Our NHS deserves better – full list of local and national events: https://keepournhspublic.com/our-nhs-deserves-better/
Leeds banners and window posters:
Our NHS deserves better – full list of local and national events: https://keepournhspublic.com/our-nhs-deserves-better/
Leeds banners and window posters:
Notes of our last meeting with a recent statement from national KONP re the Tories latest announcement re £30bn … well maybe less than 3bn ….for 40 new hospitals … or maybe 6 not so new hospital redevelopments. There is delight in Leeds that the plans for new build at LGI may have got its legs – as long as you can trust Boris Johnson !!
John is writing to the YEP who are always keen to have readers’ letters so do give it a shot if you feel like pitching in on this or any other issues.
The mental health summit on Saturday in London went very well with moving and shocking testimony from survivors, parents, relatives of people who have committed suicide, psychologists, clinicians, campaigners as well as stories of fighting back against desperately inadequate services and lots of enthusiasm and positive ideas for working together on common goals.
The demonstration against Austerity on Sunday organised by The People’s Assembly , Unison et al was stunningly well attended despite the weather ranging from fine drizzle to steady rain and there were stirring speeches from Labour shadow Cabinet ministers, including Richard Burgon from Leeds and Angela Raynor, Frances O’ Grady from the TUC, Louise Irvine GP from KONP and lots more
Coming up soon :
11.10 2.15 – 4.15 Yorkshire Health Campaigns Together Network Meeting at Mill Hill Chapel in City Square.
12.10 KONP STALL, Headingley 11am- 12.15ish outside Sainsbury’s on Headingley Lane near the pedestrian lights
17.10. 7.30 Public Meeting on What will Happen to the Supply of Medicines after 31st Oct. organised by Leeds Hospital Alert at St. Margaret’s Parish Church ,Church Lane, Horsforth LS18 5LA
18.10 “Under The Knife” film at HEART 7.30pm Please get a free ticket asap at www.undertheknifefilm.co.uk/screenings as half the seats were taken yesterday:
19.10 Leeds TUC Climate Change Conference. 10.30-4.30 at Notre Dame College . Book places at www.tiny.cc/crisis2019
Don’t forget Banner Theatre’s Free For All show on 20th Sept. – 7.30 at Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton, £5 tickets via https://www.sevenleeds.co.uk asap! Banner Theatre is promising powerful songs, dynamic music, unique video footage and moving story telling.
Friday 18th October “ Under the Knife” film showing, HEART, Headingley – free! It includes footage of Yorkshire campaigners. The film is being launched at the Curzon in London later this month with quite a fanfare then showings will take place across the country the week beginning 14th October. Other showings are being planned
The West Yorks and Harrogate Integrated Care System is up and galloping! Some excerpts
If you want to hear more or challenge the plans you can come along to the public “gallery” at
– Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board 16.9 at 1.50pm at the Moyes Centre, Bishop Way, Seacroft LS146NU and/or
– Leeds Adults, Health and Active Lifestyles Scrutiny Board on 17.9 1.30 in the Civic Hall .
Meanwhile please see and sign the petition against Trade Deals which KONP has worked on with We Own it an, Global Justice et al. https://weownit.org.uk/nhs-trade-deal-action
Join us demonstrating at the Tory Party Conference Sunday 29th Sept. assembling 12 noon in Oxford Road, Manchester. You can book places on Leeds Trades Council coach at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leeds-coach-to-manchester-to-the-protest-against-tory-party-conference-tickets-71996065169
And there is still time to book places on the Mental Health Summit in London organised by KONP , Health Campaigns Together and Mental Health Time for Action. Sat. 28th September at the Royal Free Hospital in London 10-5pm. Info and booking at https://keepournhspublic.com/its-time-to-act-mental-health-crisis-summit-launched/
Hope to see you at the next meeting on Wed 25th September 6.30-8pm which will focus on developing our campaign strategy for the coming months. We need your ideas !
