sign this urgent petition against the transfer of Facilities staff and estate out of Leeds Teaching Hospital

Please sign this urgent petition against the transfer of Facilities staff and estate out of  Leeds Teaching Hospital into a separate company set up by the hospital.

This is a serious step in breaking up the NHS and making services and estates ripe for  privatisation. It’s also appallingly unfair to staff, sows strife, will have a knock on effect on the whole of LTHT and could turn out to be a very costly bit of tax evasion.

LTHT Facilities transfer to a WOC Unison petition 15.3.18

Airedale and Harrogate Hospitals have gone down this route within the last few weeks but we are hopeful of a fight back at Harrogate where staff are being balloted about taking industrial action. Leeds are moving very rapidly from informal consultation to formal consultations with staff and unions and there could be a decision taken at the LTHT Board Meeting on 29th March so we must act fast. Please sign and share  the on line petition set up by Unison,  as widely as possible, download the attached paper petition and take it to work, social events , meetings etc.

Any completed paper petitions can be returned directly  to the UNISON Branch Office at St James Hospital (Level 1. Room 039/040. Beckett Wing St James’s Hospital Leeds, LS9 7TF or left for  Michael Parkinson at the UNISON Regional Office, Commerce House


2018 – We are asking Leeds Council

We recently held discussions with councillors and the LA re the Leeds Health and Care Plan and West Yorks and Harrogate STP.

We had a response to a letter to the Pudsey councillors re the Outer West Community Committee. We had a meeting to share concerns with Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing  Board, Helen Haydon, Head of adults and Health Scrutiny Board, Paul Bollom and Tony Cooke from the LA who are responsible for System Integration and presented our list of Health & Social Care plan ASKS:

1. Insist on figures and evidence – where are the “savings” coming from , what is going to go and with what impact on whom.

2. With the public – TELL NOT SELL and be pro-active.

3. Don’t agree to Sustainability and Transformation Plans that involve cuts and closures of services in other areas. Leeds shouldn’t collude in plans for downgrading or closing services elsewhere, comfortable in the knowledge that Leeds may well profit from others’ loss.  

We should insist changes are clinically not financially driven, based on sound evidence and subject to proper consultation with the affected populations.

4. Resist the setting up of Accountable Care Systems/Organisations, which have no legal status, no proper governance, no mandate from the public or Parliament and carry major risks of fragmenting health care and eroding the NHS. There is plenty of scope for developing more  seamless and integrated care, better prevention of illness, promotion of wellbeing etc without ACOs

5. Don’t give contracts to private firms and don’t set up Special Purpose Vehicles or pursue other “in house” outsourcing as is happening throughout Yorkshire with Facilities and other non- clinical, hospital staff.

Privatisation of health and social care is wrong, unnecessary, wasteful and creates massive instability. (just look at Wakefield’s Academies!)

6. Be very wary of Naylor report/ Phoenix project plans to sell off NHS estate. It is one off fundraiser and there is no guarantee that monies raised will be ploughed back into local health services. With the NHS in dire straits financially, monies can just be sucked up to cover deficits. There is also pressure and incentives to make quick sales, which may not be the best deal, to vacate buildings which have a high sales value regardless of whether the building is needed and to use PFI to bring buildings up to a reasonable standard to put on the market  

7. Join up and stand firm with other Councils to tell the Government Rumpelstiltskin isn’t real!  You can’t knit good health and social care out of split hairs.

The Leeds Health Plan is another privatisation vehicle

Leeds Health Plan and Accountable Care Organisations flier for community committees


This Saturday 2nd December 11- 12.15/30 We will be having a stall outside Virgin Media on Commercial St.( near Boots) .All support appreciated. We will be giving out our merry robin postcards  but will also have some signage  re Virgin’s rip off of the NHS in Surrey. They had the gall to sue the NHS for  not being awarded a contract to run children’s services and have just had a pay out of at least £328,000- all money stolen form patient care and tax pay’s pockets!

Wednesday 13th December 6.30 is the next meeting of Leeds KONP in The VICTORIA HOTEL ( side room) If we are a little delayed getting into the room we will be in the bar

Thursday 14th December 5.30 – 6.30/ 7pm , in Dortmund Square, on the Headrow ( with the barrel man) is our “ No return to pre- war days” BIG  SING . Join us in Dortmund Square at 5.30. Bring friends, family et al and dig out long skirts and shawls, baggy trousers, caps and mufflers, waistcoats  and jackets for “toffs”, We have a few spare “ top hats” . If you can bring a lantern that would be great too. We might move on to Briggate after 6pm for a second round. If you really don’t want to sing, please come along and give out merry robin Save Our NHS postcards instead.

We also really need people to attend their Community Committee meetings over the next few weeks.

