This weekend : Info and organisation re events to celebrate the NHS 72nd birthday next weekend 4th and 5th July (attached update)
Sat July 4th from 12 noon we are planning a small pop up event at LGI and St James with banners, music and some costumes. We would have loved to have invited lots of people and made this a big “Banners High” event but feel that we need to act more sensibly than Johnson and take great care not to give out the wrong signals or put anyone in harm’s way so we are aiming for 2 groups of 6 people. If you want to be involved, have your own transport or can share with someone in your household or bubble and are willing to hop from LGI to St. James or just cover one of the venues, please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday morning 5th July we are planning a motorcade starting in south Leeds. If you want to join in, assemble at 11am at Middleton Circus car park see map on attached doc. We will have posters, banners and some balloons but DIY car displays/ decorations very welcome.
If you are not going far from home at the moment, there is plenty you can do eg.
- Print off and display the attached A4 window poster and send to friends asking them to do likewise
- Join the 1 mins silence on Saturday evening at 8pm and the doorstep/ neighbourhood clap on Sunday 5th ( the actual NHS birthday ) at 5pm . ‘We Own It’ are encouraging people to bake cakes to share!
- Post on facebook the attached pic of the NHS 72nd birthday banner and share widely.
- Watch the national KONP/ Health Campaigns Together/ People’s Assembly/ We Own it rally 3.30-4.45pm on Sunday on facebook or youtube.
Other important updates
We heard feedback from Richard Horton ( editor of the Lancet )’s speech to Leeds Café Scientifique on Tuesday 23rd June . This is normally held at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton. He gave a damning critique of the Government’s response to the pandemic. Look out for his book : The COVID-19 Catastrophe: What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again .
John has had a further exchange with Leeds Teaching Hospitals urging them to take a stand against migrant charges and the hostile environment.
Not only has the Govt’s app been abandoned but its track and trace system is only capturing one third to one half of people testing positive for Covid 19 and people are waiting 3 days and much longer to get test results.
John has written a piece challenging the Government strategy to live with the virus rather than supress it. If you are working in health and social care please consider signing this open letter to the Prime Minister calling for a change in strategy towards Covid-19 so that rather than living with it and all the disruption caused, we aim to eliminate, as in New Zealand. Background information in attached document. Please share with others working in health and social care.
Our next meeting on Wed
27th May 6.30 via Zoom
Stacey Booth from GMB will be speaking, along with Jeremy Pritlove who has done work with Unison on bringing home care back into the public sector.
Urgent action needed to protect the NHS from Trade Deals.
KONP , working with Global Justice Now and We Own It et al are asking everyone to contact their MPs NOW to urge them to protect our NHS from trade deals.Negotiations are underway with the US, and the Trade Bill is due to have a second reading in Parliament this Wednesday 20 May. Go to
Help build a campaign to end charging migrants and other people with undocumented status for health care and to drop health surcharges on workers from overseas.
Please read the attached open letter to our MPs, councillors, Leeds Teaching Hospitals and trade union, political and community organisations signed by Dr John Puntis, national Co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public and Chair of Leeds KONP, Dr Martin Schweiger, Retired Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, Jane Aitchison, President of Leeds TUC and Wilson Tweed , Chair of staff side at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. And please send the letter to your MPs and councillors asking them to take action, take it to meetings of any organisations in which you are involved and ask them to endorse the letter, pass it on to your contacts and let us know of any endorsements, feedback etc.
Info and joining info for the Health Campaigns Together / KONP webinar on “ Fighting Covid: International lessons and Warnings” on line this Tuesday 19 may 7pm
Register here https://healthcampaignstogether.com/coronavirus.php
We will be discussing social care at our next Leeds KONP mtg 27th May and have invited speakers.
40 little white lies – hospitals are neither 40 nor new
KONP’s reply to the Boris Johnson election propaganda misinformation bandwagon
34 out of the ‘40 new hospitals’ announced by BorisJohnson in time for the Tory Party conference today, are in fact EXISTING hospitals which are being given only £100 million BETWEEN THEM for repairs. So Johnson and Health Minister Hancock are caught lying again. In fact there is a £6 billion deficit in new building, repairs and equipment. The NHS has only a SEVENTH of the funds necessary to bring the provision of scanners up to the EU average level!
The misleading promise of a ‘capital injection’ has to be set against the current £6bn deficit. Even then, the money is over 5-10 YEARS. Coming in two waves (ripples compared to what is needed), £2.7bn is said to rebuild six hospitals by 2025 NOT NEW hospitals; and £100m in…
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Unison will be distributing flyers in Bradford City Centre on Saturday. If any of your contacts would like to volunteer and help us to distribute the leaflets we will be meeting outside Bradford Waterstones this Saturday 27th July at 11.45am. We will then move on walking through the city centre handing out copies of the attached leaflets.
2nd August Strike Rally – Bradford City Square
Opportunities for influencing Labour policy:
Individuals and groups can read Labour’s key policy papers on line and contribute comments, criticisms
ideas etc . There are also 2 papers on forms of ownership and co-production of services. ( Alternative
Models of Ownership and Democratic Public Ownership.
We can put motions through branches and CLPs to Conference. D noted that for the first time this
year branches can put motions relatively late in the day without them having to flit the slot as a
contemporary motion. S/he thinks the deadline is late July.
