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Friday 28th April 2017

  • STP in disguise: now you see it, now you don’t

    The North East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) area has decided to change its name to  East London Health and Care Partnership.
    This became clear in the middle of a presentation to a Hackney Healthwatch meeting in mid February, when the accompanying literature suddenly printed the new name half way through the pack, with no explanation.
    The new name has been printed in STP documents prepared for scrutiny, despite the agenda items as prepared by the council still being called NEL STP.
    This is a reflection of the fact that people have finally started to hear about STPs and get concerned about them: the Unite ‘Slash Trash Privatise’ label is sticking, so they have changed the name to anodyne sounding 'Health and Care Partnership'.
    The councillors did not challenge NHS chiefs on this at the scrutiny meeting: the importance of this manoeuvre probably passed everyone by at the time.
    However we should watch out for this elsewhere and challenge it when it happens. 
    Our NEL Save our NHS group will discuss how to respond, it needs challenging.



SOHS Press release

  • SOHS calls on the Devon electorate to Save Our NHS

    County Council elections will take place on 4 May. The General Election will take place on 8 June. Save Our Hospital Services Devon (SOHS) urges the public to make hospital services and social care a top priority when considering how to vote. Here are the facts:
     
    • The Wider Devon Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) will slash £550m from the county’s health budget by 2020/21. In simple terms, that means cuts. Big cuts. Lots of cuts. And the process is already well under way.
     
    • Across Devon, community hospitals have been decimated. The STP target was to close 190 community hospital beds. North Devon is now down to just 12 community hospital beds for a population of 170,000 people. South Devon is facing the closure of four hospitals. East Devon is losing half of all its in-patient beds.
     
    • A mind-boggling 400+ acute beds are being eliminated county-wide. That means beds at Derriford Hospital, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Torbay Hospital and North Devon District Hospital. Many beds have already been removed.
     
    • In place of acute and community hospital beds, the new model of “care closer to home” continues to be rolled out at a pace even though it remains unproven and inadequately scrutinised.
     
    • North Devon District Hospital is facing the potential removal or downgrading of acute services including stroke, maternity, paediatrics, neonatology and urgent & emergency care. Affected patients would have to travel up to two hours to receive vital treatment. Even one of the co-authors of the STP admits that people may die as a result!
     
    It’s a grim picture, but the upcoming elections represent a real opportunity to turn the tide.

    Every single voter in Devon needs to be asking tough questions of prospective councillors and MPs of all parties. And then to only vote for those who will actively defend and promote our hospital and social care services. Which essentially means one thing: scrapping the STP.
     
    “I believe the STP programme is destroying our local health services,” says SOHS supporter Ray Ashman. “I’ll be voting for candidates who commit to halting the programme by campaigning with SOHS Devon to stop threatened cuts – nothing more, nothing less. I urge my fellow constituents to do likewise.”
     
    Ultimately, health policy is driven by politicians. Ultimately, it can only be changed by politicians pressurised from below. So the will of the public must prevail at political level. And SOHS passionately believes that the Devon public can make all the difference.
     
    “The level of support for our campaign across Devon is extraordinary,” says SOHS Facebook Group admin Barbara Nicolson-Martin. “We have 11,000 supporters on Facebook alone. I read most of their posts and I can tell you they’re appalled by what’s happening to our hospitals. Not just that, they’re furious. That fury needs to make itself heard in the elections and I believe it will.”
     
    So the message is simple: however you vote, vote to save our hospital services!


    Read more ...

Monday 17th April 2017

North devon SOHS

  • North Devon Residents Invited to Contact Health Select Committee

    Campaigners from Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) are encouraging residents in North Devon to get in touch with the Commons Health Select Committee which is scrutinising the NHS England’s Sustainability & Transformation Plan (STP) which proposes cuts of over £100M  each year to the NHS budget in Devon. Devon MPs Ben Bradshaw and Sarah Wollaston sit on this Commons Committee. Sarah Wollaston MP chairs the committee.
     
    Submissions of evidence to challenge theses cuts can be sent by email to; http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/                                                                                                                   or by letter to;  Health Committee, 7 Millbank,  London SW1P 3JA 
    and have to arrive before Tuesday 9th May.
     
    Appropriate topics for submission of challenging evidence are as follows;
    Cuts to Acute Services at North Devon District Hospital
    Cuts to non- acute services
    Cuts to 590 acute and community hospital beds across Devon
    Cuts to hospital access for palliative care
    Cuts to referrals by GPs to consultants
     
    For residents this is an opportunity to register concerns about the proposals to cut over £550M from Devon’s health budget over the next five years.
     
