A coalition to defend #ourNHS

Conference Reports

OVER 90 attend Leeds Health Campaigns Together to Win conference

Huge thanks to all of you who came to the Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together to Win Conference on October 15 and contributed their knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm so freely and to our three speakers, Dr David Wrigley, John Lister and Dr James Chan.

There was a great fighting spirit in the room from a wide spread of campaigners, health workers and trade unionists from Wakefield, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Harrogate, Bradford, Ilkley, Otley, Keighley, Barnsley and Sheffield, with two very welcome activists from Manchester.

Stacey Booth, regional health organiser for the GMB was there all day, and we had Unite and Unison Branch chairs from Barnsley Hospital and Mid Staffs, the Secretary and Chair of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals UNISON, a number of GMB, Unite and Unison stewards, and at least one local councillor!

Nick Jones took some video snippets of the speakers which you can see on Leeds Keep Our NHS Public facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/141710829185241

It is too soon to have collectively digested and scooped up all the info and ideas from the Conference but we thought it would be useful to:
  • summarise the key actions we agreed pretty quickly, (click HERE)
  • send out links to useful websites (see below) and
  • circulate a summary of the only doc that has been released to the public in Leeds regarding the West Yorks footprint (click HERE) For those who are not familiar with STP plans at all this may give some idea of where they are coming from even though sanitised, wrapped in rainbows, lacking in detail, not backed up by evidence and mainly silent on what savings( i.e. cuts) are going to be made and how the finances have any hope of stacking up.
Jenny Shepherd is going to prepare a single info sheet for campaigners within the West Yorks footprint, and is working with others on a fact pack, so more to come.

We will also circulate summary docs or references to requirements re public consultation and engagement.

PLEASE NOTE that Calderdale activists are organising a rally on Friday 21st October 12.00-1.00 outside the West Yorks STP Office / CCG offices in Wakefield (White Rose House, West Parade, Wakefield WF1 1LT )to protest against the Yorkshire STP Plan, and the speed and secrecy with which it is being rushed through. All support appreciated.

Some sources of information, ideas and resources:

  • Here on the Health Campaigns Together website you will find lots of info and can download a copy of the summer newspaper which has a centre spread on STPs. The paper is produced by John Lister who spoke at our Conference and an autumn edition is due out very soon. HCT has set up STP watch (stpwatch@gmail.com) which is aiming to get and share info on all 44 STPs as they are leaked or disclosed and sent to them by local campaigners so others can be aware of what is taking shape across the country. They have good info on 9 of the 44 so far.
  • Keep Our NHS Public, which is a coalition of over 60 local NHs campaign groups throughout the country (not all called KONP groups!) has a website at www.keepournhspublic.com with info , articles, upcoming events, campaigning resources and contact details for all the groups
  • 999 Call for the NHS who organised the Jarrow to London march have a lively website, useful resources and a nice pic of a footprint! www.999callfornhs.org.uk Their organisation was initiated by a group of women in Darlington and they continue to have a strong base in the north east and are organising a march between threatened hospitals around Teeside and Durham from 22nd to 29th October. They are also trying to collate info re STPs.
  • The NHS Support Federation are particularly good at providing an overview of the privatisation that is taking place across the country and info re services out to tender. See http://www.nhscampaign.org and the Contract Alert section in particular.
  • However for detailed info re current tenders you can go directly to Tenders Direct UK and search by area and type of contract. http://www.tendersdirect.co.uk
  • Our NHS, under the auspices of Open Democracy carries useful articles by Caroline Molloy and others: see https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs
  • If your Council is just rubber stamping STPs through the Health and Wellbeing Board, without even knowing what's in them most of the time, please email your ward Councillors and ask them to Stop the STPs. You can find your ward Councillors email addresses on your local Council website or through this website https://www.writetothem.com. Here's a template email you can use.
Within Yorkshire,

Defending the NHS conference

Saturday 30 January 2016, London Welsh Centre

For those who missed this successful conference, and for those who enjoyed it and want to remember what was said, click here to read what the key platform speakers said.

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