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.
- Let us have email addresses of others who might want to join the fight.
- 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/
- 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!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.