We can try to influence the local election manifesto. This was attempted via the campaign group mtg, for the recent election but most of the input from KONP LP supporters didn’t make the final cut which
focused more on Labour’s local achievements such as having developed much better preventative
services in mental health.
In discussion, the local councillors say that there is little they can do about
the big political issues. What was folded into the manifesto was a commitment to give local people
open and honest information about wat is happening
We can raise issues/ make challenges to local councillors via direct meetings, e mails or letters. In
response to a question, we thought we had some impact doing this in 2018 when the ACOs were mooted and when the LA was asked to sign up to a Memorandum of Understanding for
setting up the West Yorks and Harrogate Integrated Care Partnership.
The Council refused to sign the NHS’s initial draft MOU and managed to get some significant alterations ( on paper !) regarding recognition of the social determinants of health, commitment to more transparency and accountability, avoiding being pinned down to a control total etc. etc.
West Yorks Campaigners have also had some influence in getting the Council to formally set up a West Yorks and Harrogate Joint
Scrutiny Board to scrutinise developments with the W Y&H Integrated Care Partnership/System.
In addition we can and do ask questions at Health and Wellbeing Board, joint West Yorks and Harrogate Scrutiny Board and local and West Yorks CCC meetings. There is no slot for questions at Leeds Scrutiny
Board although this is something we should take up. We could submit an issue for Scrutiny. If accepted
this would mean we get the opportunity to speak to the Board.
KONP is on the list to be invited to meet with Shadow Ministers et al in Leeds on June 1st, assuming
their visit to Leeds comes off. The plan is for several different sessions in different areas of Leeds, each
involving a mixed bag of local campaigns/ campaigners.
Influencing LP policy and Practice:
John Ashworth, Shadow Minister for Health has been talking to KONP and Health Campaigns Together. At
the recent HCT AGM he endorsed the broad sweep of our demands and the Reinstatement Bill. Barbara
Keeley , shadow minister for Social Care is doesn’t seem to be in the same space.
Local Councillors should be demanding that they have a say and we should be trying to persuade labour that it is not enough just to be preparing for Government ; they
should be building opposition at a local level.
We had a wide ranging discussion and identified a number of areas where we should be seeking to involve
and challenge the labour Party
Resolutions to Conference
2017 Conference reference back of the NHs policy and good resolution passed calling for non co-operation with Accountable Care Organisations has probably only just worked its ways through LP procedures so is still extant. No one was aware of any new draft motions to this Conference in circulation.
It is understood that the LP accept the gist of the NHs Reinstatement Bill .
– check whether the Socialist Health Association, KONP or anyone else close has a draft motion and
consider whether and what we might want to put to branches/CLPs.
– Ask people to put the Social care motion already circulating. Already putting it to Kirkstall branch
Working around Elections
We should consider producing a flier to use in the Euro elections and be prepared with a strategy if / when a general election is called. ( hustings ? , eliciting and publicising candidates’ commitments on
the NHS and Social Care / pledges etc.
We need to do more to challenge councillors to
– raise an outcry re shrinking social care services, patchwork of private providers, poor quality,
inadequate training and high staff turnover, undervaluing of the care economy etc
– bring domiciliary services back into public control – reverse outsourcing
– insist on ethical commissioning : living wage , standards of training , social value etc
Local privatisation CAMHS , private wards:
Sylvia has been taking up major concerns re the building of a new Child and Adolescent mental health Unit on St. Mary’s Hospital with MP Rachel Reeves et al on behalf of Leeds Hospital alert and Unison Retired
members are now supporting.
Interserve has the contract for building the unit and a fair degree of running it but they have gone bust / into administration, although there are manoeuvres to keep running.
Villa Care are running 5 step down wards within the NHs to try to get people off acute wards as there not
as there are not enough beds for new people. Many can’t go home because social services aren’t in place.
We need to get clear exactly what is happening now with Interserve and CAMHS and take this up widely with Labour MPs and councillors. We also need to publicise and challenge the use of Villa Care and the wards which are essentially warehousing people largely because of gross underfunding of Social Care.
Rapidly creeping changes in GP service/ Primary care:
John noted that GPs are being pressured into signing up to a new primary care network contract and by
carrot and stick ( bullying by any other name – G).
GPs are retiring faster than they can be replaced; they are struggling with endless new demands; people are waiting too long to see a GP, tasks are being pushed down a skills chain, the individual doctor patient relationship is on the way out, digital firms like Babylon are keen to move out of London and have mentioned Leeds.
We need to take up campaigning / protesting about the shrinking and fragmenting of the GP service
with public and GPs and urge local Labour to get involved. KONP have just produced a draft primary
care charter, 999 and others are asking GPs not to sign up.
John is talking to /with SHA about this this weekend and we need to get our position firmed up and a campaign strategy implemented locally.
Migrant Charges, not right, not fair, not financially fruitful, risks individual and public health and thin
end of wedge:
-Talk to the Trade Unions re launching a joint campaign and involve organisations s for asylum seekers .
( The Conference on 29.6 will raise the issue)
– Publicise through fliers, letter to YEP, facebook etc,
– press Labour to take up the issue with us.
NEXT MEETING Wed 29th May 6.30 – 8pm in the Victoria Hotel
NB Join the LEEDS KONP banner at Banners held High in Wakefiled Sat 18th May 11.30pm
in Smythe St. near Westgate Station