Thanks to everyone who helped us have a lively presence both inside and outside the theatre at Mark Thomas’s NHS at 70 show in Wakefield on Wednesday. He was feisty and to the point and the theatre was packed out ! There are some pics on our facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/141710829185241/
LA and health meetings coming up if anyone wants to join the public gallery!
More opportunities to march with the Leeds KONP banner and help get our messages across at
For more events see the minutes and for more info re NHS England’s public consultation on possible changes in legislation affecting the NHS (https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/…/nhs-long-term-plan-leg…/) which closes on 25th April and KONP’s position on proposed legislative changes, see John Puntis latest post on our facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/141710829185241/
You are all very welcome at the next meeting of LEEDS KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC this Wednesday 24th April 6.30-8pm in the Victoria Hotel, behind Leeds Town Hall
The next meeting on 8th May we are aiming to have a discussion about Labour Party policy and practice re the NHS with Councillor Paul Truswell.
Read the Minutes for more
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.
Health Service Journal :
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.
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.
Junior docs contract dispute
Junior docs due to ballot on the latest offer at the end of June – result 6th July BMA organising road shows early June. There’s already much dissatisfaction re the significant shortfalls in the offer but not sure whether there is sufficient appetite for escalating action. At least one court case is ongoing and the outcome of the challenge re inequality for women might have an impact. Christine noted that GPs and Consultants are hard on the heels of the junior docs in autumn re their contracts.
Sustainability and Transformation 5 year plans to reconfigure services and cut the deficit
All new footprints ( ours West Yorks) have to submit their plans to NHS England by 30th June. Consultation has been virtually non existent. Simon Stevens has asked the Footprints to leave consultation until after they have received and examined the plans ie expect consultation after the fact and in August !! Please sign the petition insisting on consultation re STPs and raise questions at all the CCG meetings
STP Questions asked at Leeds North CCG
Concerns re Sustainability and Transformation Plans – for Leeds North CCG 5.16
1 That CCGs are being forced to try to make unrealistic cost savings by a Government that has driven down the % of GDP we send on health to near the bottom in Europe – just over 8% while France Germany and the Netherlands are all near 11%. The CCG shouldn’t be colluding with the devastation of our health service. and acting as puppets on a string.
2. It is clear that the footprints are a desperate attempt to create a fast route to closing A and Es and hospital beds. This is a heavy handed top down taking of control by a Govt. who said in 2011/12 that it was introducing the Health and Social Care Act to disperse power over planning to local GPs. Now they are panicking about a 2.5 bn deficit we are back to top down control with menace ! The S&TPs feel a bit like Stalin or Mao’s 5 year plans!
3. The plans have not been tried and tested over time. Not only is there concern re the lack of independent evaluation of the recent Vanguards , what evidence there is suggests that improvements in community care ( and these are likely to be pretty limited in the current financial situation ) don’t necessarily have a huge impact on the need for hospital care and what impact there might be will manifest over time, not magic right by 2020.
4. Health bodies smarting at the Hobsons choice they / you have been given will say that at least we will get extra money if we do what we have been told. However Chris Ham from the Kings Fund suggests the most of the front loading of the £8bn promised will be swallowed up paying off deficits not creating new services and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy ( Cipfa) , not noted for being left wing, suggests that the shortfall in NHS spending is likely to grow by £10bn by 2020 and the 5 year forward view on which these STPs are meant to be based has already floundered.
5. One of the positive aspects of the footprints which is closer working together between Health and Social care should flash red warning lights as Social Care has been seriously degraded and largely privatised with LA budgets almost halved so the NHS is not integrating up , it is integrating down and will find itself neatly aligned with a service that already has means testing and charging at its heart. Just in the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk on the radio and in the press re charging and rationing as the Govt try to convince people we can’t a afford a decent, public health care system.
6. Care in the Community without proper funding is likely to put more pressure on families looking after their own with little help, which is most likely to mean increased burdens on women who probably form the biggest army of carers .This is quite apart from Agenda for Change pushing tasks down the chain and hoping for a barefoot army of volunteers to provide Custer’s last stand.
