How to get involved and fight for our NHS – key dates this month

Next Sunday 8th April ( 5-6pm in Friends Meeting House 188 Woodhouse Lane, LS29DX) Frances Bernstein is holding a singing practice for anyone who wants to join the flashmob choir she is pulling together for the demonstration. on 14th April. The choir will be singing to welcome people into Victoria Gardens from 11am and probably all along the route. The Friends Meeting House is on the corner of Woodhouse Lame and St. Mark’s St, near the Eldon Pub. Many thanks to Frances for organising this.

On Saturday 7th April, some of us will be taking Leeds KONP banner to York, assembling at the South Porch of York Minster 10.30-11am to join the march organised by York Labour Party with support from our fellow campaigners in Defend Our NHS York. Rally 12-12.30 in St. Helen’s Square.

Wednesday 11th April 6.30 -8.30th we will have a slightly shorter meeting of Leeds Keep our NHS Public followed by an hour of placard writing with live musical accompaniment from some of our talented musicians and maybe a few songs. All will be merry and fruitful! Foam board and pens provided.

NB we have also reserved the side room in The Victoria Hotel , behind the Town Hall from 2pm on Sat.14th for marchers to rest, rejoice, socialise and plot!!


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

Northern Health Campaigns Together action points and CHPI presentation

Vivek Kotecha of the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI) presentation with a sound and simple critique of the NHS England Five Year Forward View

NHS England Five Year Forward View – do the numbers add up?

Action points from the Northern HCT Meeting

Galvanisng Labour
1. Need to brief councillors re NHS developments – they don’t always have the info. ( KONP and 999 have briefings on ACOs) HCT paper carries useful info and examples where Councils have made a stand. These important to build
2. Pledges can be useful. Local elections will provide opportunity to put candidates on the spot.
3. Press for consistency between Composite 8 at national Conference and local policy making – blatant gap round
ACOs etc
4. Labour leadership needs pressure to give guidance. John Ashworth has spoken out but generally seems to need a rod up his back? Work on/with some good local Labour MPs where poss.
5. Where campaigners are in the Labour Party, get resolutions through local branches and Constituencies to put direct pressure on MPs and councillors
6. Attend and challenge at Board and Committee meetings. Health and Wellbeing crucial. Scrutiny Boards don’t always allow questions but can ask to speak or present case for Scrutiny. Community Committees are another route for the public to access their councillors.
7. Note not all areas have strong Labour groups. Have to work with politicians of other parties too!

1. Unions are working together. Need to work on more joined up activity with health workers, TUs and
2. Resistance to the imposition of wholly owned subsidies, currently for facilities staff, is urgent as many Trusts are
ploughing ahead with implementation.
3. Important to campaign for safe staffing. It shouldn’t be difficult to get the public on board with this. Need good,
clear info. Also need to make the links for NHS workers and try to get them more engaged with the broader campaignto save the NHS. Difficult because they are ground down by it every day.
4. Need to engage more young people which may mean doing things a bit differently – creative/ interesting/ media savvy?

Accountable Care Organisations
1. Getting the messages across to the public is difficult because of terminology. Materials produced need to translate
what is happening into simple, clear messages.
2. Need to explain some of the history with McKinsey et al to help people understand the long waves of planning for
3. Have to try to tackle the disconnect between what Labour Councillors are doing and LP policy
4. We have to make the economic arguments against “austerity” to challenge the “ there just isn’t enough money”

Campaigning Against Cuts and Closures
1. We need to build in an inclusive, open way and recognise that there is a critical mass to get significant shift
2. Also need to try to be to be patient – we’re in it for the long haul
3. Even small groups can generate lots of activitieswhich help to build the campaign
4. Need to get message across to the public that health care is a RIGHT , they are not getting the care they should but it CAN be delivered
5. Although Labour can be very supportive, we must reach out to ALL parties and remain pan political
6. Develop relationship with local media and local politicians
7. Develop local profiles in all your localities attending local events eg fetes, carnivals etc
8. Ensure the group is financially sound and that there is accountability at every level when money is being handled.
9. Draw in local NHS staff to the campaign and approach all their unions and staff associations
10. Engage with the local CCG’s and their farcical processes as information is key, especially the detail.
11. Can the group pursue a legal challenge? Try to get free legal advice and explore any potential legal loopholes.
12. Ensure local councils are forced to use their statutory scrutiny powers and where possible secure referral to the
Secretary of State

