Join us – events calendar for March – June

Next Meeting  Wed 13th March 6.30- 8pm in the Victoria Hotel  immediately behind the Town Hall.

Please keep promoting support for the Yorkshire Health Campaigns  Together March for the NHS on 30th March and note a number of other events coming up.

Sat 9th March Leeds Summat  all day but KONP workshop with Space 2:  15.50 – 17.10 at Notre Dame College

Sat 9th March 11.30 – 4pm also National KONP Steering Group  at Swarthmore.

Sat 16th March  11-12.15 KONP stall on Commercial St. next to Monsoon, near Boots.( we will also be doing stalls 16.3 and 23.3)

Sat 30th March HCT Yorkshire grand march for the NHS assembles 11.30 outside Leeds Art Gallery

Tuesday 2nd April 7.30 pm Café Economique on privatistaion of the health service at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton with KONP stall.

Mon 1st to Wed 3rd April Showings of John Furze film  Groundswell organised by 999 in Kirklees  Mon.1st  7 – 9pm Dewsbury Town Hall, WF12 8DG.

Tuesday 2nd 7pm:  Jo Cox House, 3Branch Road, Batley.  Wed. 3rd 7pm  Huddersfield Methodist Mission, 3-13 Lord Street, HD1 1QA.

Friday 12th April at new time 2.30-4.30pm  Yorks HCT network mtg also in new venue  Mill Hill Chapel on City Square opposite Leeds Train  Station

Thursday April 18th 7.30 Mark Thomas Check Up – our NHs at 70 on at Wakefield  Thetare Royal with KONP stall, banners and filming See flier attached & get tickets..

Sat 4th May Leeds TUC May Day March with KONP banner/ contingent

Sat 15th June  National KONP AGM in London

Sat 29th June Northern HCT Health & Social Care Conf.  in St. George’s Centre

There is also a prayer motion being put to the House of Commons by Jeremy Corbyn, John Ashworth et al to annul integrated care legislation which the Govt are trying to sneak through.  Please see   http://bit.ly/MPPrayerMotion and ask your MP to support it.

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/

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.