7. And how much do the public know about these changes or longer term vision for the CCGs to morph into Accountable Care Organisations like the Health Maintenance Organisations in the USA. Nothing I would suggest .
As I feel that the best hope for the NHS and quality patient care is that the public do understand what is happening, don’t like it and demand a change in the Government and society’s priorities to put health care pretty much top of the agenda, along with food in bellies and roofs over heads, I would like to know
Bootham Park and mental health services in York.
We went to the march in York on 12th June which had about 150 users and supporters of the mental health service. People are still being sent to Teesside for treatment and a large number of different sites are being explored for a new hospital unit.
We noted that we should give mental health a higher profile in our campaigning in Leeds.
Planned protest / stall outside Boots on Commercial St. Sat 4th June 2 – 3.30
John Puntis has put together an excellent piece on Boots drawing from the Guardian articles and sent it round staff at LTHT.
4th June is also the day for the Bursary or Bust demo in London so we will be collecting signatures supporting the nurses and other health workers who face loss of their bursaries
KONP at Triathalon Sunday 12th June
Agreed we aim for late morning on Sunday 12th ( poss 11-12. 30ish outside Brotherton Wing entrance of LGI when Millennium Square should be particularly busy
Public meeting with John Lister Wed 22nd June 7-9pm
Steady response to the facebook event invite. York Defend our NHS have said that some people from the mental health/ Bootham Park demo on 13th June have shown interest.
Tuesday 5th July
We have suggested to KONP that we try to highlight privatisation through protests outside private providers as well as doing any flag/ flower day / celebratory activities that week. Discussed a few possible targets for 4/4.30 – 6pm event on 5th . This likely to be discussed at KONP national Steering Group on Sat 11th June
There are now NO NHS dentists in Dewsbury !!
Possible Health Campaigns Together Conference in the autumn
Agreed we should offer a conference in Leeds. Adrian O’Malley’s mid Yorks Unison branch have offered to donate around £200 towards a venue. We though October good, avoiding school hols.
Next Leeds KONP Meeting Wednesday 8th June 6.30pm in O’Neill’s
from Dr John Puntis
Should LTHT partners be expected to walk ‘The Leeds Way’?
Boots was a family company founded by Jesse Boot who grew up in Nottingham in the 19th century. Between 1883 and 1920 Boots developed as a successful chain of 660 shops and was keen to invest some of its profits in the workforce and local community. Welfare workers were recruited to improve the health of employees, staff were taken on day trips for recreation and all sorts of sporting clubs were set up. Boots also endowed Nottingham University and built some of the main buildings on campus, a remaining monument to the philanthropy of its founder.
Boots is the largest pharmacy chain in the UK and takes around £2bn a year from NHS prescriptions, a third of its annual income in the UK. Taxpayers money is now being used to fund contracts with Boots for other patient care services including hosting in store GP surgeries, running hospital pharmacies (as in Leeds Infirmary and St. James’s), managing hearing test centres and anticoagulant clinics.
In 2007 Boots was bought for £11bn, the biggest buyout ever seen in Europe, and backed by one of the world’s largest private equity groups, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). The buyout was led by the billionaire Stefano Pessina who merged Boots with his wholesaling business AllianceUniChem to form Alliance Boots, and then bought the entire business and took it into private ownership. Pessina’s business philosophy locates the company not in healthcare but in the retail sector.
Five years after taking Alliance Boots private, Pessina and KKR began selling the firm to America’s biggest pharmacy chain, Walgreens – a process completed at the end of 2014. Pessina claims to have tripled the value of KKR’s investment in the company and he himself moved from 428th to 99th in Forbes magazine list of richest men in the world. In 2010, David Cameron and George Osborne – both of whom describe tax avoidance as “morally repugnant” – took Pessina as part of their entourage to China for a business charm offensive. He is now both chief executive and the single largest shareholder in the all new entity ‘Walgreens Boots Alliance’. Following the merger 700 jobs in Boots UK were lost as part of the restructuring.