    SOHS spokesperson, Ian Crawford said; ”We now believe that the managers of the Clinical Commissioning Group are ‘rattled’ by the fierce public reaction presented by hundreds of residents attending meetings to hear about the cuts to services proposed by the Government’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Devon which will lead to elderly people being shunted out of hospital into the community without sufficient health care. We know from the massive public support on April 1st that there is opposition to STP and call on everyone who is concerned to make submissions of evidence to the Health Select committee before Tuesday 9th May 2017.”


Friday 17th March 2017

Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS)

  • Holsworthy Town Council support their community’s campaign against NHS proposals – Patients do not want medical care in their homes

    A meeting of some 500 local residents in Holsworthy Memorial Hall on Wednesday night, is clear evidence of the opposition to North Devon Healthcare Trust’s plan to remove beds from the Holsworthy Community Hospital.  It took nearly an hour for the Memorial Hall to fill to capacity and residents were in the mood to have their say. No satisfactory answers were given by Alison Diamond, CEO at NDHT to questions from the floor of the meeting – How long will the ward closure last? – What conditions need to be met to allow re-opening? – Why don’t you show leadership and overturn the decision? Her main response was to blame the decision on the shortage of nurses and low bed occupancy.

    Ian Crawford, a campaigner from Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) said “We congratulate Mayor Jon Hutchings and the Town Council for their support of the campaign to oppose the removal of beds from their local community hospital

    Cllr. Barry Parsons made a compassionate plea "Why should we be the ones to suffer?" He emphasised the sense of community and said "I'm terribly disappointed at this decision.

    A local GP told Alison Diamond that as a doctor he needed beds for his patients  and for convalescence on return from treatment at the main hospital.

    Contrary to the NHS England view constantly espoused by Alison Diamond that the plan is to provide medical care in the familiar surroundings of home, previous patients confirmed their preference to receive medical care from professional staff in the safe environment of their local hospital.

    These closures of hospitals, removal of beds and plans to provide medical care in the home rather than a hospital are all part of NHS Englands strategy to slim the NHS down for privatisation with the use of agencies on lower wages with little union representation- this is the view of of SOHS campaigners.

    Ian Crawford

    Media Liaison – SOHS
    07917 123 435


Monday 6th March 2017

John Lister

  • Towns in Cornwall march and protest for the NHS

    March 4 was also a major day of mobilisation in Penzance, Truro, Falmouth and other parts of Cornwall where local events were staged in solidarity with the big London demonstration. Local bands played and midnight vigils were staged as Cornish people showed their determination to defend Our NHS.
    Full report from the excellent Cornwall Live is here
    http://www.cornwalllive.com/mass-ournhs-protest-to-support-health-services-taking-place-in-cornwall/story-30179418-detail/story.html


    Read more ...

Tuesday 28th February 2017

SE Cornwall labour Party

  • Can't get to London on March 4? MARCH FOR THE NHS IN TRURO

    Saturday 4th March
    Assemble 2.15pm at Lemon Quay and march to Truro Cathedral for a rally with speakers
    TRANSPORT WILL BE AVAILABLE
    Our campaigning has been having an effect. Where Cornwall councillors were refusing to commit even to a proper scrutiny of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan by a vote in full council, that has now been agreed, and many are opposing it outright. NHS funding looks set to be the biggest issue that the local election will be fought on. But we need to keep up the pressure.
    Last Friday's Cornish Times reported the 'temporary' closure of St Barnabus' community hospital in Saltash and the transfer of its staff to Liskeard. The closure has not been presented as a cut, but rather a change resulting from a local recruitment crisis in Liskeard. However, the closure is ushering in the STP plans of rationalising and cost-cutting, and may indicate that the community hospital beds in Saltash are earmarked for closure.

    Now is the time to stand up for our local health service and act in solidarity with campaigners from all around the country. Health Campaigns and unions in Cornwall have called a march in Truro to protest about the STP and save our local hospitals; and Labour throughout Cornwall will be supporting the march. It's the same day as the national march in London and saving the NHS will be high on the news agenda. Please come to Truro with us to march behind the SE Cornwall Labour banner!
    It's been great to see how many of our members want to show care for our NHS since this campaign began; and we'd like to organise transport to Truro from this area. Can you offer a lift or will you need one? If there is enough interest we may be able to put on a bus... In any case we'll want to organise meeting up in advance so that we can march together. So please reply to this email - or contact your branch secretary - and tell us if you're planning to come.

    Look forward to hearing from you,
    yours in solidarity,

    Lesley Carty
    Vice-Chair (Membership)
    South-East Cornwall Constituency Labour Party


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