Demos /rallies:

Feb 24th Save Bolton NHS rally 12 noon Victoria Square
March 3rd Sheffield rally 3pm on Barkers Pool then demo being planned for 28th April
March 10th NE march and rally assemble 11.45 Framlington Place, next to RVI ,rally 12 at Monument
April 14th Yorks/ Northern HCT march , assemble 11.30 Leeds Art Gallery, march 12.15, short rally
May 12th National TUC demo for workers’ rights in London . Assemble Embankment 11am
June 30th NHS 70th Birthday demo in London, starts 12 noon

Leeds NHS and KONP updates

Leeds CC have written to West Yorks STP indicating that they are not in a position to sign up to an expression of interest in a memorandum of understanding for West Yorks STP. It was also said that Leeds Plan is being developed bottom up and is not just imposing a national or regional model; it may not be right yet but will be tested as they go along. Sometimes NHS national “ interference” not helpful. They think it is important that there is a “provider” space coming together and see integration as part of a long term programme. Standing by for a position statement / red lines soon.

Leeds KONP joined workshop looking at the plans for LGI rebuild. This being seen as central to development of a new “ innovation” district around the LGI, the 2 Universities and Civic Hall. There are aiming to build a tower on the site of the old nurses home in the middle of LGI to consolidate adult outpatients, day surgery plus additional critical care. Adult services to transfer out of Cndon to consolidate the Children’s Hospital. Maternity likely to remain split tween St James and LGI sites but might go for one consultant led and one midwife led. Gilbert Scott and Brotherton building to be retained ( or at least the shells) but looks like much of these will be sold off for development of retail, restaurant, open space etc on 4/5 years timescale. Was given no reassurances re PFI / sell offs , use of income  – different procurement options to be considered.

Kirklees going in same direction as Leeds as their Scrutiny Board has just scrutinized proposals for a Kirklees Integrated Care System. There is a big gap between LP policy made at Conference and what is happening on the ground in local Councils. Calderdale LP have passed a detailed resolution to pressure the councilors and Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for NHS took one to Dewsbury CLP.

Further details in the minutes:

Winter Crisis and the NHS – letter in Yorkshire Evening Post

17 January 2018

Dear Sir,

Dark winter nights are traditionally the time for sharing myths and telling tall tales. For example, in relation to the NHS winter crisis, the government insists that health care is well financed despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Those ideologically opposed to public services blame inefficiency, while a few incriminate migrants. From its foundation up to the year 2010 the NHS always received an annual funding settlement that took account of growing pressures from such factors as an increasing population, more elderly and chronic sick, and new treatments. This rising demand was met by a 4% annual funding increase; reduced for the past eight years to only 1%. The government states correctly that it is giving the NHS more money, while obscuring the reality that a 1% uplift represents an unprecedented funding squeeze, building to a deficit of £22bn by 2020. Together with cuts in social care this is the reason for the current crisis, with hospital overcrowding, cancelled operations, missed targets and staff shortages. Although the world’s 6th largest economy, the UK spends much less per head on health than Germany or France – and less than half the US or Switzerland. Internationally, NHS efficiency is widely recognized, for example by the US Commonwealth Fund that compares different health systems in advanced countries. Health economists generally look at the NHS with amazement at how much it delivers for so little. While the NHS is efficient, the current market in health care is both costly and unnecessary, and of no benefit to patients. Care for overseas visitors is estimated at around 0.3% of total budget. The Government recently introduced charges for migrants, but the cost of collection is proving to be greater than the income generated. The real objective is getting us used to the idea that charging for health care and denying some people treatment is normal. NHS cuts are a political choice, and we could choose to spend more and prioritise health for everyone. It is time for the British public to sweep away the myths and demand that we return to a properly resourced health service before we find ourselves in a land of permanent winter.

Yours sincerely,

Dr John Puntis
Leeds Keep Our NHS Public