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/

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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…

Defend Our NHS : walk-in back to (un)happiness?

 

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Dear friends of the NHS

Are you ready to be insulted? You probably will be (again) on next month. Read on!

Insult and minor injury

Before Christmas 32,000 people signed petitions opposing the proposed damaging changes to Wirral’s walk-in and minor injuries services.

The petitions (organised by us and by local doctors and other campaign groups) also called for the board of Wirral’s clinical commissioning group (CCG) to organise meetings in every Council ward to explain themselves.

In November Wirral councillors* demanded that the related farcical ‘consultation’ be ended and that “…the CCG come back to clinicians and patient group[s] to discuss meaningful and open proposals to retain the existing community-based services and improve the services, not at the cost of them being subsumed into a new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Arrowe Park Hospital”.

And what was the CCG response? They said ‘consultation’ would continue as planned but “notes the motion”. They said they would ‘listen’ to the thousands (having based the changes on the alleged ‘confusion’ of a few hundred).

The arguments should (but there’s no guarantee) be aired again in February. AND WE URGE YOU TO ATTEND TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.

  • On Tuesday, 5th February 2019 at 2.00pm in Birkenhead Town Hall there’s a meeting of the Joint Strategic Commissioning Board*. Three Wirral councillors (Councillor Chris Jones, Councillor Bernie Mooneyand Councillor Stuart Whittingham  will meet a mass of CCG representatives to continue the now agreed plans to run local health and care services jointly. Oh, by the way, the Council now picks up the tab when the CCG gets into (more) financial hot water, acting (to quote the document) in a ‘cash management/banking role until anticipated income is received’.
  • Then on Tuesday 12th February from 1.00pm in the Exmouth Room at the Lauries in Birkenhead it’s the CCG Governing Body meeting. Will they have listened by then?  They tell us that “An analysis of the feedback received during the consultation period has commenced.  This will be considered along with other evidence by the NHS Wirral CCG Governing Body later in the year [no date given].  The analysis and report is being completed by an external organisation.” (Uh, oh! We hope it’s not PWC!)

*Ignorance or hypocrisy?  Wirral Council wins at Pointless

Wirral councillors do not seem to realise that they can condemn walk-in changes as loudly as they like but their opposition is pointless. Why? They have signed a ‘Section 75’ agreement with the CCG. That’s part of the ‘sustainability and transformation/accountable care/integrated care’ system which the Council has been aiding and abetting for years – while denying it was happening. It includes ‘urgent care transformation’ and the end of current walk-in services. That’s why persuading them to change direction and defend our NHS is ever more important.

So, who said romance is dead?

What more appropriate date on which to discover the answer to that question than Thursday 14th February? We will be holding our next public meeting that evening (details soon) and hope that you will share your Valentine’s Day with fellow romantics determined to Defend Our NHS.

Best wishes on behalf of DONHS

 

A Message from Defend Our NHS : the days dwindle down … and the CCG venue changes

December 11

Dear friends of the NHS

As you know next Tuesday 11th December is petition day. On that day the thousands and THOUSANDS of names opposing changes to the walk-in centres and other units will be presented to Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group. (At the current estimate about 18,000 more people oppose the changes than said they were “confused” by the present system.)

BUT the CCG has changed the venue. It’s now in the Exmouth Suite, The Lauries, 142 Claughton Road, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 6EY (1pm – 4pm).

We hope we will see you there to show the CCG the strength of feeling.

And remember the petitions are not only opposing the changes; we are also demanding that the CCG should “organise an accessible public meeting in every Wirral council ward attended by a member of CCG staff and a Wirral Council representative to discuss the views of Wirral residents relating to proposed changes to health and care services”.

Meanwhile, today Nottingham Council has withdrawn in disgust from the integrated care process because of the “democratic deficit”. This is the process to which Wirral Council has signed up but which some councillors are now fiercely opposing. It’s also the process to which a legal challenge has been mounted with our support.

To find out more about any of the above issues please visit our Facebook page.

Meanwhile a reminder about this Saturday:

Please note and circulate this widely.

Saturday 8th December

Because of logistical difficulties SATURDAY’s MARCH in Birkenhead is CANCELLED.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

But please note the following:

The rally at 11.00am on Saturday morning  8th December  is being organised by the Miriam Centre and is going ahead (but is limited for space). Please remember that this is a normal working day at the Centre which will be busy with patients. We must respect this and not interfere in any way with the venue, entrances, parking etc. We are there to offer our support and solidarity to the doctors and other staff seeking to preserve a vital part of our NHS. If you are attending the rally please don’t bring banners etc. If there are too many people for the room there will be an overspill meeting; if this is the case we’ll walk two minutes down the road and into Birkenhead Park.

Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

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

Defend Our NHS meeting – Feedback and footage

Feedback from last night’s Defend Our NHS  Wirral meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall.. Footage below available on DONHS Facebook page.

Interesting developments from last night’s Defend Our NHS meeting . Our first speaker was local GP Dr Abhi Mantgani whose practice is home to one of the centres under threat. He noted how up to 90 thousand patients attend Wirral walk-in centres every year. Their closure can in no way be categorised as more convenient or less confusing.
The meeting agreed to support a mass cross Wirral campaign to stop the closures, to urge Wirral councillors to stand up for their constituents, and noted that rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic was not any way to defend our NHS .
There will be a further protest meeting in the very near future.
Time and time again members of the audience noted the gulf between Labour Party policy nationally and locally, and the Councll leader’s apparent willingness to implement Tory policies on health. The audience wanted a Council which stood up for the NHS and its voters.
Happy days.