Still to come:


Inner South Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 5.00 pm: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR.  Contact: Guy Close (0113) 3788667

Inner North West  Thursday, 7th December,  7.00 pm, Brownlee Centre, Bodington Way LS16 8NA Contact: Andy Booth 0113 247 4325

Outer North East Monday 11th December at 5.30 , proposed venue Committee Room 4, Civic Hall Contact: John Grieve 0113 37 88662

Agendas and more info on


#HCT2017 notes

See also hashtag #HCT2017, videos, presentations of sessions from the day will be uploaded later onto healthcampaignstogether website

Opening speakers included chairs of Hammersmith & Ealing Councils – both of whom have rejected the STPs – they were described as fraud by Conservative government. Ealing & Hammersmith cover area / population the size of Leeds – if the A&Es close it would be like Leeds without an A&E.
We cannot forget the previous attempts by NHS England to try and close our hospitals up here and the great support from Leeds politicians of different political parties.

Ken Loach thanked NHS campaigners around the country. He said that he & others come to campaigns for information and advice. He wants campaigners to support Corbyn to reinstate the NHS with NHS employees fairly paid, working for the NHS and an end to privatisation.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of BMA spoke of how the BMA votes every year for the founding principles of the NHS. Says 1 in 3 GP surgeries have permanent unfilled vacancies.

“If CQC wants to give to special measures, it should give to government”


Different objections to PFI from policy makers / politicians – all info in CHPI report

PFI profits leave NHS and not invested back, go to offshore funds in Jersey.

​One campaigner found her pension in 4 PFI funds asset managed in Jersey.

Naylor report not well written – doesn’t allow for sequential testing of NHS estate review. For example if deciding that not for clinical use, consider social benefit, social housing (think of numbers of NHS staff and vulnerable patients in poverty or lack of social care and using foodbanks) on estate. This can save NHS more money e.g with stepdown care rather than private companies trying to house people in the community for greater cost).

There needs to be one public estate strategy which includes NHS and all public sector estate. Familiar territory to councillors and sequential testing provides a possible process. Property law attendees at the conference today compiling a brief.

International campaigns – fantastic stories from a Canadian province – holding public referendums and stopped private clinics / independent treatment centres from being established. They have a coalition with 450 member organisations, health professionals, legislators and many other individuals. Engage with USA physicians for an NHS and Bernie Sanders campaign. Patients are not widgets and neither is care.

North Devon held referendum and did a red line protest against CCG refusal to draw red lines around healthcare. Got mainstream media coverage with campaign going from 50 to 4/5000 and lical Tory MPs gave support after that. Also in Chelmsford in area with Tory MP.

Book recommendations

  • Plot Against the NHS – Colin Leys
  • NHS PLC – Allyson Pollock
  • This is going to hurt – Adam Kay
  • NHS for Sale – Myths, Lies and Deception – Jacky Davis, John Lister, David Wrigley
  • NHS SOS – Raymond Tallis
  • Rethinking Corporatization and Public Services in the Global South – David McDonald
  • The New Poverty – Stephen Armstrong

Closing remarks

Thanks from SamFairbairn of Peoples Assembly to every local #NHS campaign for their work in organising largest NHS demo in history earlier this year – planning a bigger one in March 2018. Establishment planning celebrating NHS – yes but because of founding principles so keep and celebrate those !

John Lister – ACO – Accountable Care Organisations are a failure – not accountable, don’t care and not well organised!

Notes changes in consideration about removal of competition in local market – now joining up in larger organisations. Think tanks are thinking!  Reiterates that private sector operates on profit, not ideology. United Health investing $2.2bn in Chile at the moment. When services unprofitable, are abandoned. Only profitable bits are bedfilling at the moment – previously in Germany they had more beds than patients and went to other European countries trying to fill beds. Now interest in Germany in NHS concept. in UK, the public doesn’t want privatisation, wants an NHS.

Unprecedented to have NHS CEOs, NHS Providers speaking out – saying mission impossible.

Don’t let councillors off the hook,force them to stand up for our NHS, to reverse the failures in the privatisation of social care and NHS dentistry. Labour keen to work with Health Campaigns Together – work to reinstate the NHS, end privatisation, reduce health inequality.

From a meeting in Massachussets where many private health companies are based. A speaker said that

the NHS is a light to other countries in the world, brings hope of what can be done


Why we need legislation to reinstate the NHS

From a legal specialist member of Leeds KONP:

In summary:

  • The repeal of 2012 Act is part of a wider movement against the neo-liberal policies of the past 40 years
  • Without fully repealing the 2012 Act we will end up with a privatised health system
  • The moral principles of a properly funded and accountable public health service need to be renewed and re-articulated
  • The next Labour Party Manifesto should set out NHS policies for the 21st century that are socially just and economically efficient

TalkNHS at Royal College of Medicine 

‘Talk NHS’: Professor Stephen Hawking demolishes Jeremy Hunt over the ‘weekend effect’, and highlights the NHS trajectory towards a US-style insurance system. 

On Saturday 19th September 2017 the Royal Society of Medicine hosted a meeting  “on the past, present and future of the NHS” under its public engagement programme, in conjunction with ‘Discourse’, a body organising public debates on key political issues “seeking to widen perspectives through increasing participation . . . . by bringing major thinkers and doers together for open discussion”. The debate was billed as a forum for “discussing the circumstances and decisions that have led to the current state of the NHS, and what action is needed to ensure that the NHS sustains its founding principles in and beyond its 70th year”. 

