Join us in Feb and March – especially 30th – Yorkshire March for the NHS

FRIDAY 1st Feb 4- 5.30 pm opposite Leeds Station ( Boar Lane corner ) 1st Feb is Dignity Action Day promoted by www.dignityincare.org.uk. We hope to have some trade union support.

Friday 8th Feb 1-4pm Yorkshire Health Campaigns  Together network meeting at Unison Regional office, Commerce House, Wade Lane, next to Merrion Centre.

Sat 9th Feb 11-12.15 LGI A&E SHOUT OUT about the reality of our overstretched, understaffed and ‘underbedded’  NHS this winter contrasting with the fluff and puff in the NHS 10 year plan and expressing solidarity and thanks to staff. All musicians welcome too !

Sat. 9th March  pm “ LEEDS “SUMMAT”  in Notre Dame school, Woodhouse . More info later.

Sat 9th March national Keep Our NHS Public Steering Group in Leeds. This is a delegate meeting but we can send a few observers.

Sat. March 30th Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together demonstration for the NHS assembling at 11.30 outside Leeds Art Gallery. Please ask your trade union or party branch to support the demo and bring banners. Donations also very welcome as we have to spend on publicity and pay the PCS Samba band expenses for travelling over from Manchester.

The next meeting of Leeds Keep Our NHS Public will be on Feb 13th 6.30 – 8 in the Victoria Hotel, Great George St. immediately behind Leeds Town Hall.

Latest minutes: https://leedskeepournhspublic.wordpress.com/leeds-konp-minutes/

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Letter to Yorkshire Evening Post – Dr John Puntis

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/your-say/yep-letters-january-23-1-9552308

Dear Editor,

I read with scepticism Stephen Hammond’s claim (YEP January 17th) that “the NHS plan will preserve the nation’s most prized asset”. The ‘plan’ aims to keep people well and identify illness earlier – both dependent on adequate funding and sufficient staff.

Two thirds of acute Trusts are in the red, compared with 5% in 2010. Cancer waiting times are the worst on record, huge problems exist in A&E, and the average wait for a GP appointment is up 30% to two weeks.

Until eight years ago, the NHS budget was increased annually by 4% to meet rising demand, before being savagely cut to 1%. The Office for Public Responsibility estimates a 4.3% increase is needed. £20.5 bn does not make up for the accumulated financial deficit, increases the overall budget by only 3.4%, and not until 2023/4.

The ‘plan’ also intends to implement a top down reorganisation, with 44 ‘Integrated Care Systems’, lacking in public accountability (everything about you decided without you) and unprotected from takeover by the private sector.

Forced mergers of GP practices will cover populations of 30-50,000, causing accessibility problems for many.

Whereas most of the 60+ uncosted commitments in the ‘plan’ to improve services would be welcome, they are completely unrealistic given the funding offered.

An obsession with non-evidence based digital solutions, lack of a workforce plan to tackle the current 100,000 vacancies, absence of information on how much capital will be available for new projects, and ignoring the crisis in social care all spell further misery for patients.

£20.5 bn may help keep the lights on, but this ‘plan’ is in reality a recipe for the destruction of our most prized asset.

Leeds Keep Our NHS Public invitrs the public to join a demonstration demanding proper NHS funding:

30th March 11.30 outside Leeds Art Gallery, Victoria Gardens

Yours faithfully,

Dr John Puntis

What the NHS 10 year plan means for Leeds – Dr John Puntis

Stephen Hammond MP (Minister of State for Health) writing recently from his Wimbledon constituency to the good people of Leeds

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/yorkshire-post/20190112/282041918287291)

claimed: ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’ “will preserve the nation’s most prized asset”.

The ‘plan’ aims to keep people well and identify illness earlier, and is an amazing uncosted wish list of wonderful things that could be done if only the government could be persuaded to give the NHS enough money and staff:

  • community health crisis response services to swing into action within two hours of referral? – no problem sir;
  • home-based and wearable monitoring equipment to predict and prevent events that would otherwise have led to a hospital admission? – of course madam;
  • assessment and treatment of frail elderly patients by multidisciplinary teams delivering comprehensive geriatric assessment in A&E and acute receiving units? – definitely, every hospital medical and surgical department will have them.
  • One in three women experience urinary incontinence after childbirth – fine, we will have multidisciplinary pelvic health clinics across England, etc., etc.

The current reality, however, is that/ two thirds of acute Trusts are in the red, compared with 5% in 2010. Cancer waiting times are the worst on record, huge problems exist in A&E, and the average wait for a GP appointment is up 30% to two weeks.

This is all because of chronic underfunding. Until eight years ago, the NHS budget annual increase was 4% to meet rising demand, before being savagely cut to 1%. The Office for Public Responsibility estimates a 4.3% increase in spending is needed. The amount of extra funding which is supposed to pay for implementation of the ‘plan’ is a meagre £20.5 bn. It does not make up for the accumulated financial deficit, and increases the overall budget by only 3.4% – and not until 2023/4!