Pessina and KKR are estimated to have made £2bn profit out of Boots in five years. They had invested £2.5bn of their own money, borrowing an additional £9bn from some of the major banks. Pessina and a small consortium of wealthy investors, having picked up a 158 year old company employing around 70,000 Britons, put their borrowed billions on the balance sheets of Boots in the UK, pushing it deep into debt. A firm that provided an essential social service is now private, and the profits made by Boots UK are used to repay the lenders faster and leave more profit for the investors. The KKR funds that owned Alliance Boots were housed in the tax haven of the Cayman islands, while the stakes held by Pessina were located in Luxembourg. A few months after going private, Alliance Boots shifted its headquarters from Nottingham to the low-tax canton of Zug in Switzerland. Headquarters of Walgreens Boots Alliance have since moved to Delaware, described as “the longstanding leader among US states in providing opaque corporate structures”.
In 2013 a report published by War on Want and others claimed that Alliance Boots had legally avoided paying over £1bn taxes in the UK since going private, while 40% of the revenues for its British business come straight from the cash starved NHS. The large debt loaded onto Boots threatens its future financial stability, and when things go wrong for private equity buyouts providing patient services, it will be the taxpayer who picks up the bill. Boots is now about limiting tax, squeezing labour costs and taking out the dividends rather than reinvesting in the business. Even its own workers say that all the company now cares about is profits and targets, while patient safety, appropriate staffing levels, staff training and wellbeing are low down the agenda. Boots also stands accused of “trying to deceive the public”, after a letter sent to the Guardian purporting to be from an independent pharmacist defending the company’s record was found to have been processed and extensively revised by the retailer’s senior executives.
Virtually all hospital outpatient pharmacies have been outsourced. This has been positively encouraged by Lord Carter of Coles who has led a review on NHS productivity and performance. The noble lord is chairman of the US owned health care giant McKesson which has contracts with more than 90% of NHS organisations, as well as other private health care companies. In the US, McKesson Pharmaceutical distribution supplies branded, generic and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals to more than 40,000 customers spanning retail chains, independent retail pharmacies and institutional providers such as hospitals, health systems, integrated delivery networks and long-term care providers. Interestingly, in his report Lord Carter does not mention the £4.5bn a year lost on market transactions, which according to independent and parliamentary reports into the NHS since 2010, add nothing to patient care. While asserting that £900 million a year could be saved if patients were moved out of hospital more quickly, he ignores the additional funding which would be needed by social services to provide the extra care required in the community. He is an advocate of NHS “surplus land” being sold off, and the use of existing buildings being reviewed (for a local example, think of the sudden closure of Bootham Park hospital in York, now likely to find its way onto the property market and leaving the people of York with 50 miles to travel for the nearest mental health bed).
The Leeds Way
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) describes ‘the Leeds Way’ as “who we are and what we believe”. The key elements are being patient centred, fair, collaborative, and accountable. While Jesse Boot’s business philosophy would have fitted comfortably within this outlook, it is clear that the same cannot be said of the new Boots. The outsourcing of the outpatient pharmacies may bring some limited short term gains to patients, and small financial benefit to the Trust through sharing VAT saving, but commissioning services from Boots is likely in the long run to bring damage to the NHS. While most of us see ‘the Leeds Way’ as having been a positive development, its continuing relevance will depend on a demonstration that it can be developed and refined over time. I would suggest that there needs to be an ethical component to commissioning so that the business philosophy of prospective partners is taken into account. In addition, LTHT should celebrate not only its own successes but those of the NHS as a whole. ‘
The contract with Boots should be reconsidered at the next opportunity, and the question asked: is their business model consistent not only with the traditional values of the NHS as a public service, but also with ‘the Leeds Way’?
(For more information see: ‘The long read. How Boots went rogue’. Guardian 13 April 2016; Aditya Chakrabortty – JP)
In Leeds ‘there is a need’ to collectively deliver £800m of savings across health and social care over the next five years based on poorly designed policies from the recent governments at national level and unrealistic levels of investment in the NHS to make way for the private sector which has always been Simon Stevens’ preferred option since his early roles in health policy for the Blair government, his role at United Health (including his interest in Optum – the United Health subsidiary in the UK taking over large framework agreements for services) and his role at NHS England. Don’t believe us? Read on !