A wide range of speakers from different disciplines were invited, including social work, doctor in training, Patients Association, conservative MP, Royal College of Nursing, legal experts, Nuffield Trust, General Practitioner, political Economist, and the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; the audience provided lively questions and commentary. 

Speakers recognised that the important fundamental principles of the NHS were under huge pressure from rising demand, workforce deficiencies, and underfunding. The importance of integrating health and social care was emphasised, with the role of social work including a focus on the needs and rights of citizens at a time when austerity was undermining social justice and half a million fewer people were able to access adult social care than just a few years ago. Although the NHS is staffed by dedicated and compassionate workers, the current requirement to deliver £22bn in savings is making it impossible for them to deliver a quality service. With 6,000 too few doctors and 40,000 nurse vacancies in England, staff are increasingly demoralised by being unable to deliver the quality of care to which they aspire, a situation exacerbated by a government in a state of denial.

Sarah Wollaston insisted that Simon Stevens is keen to move away from the internal market, and would like to end wasteful contracting rounds in favour of area based commissioning. However, she did not believe that we were moving to an insurance based system, but were in fact retreating from privatised care. Other speakers and members of the audience were quick to point out that statistics show the precise opposite, with increasing involvement in the NHS of private companies, and new contracts for Accountable Care Organisations clearly expected to attract large international private providers. Louise Irvine, Chair of Health Campaigns Together, pointed out that the government was not seeking to repeal the Health and Social Care Act with its mandate for competition actively encouraging further privatisation. 

Tony O’Sullivan, co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public commented that there would be £40 bn extra a year for health care if we spent as much as some other European countries, and that the 30,000 excess deaths highlighted in a recent study from Oxford was an outcome measure of the effects of austerity in the UK. In contrast, the US Commonwealth Fund report (although favourable to the NHS) was based on a survey of opinions, and actually indicated that death and morbidity outcomes for the NHS are relatively poor. It was therefore unaccceptable for Jeremy Hunt to seize on this report as evidence that his leadership has made the NHS the best health care system in the world. Wendy Savage (President of KONP) added that Oliver Letwin and John Redwood articulated the Tory party position on the NHS as far back as 1988 by enthusiastically promoting privatisation and an insurance based system, a philosophy subsequently echoed by Jeremy Hunt. 

Claire Gerada castigated those who had not stood up against the Health and social Care Bill, including the Royal Colleges and those in the medical profession who, out of fear or ignorance, had colluded with politicians in the naïve belief that those in positions of authority must be right. Richard Murphy, a political economist, said that the NHS was a practical manifestation of our inbuilt empathy and the fruit of a post-war political will to utilise Keynsian economics in the transformation of society by spending. The neoliberal philosophy that markets are always the right mechanism for distributing resources is a core philosophy of the Tory party, and some other parties, and since 1980 achieved dominance in the NHS. Neoliberals characteristically work by subterfuge, for example promising that they will not reorganise the NHS and then doing the opposite. There is no economic reason for austerity, since the government can print money without limit and claim it back by taxation. Shrinking the size of the state is a key neoliberal principle; organisations are then set up to fail as this is fundamentally necessary to operating a market. The NHS we have is the result of political choice, and a publicly funded NHS is counter to market interests and hence the target of neoliberals. 

The keynote speaker of the day was Professor Stephen Hawking. His speech had already been publicised and drawn savage criticism from Jeremy Hunt who urged Professor Hawking to “examine the evidence” and desist from spreading “pernicious falsehoods”. Professor Hawking gave a moving presentation in defence of the NHS, outlining his personal experience of care and his interest beyond this in protecting a service that represented a civilised society. He reflected that his survival in the face of serious illness would not have been possible if it were not for the NHS. In fact, his medical care, personal life and scientific lives had become very much intertwined, so that the question ‘what needs to be done to protect the NHS?’ was one of great importance to him. 

Professor Hawking took issue with Jeremy Hunt over seven day working while conceding that this might be of benefit to patients. He went on to emphasise that policy making should be based on evidence, so that “any change like this must be properly researched. Its benefits over the current system must be argued for, and evidence for them presented; and the implementation must be properly planned and costed and the necessary resources provided . . . Hunt has cherry picked research. Speaking as a scientist, cherry picking research is unacceptable. Citing some studies and suppressing others to justify policies that they want to implement for other reasons debases scientific culture.”

He also raised concerns about increasing privatisation, stating: “When politicians and private healthcare lobbyists claim that we cannot afford the NHS, this is the exact inversion of the truth. We cannot afford not to have the NHS. A publicly provided, publicly run system is the most efficient and therefore more cost effective way to provide good healthcare to all.” 

In considering what might be done about the present state of affairs, Professor Hawking said that the direction of travel will depend on the relative strength of different forces acting in pursuit of conflicting interests. The multinational companies are driven by profit motive, and the direction of travel currently in the UK is towards a US type insurance system as the balance of power now lies with private companies. On other side is the force of public opinion and democracy, with polls showing that the public agree with his concerns and continue to support the core principles of NHS. This provides hope for the future.