting last week. Those present discussed the outcomes of the previous meeting, which had agreed a set of local and national concerns about the NHS as well as what we could do about them collectively and individually. The results of our deliberations will be available as a file on our Facebook page – and we’ll see the results over the coming months as we continue the fight to defend OUR health service. It all depends on YOU.
  2. Defend Our NHS was represented at the recent second meeting of campaign groups from around the Cheshire and Merseyside STP ‘footprint’. We shared information about how our services are being ‘slashed, trashed and privatised’ and how some councils are collaborating in this.
  3. One thing all local groups are determined to do is celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday – and ensure it continues in good health. Some of our supporters will be attending the massive march in London on 30th June; on the same day many of us will be holding a ‘picnic in the park’: an NHS birthday party with fun for all the family. More details soon.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

Email: defendournhswirral@gmail.com

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

Twitter: @DefendourNHS

* The centre will be opened by this week, at the invitation of Wirral Council and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, by Conservative Baroness Cumberlege. We wonder if Wirral Council (which has voted to oppose the privatisation of the NHS) has read this: http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-case-of-baroness-cumberlege-why.html

Seacombe pop up 9

 

Defend Our NHS : fight-back time!

DONHS

DONHS : action meeting 2 March 

With all the bad news emanating from our local NHS we are pleased to post the latest missive from local people who are trying to defend our  great institution rather than see its demise as a career opportunity!

Dear friends of the NHS

Defend Our NHS: action meeting!

The public meeting on Friday (March 2) was a big success. There was a good turn-out despite the awful weather, our speakers were excellent, and the meeting joined in enthusiastically to shape our strategy for forthcoming weeks and months,

We asked – and attendees answered – three questions:

  1. What is your main concern about the NHS?
  2. What should WE ALL do about our concerns?
  3. Will YOU actively join our campaign?

Now it’s YOUR chance to join in the fight to stop the awful local and national damaging changes to our NHS as it is ‘slashed, trashed and privatised’.

How? Come to our next PUBLIC MEETING: Friday 16TH March from 7.00pm at The Welcome Centre, 43 Hamilton Street, CH41 5AA, Birkenhead.

Meanwhile THIS THURSDAY Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group is holding a ‘public engagement’ event at Heswall Hall, Heswall (8th March 2018 from6.30pm).

You might want to ask them: 1) why they are supporting a ‘pop-up’ maternity centre in Seacombe when so much medical evidence is against the idea; 2) why are they continuing to implement local changes to the NHS when WIRRAL COUNCIL HAS VOTED TO OPPOSE THEM.

Is it right that, in 2018 in one of the richest countries in the world, we have headlines like this one in the Liverpool Echo last week about Arrowe Park?

“Nurses ‘forced to wear COATS’ and patients left ‘freezing’ as hospital heating breaks. Staff gave out blankets – fears pregnant mums and young children were also affected.”

YOU can join us to fight to restore a decent NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

defendournhswirral@gmail.com 

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

https://twitter.com/DefendourNHS

 

Birth Rights and Wrongs

Paddling Pool

Is this what they mean by a pop-up birthing pool? 

News reaches us of an interesting meeting held in Wallasey last week.

Apparently there were speakers on the night, but very early on, just after the initial apologies, etc. someone (it’s been suggested a plant) asked a question about the new “UK-FIRST” birthing unit in Seacombe Children’s Centre.  Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney’s hand spontaneously shot up (we suspect a few people may have flinched) and said authoritatively  :  “I’ll answer that!!”
It is alleged that she then went into a rambling, Trump style : “Let’s Make Seacombe Great Again” sermon about what a wonderful idea they were…
o the women of Seacombe keep telling her how desperate they are to have it 
o the women of Seacombe are over the moon and so happy they now have ENHANCED CHOICE
o Blah, blah, jargon,  “community-focused birthing options”, blah, blah, more jargon….
Also there and speaking even more authoritatively , because they were a retired consultant with 40 years service in the local NHS and so actually knew what they were talking about , informed the assembled throng  about these “pop-up non-medicalised birthing units” and how this one just popped up in Seacombe and there was NEVER any consultation with Seacombe residents.
They eloquently put across their knowledge and expertise re: childbirth, birthing units and the potential dangers involved for both mother and baby and how the safe option is to have your baby in hospital where the full range of expert staff are on hand, no matter how handy or convenient these units are (or how more cost effective it was for NHS managers).Read more here : Pop Up Pool
There’s another one planned for Kirby apparently – whaddyaknow, another economically deprived area.We wonder why if it’s such a wonderful idea why isn’t it being ‘pioneered’ in council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies very own WEST Kirby, where they live an extra 12 years compared to people who live in Seacombe, and where life is obviously far more precious. And another thing why aren’t people up in arms about the lack of consultation –  could it be that unlike the proposed Eastham Walk-In Centre closure there wasn’t any political mileage to be had out of the issue?
However back to the meeting and Mooney having got the first blow in was equally eager to get the first round in and ‘wet the baby’s head’ so to speak at her usual Friday night rendezvous .
After she’d gone and during his speech, the NHS veteran politely said, “I was hoping Councillor Mooney would stay and answer some questions”…..
However a source tells us :  “She f*cked off just before the retired consultant stood up to talk, vanishing in the same way Pip did (to Martin Morton) at that hallowed “Improvement Board Meeting” all those years ago.”
This can only lead us to wonder as to exactly what questions are being avoided and why a story about the birthing unit which appeared in the Wirral Globe, has been strangely DELETED. See  here :  Deleted story

