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One year of coronavirus ‘lockdowns’

Report by Dr John Puntis, co-chair Keep Our NHS Public to Health Campaigns Together affiliates meeting – 23rd January 2021.

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London plans for post-Covid fait accompli revealed

Evidence in two leaked documents shows that NHS England – at least in London and probably in every region – is planning behind the scenes to draw up plans at breakneck pace with no consultation – and impose a new “post-Covid” system on the NHS, which will largely eliminate accountability and consultation.

The first document is an April 29 letter from NHS England’s London Region director Sir David Sloman, requiring all five london “Integrated Care Systems” to draw up plans by May 11, to be discussed at a “Recovery Board” meeting om May 13 – all during the lockdown.

The second is a set of Powerpoint slides ‘Journey to a New Health and Care System’ dated April 24 from NHS England and NHS Improvement to all London ICS chairs, outlining plans to impose far-reaching plans for a “New Health and Care System for London” by November 2021 – with minimal if any public consultation.

Acute Danger

THREE CCGs, Merton, Sutton and Surrey Downs are ignoring calls from Merton council and others for a pause during the currect Covid-19 lockdown, and forging ahead with plans that would spend £500m on a new acute hospital in Sutton -- and halve the number of acute beds for the combined population of 720,000 people in plans that flout NHS England's latest planning guidance and were written before the current pandemic highlighted the shortage of acute bed capacity in the NHS.

While NHS England has suspended most normal activity and taken over CCG powers as part of the fight to containb the coronavirus, the CCGs refused to extend the consultation by more than 5 days, and are clearly continuing to work up their controversial plans behind locked doors and with no public scrutiny. The new hospital, which would concentrate all acute services in just 386 core beds, while A&E departments at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals are downgraded and beds reduced in number and downgraded to "district hospital" status, is one of the six to be funded by the Johnson government.

Read the UNISON branch's response to the plan HERE.

Response to NHS England's proposals for new legislation

Keep Our NHS Public and and HCT have collaborated on this response, the longer verion of which has been submitted to NHS England and NHS Improvement's 'engagement process' which concluded on April 25. Also attached is a shorter version developed by KONP.
  • Disaster Healthcare in North West London
    Discussion paper submitted to Health Campaigns Together by Roger Steer
  • Brexit: why the NHS is at risk from no-deal
    While opinions among campaigners vary on the merits or otherwise of Brexit, there is universal concern at the dangers that would be posed to the NHS by a no-deal Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn has insisted no-deal would be “disastrous” and said Labour will vote against it and call for a referendum. JOHN LISTER looks at what dangers it might pose to the future of the NHS.
  • Long Term Plan threatens to create a remote, centralised NHS
    Health Campaigns Together editor John Lister takes a detailed look at the long list of uncosted promises and the partial call for rescinding regulations from the 2012 Health & Social Care Act, but warns “These relatively minor positive elements must not distract us from the hard proposals in the Plan for a further top-down reorganisation of England’s NHS”
  • Another top-down plan to make NHS even less accountable
    Health Campaigns Together editor John Lister explores the initial hints of the Long Term Plan contained within a document Preparing for 2019/20 Operational Planning and Contracting, published by NHS England on December 21 2018 (and subsequently expanded and republished).
  • Looking back on the “Five Year Forward View”
    2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the Five Year Forward View (FYFV), effectively Simon Stevens’ manifesto as the incoming chief executive of NHS England. How much of it has been implemented? What are the gaps?
  • The winter crisis is one of this government’s own making
    End of 2018 roundup 
    from Samantha Wathen, Press and Media Officer for Keep Our NHS Public.
    2012-13 saw the first reports of a winter crisis, but the situation has deteriorated dramatically since then as funding has not kept pace with the added demands placed on the service, while a collapsed social care system leans on the NHS very heavily. 
  • A Winter's Tale - no room on the wards
    An end of 2018 overview by HCT Editor John Lister
  • Critique of Five Year Forward View, STPs and ACOs and much MORE
  • STPs: How serious are the proposals?
    Detailed analysis published by LSBU, with all 44 summaries available HERE
  • What NHS Finance chiefs thought about STPs
  • Response to this from Nigel Edwards, Nuffield Trust Will the NHS really need fewer beds in the future?, available HERE

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