The ‘plan’ also sets out intentions to implement a top down reorganisation, with 44 ‘Integrated Care Systems’, lacking in public accountability (i.e. everything about you decided without you) and unprotected from takeover by the private sector.

Forced mergers of GP practices will cover populations of 30-50,000, causing accessibility problems for many. Whereas most of the 60+ uncosted commitments in the ‘plan’ to improve services would be very welcome, they are completely unrealistic given the funding offered.

An obsession with non-evidence based digital solutions, lack of a workforce plan to tackle the current 100,000 vacancies, absence of information on how much capital will be available for new projects, and ignoring the crisis in social care (“when agreeing the NHS funding settlement the government therefore committed to ensure that adult social care funding is such that it does not impose an additional pressure on the NHS over the coming five years” – so that’s alright then!) all spell further misery for patients. £20.5 bn may help keep the lights on, but this ‘plan’ is in reality a recipe not for the preservation but for the destruction of our most prized asset.

The lack of detail on manpower despite many trumpeted innovations that clearly would need more staff is astonishing. Perhaps they see unpaid volunteers as the solution, since £2.3 million is being committed to the Helpforce programme?

Helpforce is a charity that aims to boost the 74 000 volunteers in the NHS to “millions”. It was set up by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, educated at Eton and Oxford before becoming a barrister and investment banker (giving him his soubriquet – ‘Thomas Huge-Wallet ‘). Apparently Sir Tom can often be seen waiting for a GP appointment or queuing in A&E. Billed by the Daly Mail as “one of the UK’s top health experts” (surely some mishtake? – Ed.), his insightful pronouncements on the NHS include: “to keep it on the road it should – like a garage – charge for extras”.

‘Leeds Keep Our NHS Public’ invites the people of Yorkshire to join a demonstration demanding proper NHS funding at 11.30 on March 30th 2019, outside the art gallery in Leeds.

Find the NHS Plan at: http://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-long-term-plan/, write to NHS England, PO Box 16738 | Redditch | B97 9PT, or email at
england.contactus@nhs.net to request a paper copy.

10 year plan for the NHS – Leeds KONP

The plan sets out how the NHS will use the extra £20.5bn a year by 2023-24 to drive improvements in the service over the next 10 years.

  • investment in “world class, cutting edge treatments,” including genomic tests for every child with cancer and artificial intelligence to potentially improve stroke diagnosis
  • a renewed focus on prevention to stop an estimated 85 000 premature deaths each year, including new dedicated alcohol and tobacco treatment services in hospitals, and an expansion of the diabetes prevention programme
  • a new guarantee that investment in primary, community, and mental health care will grow faster than the overall NHS budget2; the plan says this will include £4.5bn to fund integrated care across England
  • the “biggest ever” investment in mental health services, rising to at least £2.3bn a year by 2023-24,3 will include an expansion of community based services, including in schools, to help 345 000 more children and teenagers
  • a package of upgrades to improve neonatal services, including more specialists and expert nurses in units
  • extra investment in early detection in areas such as cancer and respiratory care
  • “every patient will have the right to online ‘digital’ GP consultations, and redesigned hospital support will be able to avoid up to a third of outpatient appointments – saving patients 30 million trips to hospital, and saving the NHS over £1 billion a year in new expenditure averted. GP practices – typically covering 30-50,000 people – will be funded to work together to deal with pressures in primary care and extend the range of convenient local services, creating genuinely integrated teams of GPs, community health and social care staff.”
  • The document warns that the H&SCA is damaging the NHS and stopping it from making vital improvements to the care patients receive.

Health Service Journal :

KONP website:

Rationing plan for 17 NHS treatments no longer to be commissioned by CCGs. Trusts are also urged to ‘grow their external (non-NHS) income’ and ‘work towards securing the benchmarked potential for commercial income growth’. They must set up systems to raise money by charging patients for treatment (‘overseas visitor cost recovery’) – a policy recently denounced by several medical Royal Colleges because of its impact on individual and public health.

The 44 discredited Sustainability and Transformation Plans, re-branded as Integrated Care Systems, will hold the regional budgets to control NHS Trusts. ‘Planning assumptions’ in each STP area are to be agreed by 14 January. Neither the STPs, nor the ICSs, nor the Long Term Plan has been mandated by an Act of Parliament, let alone by patients or healthworkers.

The private sector could gain control of individual ICSs through long term contracts to manage the entire health system within one region.

John Lister:

A depressing re-run of previous plans and gimmicks: the only novel proposals are for more central control and less accountability, for trusts to run more like and with private businesses seeking profits, and to raise money by undermining the principles and values of the NHS.