 

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

 

 

 

Advent Farewell 20 – Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

image001-2

Now we’re with  post -war Labour Prime  Minister Clement Atlee when it comes to charity . We think it is indeed a ‘‘cold grey loveless thing”.

Having said that we are not suggesting be Scrooge-like this yuletide rather that if you can spare some money this Christmas and as we’re talking about the creeping Americanisation of the NHS we perhaps should be asking ” Brother Can You Spare A  Dime” for a campaign to defend the NHS. Details are set out below by Defend Our NHS campaigner Kevin Donovan :

Dear friends

Sorry to bother you… There’s no pressure to contribute and no need to reply , but the value of our NHS really is a cause close to my heart. As many of you know I’ve been involved in a campaign to defend the NHS (DONHS) for almost seven years . There are currently two legal moves planned to contest changes which are damaging our health services. One still needs funds and I’ve just pledged to the case : https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/jr4nhs-round2/.  

DONHS is supporting both challenges. The other is   999 judicial review

There are many calls on your time and money but a contribution to this would make all the difference .

If you need to know more please get in touch or have a look at our campaign’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/

Kind regards – and Happy Christmas!

Kevin   

 

‘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!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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.

                        …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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

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

                        https://twitter.com/DefendourNHS



The Never-ending Story

what you allow 3

Now if there’s one area of council business we receive more complaints about than any other it’s social services (be it children’s or adult services and particularly the transition between the two). Of course this might be expected. It’s an important component of public services and is a difficult area of work as it involves the most vulnerable people in our community and the involvement of statutory services is often required at times of crisis and distress.

With the push towards more integrated working with the NHS , includes moves to create an All-Age Disability Service – which we hear is not going down too well with staff as it it as seen as another way of undermining professional expertise and status of social workers – we are left to pity the poor carers and service users out there who find themselves all at sea trying to deal with what are now called ‘care navigators’ .

Earlier this week at the Wirral Council Cabinet meeting we had councillors  Christine Spriggs, Chris Jones and Phil Davies extolling the virtues of integrated working and how it would prevent carers telling their ‘story’  over and over again in an attempt to acquire a service to which they are legally entitled. Needless to say Cllr Bernie Mooney waded in to blame everything on Tory cuts but reassured everyone she had written to everyone she could think of to protest about how unfair it all was. This included a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May. You can imagine the consternation in 10 Downing Street can’t you? as a special adviser whispers in the PM’s ear : “Psst ! Theresa – you’d better drop the Brexit negotiations and forget about that bit of bother you’ve got with Priti and Boris and Damian and Michael and whoever the next errant Tory is – Cllr Bernie Mooney is on the warpath and you wouldn’t like it when she gets angry!”

So what we’d like to do here is to provide a case study which is typical of the many complaints we receive from carers and which suggest the problems that Wirral Council have are not just about money it is, as ever ,about the CULTURE  of Wirral Council.  How about they look more closely at why they can’t recruit and retain quality staff and have to spend a fortune on consultants and agency staff.   Talking of which we hear a social services big hitter may soon be on their way out……we’ll bring you more when we get it.

Meanwhile read this never-ending story and weep :

I could fill a book about this but, in short, my severely autistic and learning-disabled son (aged 19) and I have just lost our second second social worker in 15 months.

Last August (2016) I got a call out of the blue from our social worker to say “I am going on secondment and I won’t be seeing you again.” 3 weeks earlier she had said, without prompting, that she would be “right beside you” for at least another year, as my son went through his last year at school and made crucial preparations for college and work placements. When I objected she said “Here’s the number of my immediate boss. Take up your concerns with him.” I kept phoning, over a good two weeks, only to get voice-mail. I left a message that wasn’t picked up, etc. Eventually it turns out that her immediate boss had already been on “indefinite sick leave” for quite a time already, something she must have known when she suggested I ring him.

My son still asks what happened to this social worker and wonders why she didn’t say goodbye.

A new social worker arrived from another borough in Sept 2016. (As did another person to replace the person who was on indefinite sick leave.) In January, the second of these two people gave a week’s notice and went back to South Wales, clearly defeated by Wirral Council’s complete inability to organise. . .anything. Our new social worker kept saying to me “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.” I have tried for a year now to get my son’s respite dates guaranteed to me in writing by Wirral Social Services. I have been in contact with the MP about it, and she has tried repeatedly to be in contact with them. They are usually on voice-mail, or don’t respond to emails, hers or mine. I still have no written guarantee.

The social worker, after lots of meetings/phonecalls with me, assured me at the start of June that my son’s two work placements would start this September. September came: no work placements. It turns out that the work placements hadn’t received the necessary paperwork from the social worker to enable my son to start work; Social Worker insisted that they had the necessary paperwork. Then she and I and the work placement people (Wirral Evolutions) have a meeting in which it is agreed that my son needs one-to-one support at both of the placements. “Don’t worry, I’ll get these sorted” social worker tells me. This was at the end of September. Yesterday (November 3rd), having heard nothing, I phoned the social worker to ask what the delay is. I get a person on the phone who says “Social Worker doesn’t work for Wirral Council anymore. She left 2 weeks ago. Who are you?” This person was, apparently, a receptionist, someone I’d never dealt with before, left with the task of telling x number of people that they have been abandoned.

Wirral Council/Wirral Social Services are grossly incompetent. They are rude. They have no regard for their clients and their clients’ families. They don’t even show the most basic courtesies or consideration. In due course, I daresay I’ll get a call from whoever the replacement social worker is, and the replacement will say “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.”

Basically, it is the same thing over and over and over: incompetence, very poor communication (with me, but also with other agencies and between themselves), rudeness, poor or non-existent note-taking, people leaving at short notice and with no proper explanation, etc etc. It just goes on and on.

When the Klonowski enquiry produced its damning report, I briefly hoped that the people found to be grossly incompetent (and, in some cases, corrupt) would be removed. Disheartening, to say the least, to see people like Steve Foulkes still in place. Where is the accountability? There simply is none.

It beggars belief that Wirral Council has not been placed in special measures. I daresay the reasons behind that are political. The Tories asking for it are being hypocritical because part of the problem is chronic underfunding from central govt but I do think that being placed in special measures would be the best thing. The only thing, actually, that would give people like me and my son the chance at least of a semi-decent service. I know special measures are not a panacea but they would be our best chance.

Apparently the new person to whom my son and I have been allotted is going to be in contact “in due course.” Big deal. The “leader” of the “integrated” (!) team for disabilities at Wirral Social Services since January is someone who clearly does not lead. When I told him at that point (no-one had told us the previous man had left, I found out by chance) that Wirral Social Services is a shambles, he replied with “But that’s just your opinion.”  No-one with a shred of conscience can stay working with these people for any length of time: they either go off sick, having had some kind of breakdown, or they are “let go.” The people there for any significant length of time are, almost by definition, dead wood.

When my son is going to get his work placements is anyone’s guess. Ever? SW who has just gone was saying to me most of the past 12 months “It’s very important that your son gets a 5-day week”. .. I know, I had never suggested otherwise!”

Good Health In Bad Hands

DONHS 2 012

Apologies for the delay in publishing this but it landed in our spam. This is feedback from the Defend Our NHS (DONHS) Wirral meeting that we previously plugged. 

In the mean time it seems that local politicians have been belatedly gegging in on the action , most particularly in relation to the now ‘temporary’ closure of Eastham NHS Walk-in centre. This week’s Adult Care Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee was a humdinger with NHS head honchoes – Simon Banks ( NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group) and Karen Howell ( Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust) getting a good mauling.