There is no reason to believe this plan, with even less local accountability and no serious plans for public consultation, will prove any more acceptable to the public or successful in implementation than the secretive STPs in 2016 or other previous failed efforts.

Campaigners have yet to see anything to recommend the new plans, or any indication NHS England is willing to come to grips with the crisis fuelled by chronic austerity limits on funding – or demand an end to chaos and fragmentation of the Health & Social Care Act.”

Kailesh Chand (GP; BMA)

Continuation of the NHS 2000 modernisation plan of the Tony Blair government. The end game is one where ‘NHS’ will simply be a ‘kitemark’ attached to institutions and activities of a system of private providers.

The whole of England is to be covered by integrated care systems (ICSs) in just over two years, with ICSs ‘central to delivery of the long-term plan’ which is essentially a market model of health care that can be taken over by the likes of Virgin and United Health.

ICSs and their focus on population health are seen as central to the plan: ‘triple integration’ – of primary and specialist care, physical and mental health services and social care. The private sector will be licking its lips at the prospect.

£20.5 billion funding will barely make up for eight years of austerity that have crippled the NHS and social care and undermined public health. The gap between policy rhetoric and supply has never been starker.

There is nothing in the plan’s outlined aspirations – keeping people out of hospital, caring for the vulnerable in the community, earlier diagnosis of treatable disease – that any right minded person wouldn’t want to do or make happen. The question is how are we going to meet the challenge? Where will the money and the personnel come from?

Analysis by the King’s Fund, the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust suggests the health service could be short of more than 350,000 staff if it continues to lose employees and cannot attract enough from abroad.

Fight the freeze, meetings this winter, Leeds Summat and LGI lobby

Latest minutes

If any of you can brave the cold we would love some support for a Leeds KONP stall this Saturday 19th from 11-12.15ish on Commercial St near Accessorize, just along from Boots.

We may have a few tunes to keep us warm!

We are  planning to have a couple of workshops at “Leeds Summat” on March 9th
We thought we would show the Kirkstall museum film and have some discussion  but focus on practical activities like making placards for the demo, making up chants, even singing  to try to encourage the involvement of new and maybe even younger people !  Space 2 are also collecting stories about the NHS for their NHS 70th project as well as making a banner.

 

We are  thinking about calling another one of our lobby/ events outside LGI ( by the A&E roundabout ) to combine highlighting the  lack of staff and beds in the hospital with thanking staff for the brilliant job they do despite being 110,000 short and putting across some clear messages re the inadequacy and spin in the 10 year plan.

Spread the word about our annual Yorkshire Health Campaigns  Together demonstration and rally on Saturday 30th March. Assemble 11.30 outside Leeds Art Gallery. It gets a little mention in the latest Health Campaigns Together  newspaper which you can download from the website https://www.healthcampaignstogether.com/ .

And if you fancy sitting in the public gallery of a few meetings these are coming up :

  • Wed Jan 30th 2-5, Leeds CCG in Pudsey Civic Hall
  • Mon 11th Feb 10.30am Joint Scrutiny Board West Yorks & Harrogate, venue tbc Halifax Town Hall
  • Thursday 28th Feb. 1.30 – 4pm Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board

Next Meeting of Leeds Keep Our NHS Public will be on Wed 23rd Feb 6.30 – 8pm in the Victoria Hotel. We will be setting aside 30/40 mins to talk about what we want the NHS to look like ! Hope to see a good crowd there !

Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together this Friday

1.30 – 3.30pm, in Unison’s regional office, Commerce House, Wade Lane, LS28NJ

Please remember to come to the door at the back of the building http://www.unison-yorks.org.uk/contact.html

We are hoping that campaigners from Scarborough can make this meeting. They have launched a magnificent campaign against local cuts and closures and have 26,000 signatures on an on line petition.

Suggested items for the agenda include

1. Updates from recent events round the region

999 Call for the NHS JR Appeal Hearing 21.11

HCT’s national Social Care Conference 24.11

South Yorks and Bassetlaw Group , including their lobby 20.11

70th Birthday poetry book launch 24.11

Save Scarborough and District Hospitals Campaign

Hands off HRI

Harrogate

and any other groups wanting to pitch in with news

2. Progress with specific issues and what more needs to be done e

Wholly Owned Subsidiaries

Mental Health

Resisting Integrated Care Partnerships/ Systems, particularly trying to make more impact on Scrutiny Boards and Councillors

3. What next ?

Maxing opportunities provided by the winter crisis to highlight bed and staffing shortages, safety issues and state of social care / neglect

Maxing opportunities provided by the Brexit debacle to highlight desperate staffing shortages

Exposing privatisation and its costs both in health and social care

Continuing to fight cuts and closures on the ground and supporting each other across the region as much as possible.

NB Wirral ‘s recent victory resisting closure of walk in / urgent care centres

4. Upcoming events

Yorkshire march for the NHS; proposed date 30thMarch in Leeds ?