Acting chair  Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin took the opportunity to say that it was “important that the decision-makers are held to account.” Yes, those words actually came out of her mouth. My, how we laughed. And then we cried such bitter tears.

She also took the opportunity to plug a prospective Labour councillor who had organised (yet another) petition.  We note that campaigning for next year’s local elections has already started then !

However more concerning for us was an issue that received  zero press coverage and caused considerably less outrage among councillors and that was the closure of  Thorn Heys, an NHS respite service for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs.  Somebody remind us what was that Wirral Plan ‘pledge’ about ‘protecting the most vulnerable’ again?

What is most apparent is that ‘partnership’ working between Wirral Council and its NHS counterparts is not what it should be – the power struggles and the safeguarding of ever diminishing budgets was there for all to see – although of course some highly paid public servants and consultants still seem to be doing okay out of it ! As ever the only people to suffer are those who pay for what appears the deliberate (?) and ongoing (mis)managed decline of a once great institution !

Dear friends of the NHS

Are you angry? The packed audience at our public meeting on Thursday were angry. But they were also full of ideas for the fight back to defend our NHS. There was a spirited and constructive discussion after superb inputs from national campaigner Steve Carne and from a number of local campaigns on our own patch.

Why are people angry? Read the list below* and then come back here.

Are you angry yet? You should be. And if you are you can do something! This is what Thursday’s meeting decided. You can do some or all the following now.

  1. Let us have email addresses of others who might want to join the fight.
  2. Read AND act upon AND share the ‘to do’ list (in the ‘Files’ section on our Facebook page and attached to this message):https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/files/
  3. Come along to the many NHS meetings and protests (some on the ‘to do’ list but starting with the Eastham event on Monday detailed below). Some important events are shown. PLEASE COME!
  4. Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth will be in Eastham to meet with members and people affected by the closure.
    If you are available, and if you know anyone who is concerned about the closure, please bring them along.
    When? Monday September 11, 2017 at 11am – 1pm. Where? St David’s united reform church Eastham Wirral ch62 9dg
  5. STOP THE STP! Wirral Council has the power – and has already said it opposes the STP. Why doesn’t it do it? Wednesday 13th September 6.00pm at Wallasey Town Hall. Let’s make this the biggest lobby ever! Arrive early! http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=819&MId=6118&Ver=4
  6. Attend the Wirral CCG AGM @Tranmere Rovers 28th September from 1.00pmhttps://www.wirralccg.nhs.uk/news/wirral-ccgs-annual-general-meeting-2017/ It’s the CCG which has the local purse strings and makes the cuts.
  7. Share your experiences on Facebook or by email.

Thanks and best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

…………………………………………………………………………………………

* That list:

  • The closure at short notice last week of the Eastham NHS walk-in centre.
  • The simultaneously announced end of the Eastham-Arrowe Park bus service.
  • The ‘pilot’ closure of the Clatterbridge dermatology ward.
  • A further near ONE BILLION POUNDS of cuts in the pipeline for Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • The payment of £300,000 to Price Waterhouse Cooper to compile the list of cuts to be made locally.
  • The payment across England of £21 MILLION POUNDS to firms like PwC for similar ‘work’.
  • The news that PwC and other ‘tax management’ outfits are being given the job of organising NHS service commissioning.
  • All this part of the 44 awful ‘sustainability and transformation partnerships’ (STP) including one here in Cheshire & Merseyside.
  • The STPs and everything else above comes from the brain of the head of NHS England Simon Stevens who now effectively controls the whole of our NHS. (Jeremy Hunt has washed his hands, Pontius Pilate-style.)
  • The revelation that Simon Stevens came to the NHS from US health ‘corporation’ United Healthcare.
  • The revelations of the anti-patient and anti-doctor business behaviour of United while Stevens was a boss.
  • EVERY local council has rejected the STP. Wirral Council has the power to stop the STP in its tracks and voiced its opposition last December – BUT it took the leader of the Council, Phil Davies, EIGHT MONTHS to write the letter to Jeremy Hunt.
  • Meanwhile the cuts have got worse, the waiting lists longer, the appointments harder to get, the adverts for American-style health services appear on GP notice boards – yet wonderful NHS staff continue to offer a fantastic service despite all this and despite years of effective pay cuts.