Leeds, as part of West Yorkshire, had been successful in becoming an ‘Urgent Care Vanguard’ site the city as a health and social care economy was unsuccessful in its bid to be a ‘Multi-speciality Community Provider (MCP) Vanguard’ site. Despite this there is an expectation from NHS England that the development of new models of care should not wait for the results of Vanguard prototypes and that all parts of England are now expected to develop new models of care at pace, or have a model imposed on them in the not too distant future. In summary let’s not wait for evidence of whether anything from these expensive restructuring experiments works or not !
The joint LYPFT & LCH tender for prison services had scored better than the preferred provider across all elements of quality, however, they were beaten on price by Care UK, who have been awarded the contract of £370,000 with effect from the 1 April 2016 and that 9 Trust staff will be transferred across to the new service provider. There is continued activity looking at appeals within the council and NHS Trusts. The news this week about £165k paid to private sector provider for 2 home visits during a year in the West Midlands continues to highlight not just the disastrous inefficiencies of privately delivered care but service users left with poor care and the NHS is expected to pick up the more complex pieces.
Care UK as a private provider will cherry pick the community services as warned by NHS campaigners over a number of years. There is more work to be done with commissioners in Leeds to highlight the dangers of privately delivered expensive, fragmented care that results from less skilled staff delivering less skilled care, impossible large scale purchasing efficiencies and worse health outcomes overall for patients and service users.
The recruitment crisis brought on by these ill-thought out decisions nationally continues to result in services being closed unnecessarily. Service users are reporting less consultation and involvement with own care over the last five years.
If you want to have a say, join us on the march on 16th in Leeds and/or help campaigners across Yorkshire work together to restore a publicly funded, accountable and delivered NHS. You may know someone who works in health, social or council services and wants to see people get the best care from staff who are happy, trained well and able to deliver it well, we can use all help! Care is not just for a privileged tax avoiding few but for everyone.
Leeds KONP supported junior doctors across Leeds and will continue to do so with any future industrial action. We had good presence at LGI with substantial help from excellent Leeds Hospital Alert members. Others supported Jimmys and Pinderfields. Leeds KONP will continue to support action against any other threats to healthcare staff including nurses, student nurses & AHPs, GPs.
29th – 10.30am Calderdale & Kirklees Joint Scrutiny committee meeting Huddersfield, Council chamber, town hall
30th – Health Campaigns Together national meeting, London – 4 x Leeds KONP attending
5th – closing date for contributions to Leeds Health & Wellbeing strategy
1oth – 6.30pm Leeds KONP meeting, O’Neills, Great George St behind Town Hall, Leeds
12th – 7.30pm Privatisation – this is the big one – Priory Street Centre, York, YO1 6ET, Speakers:
24th – 6.30pm Leeds KONP meeting, O’Neills, Great George St behind Town Hall, Leeds
NHS Leeds news
Public sector cuts.These were put before LCC Exec last week.
Future cuts to public health spending report
Yorks Commissioning Support Unit bid has been won by a private consortium calling themselves eMBED comprising Kier, who have done health care development projects, Dr. Foster, who provide variation analysis and benchmarking solutions , BDo who do service redesign and Engine who do communications. The official spiel says that the Consortium will provide Business intelligence, IT services , corporate governance, and public/ patient engagement support., HR, procurement and service redesign to the 23 Clinical Commissioning Units in our region. They take over in March 16.
LGI redevelopment plans. The plan is to create more and better facilities on LGI site but sell off parts of the listed building and some other space to help fund it.
NHS national news
Government ignored and buried minimum safe staffing guidelines – non HSJ subscribers can also view full details
NHS Commission – on 6th Jan Lib Dem Norman Lamb asked Parliament for leave to bring in a Bill to establish a Cross Party Commission to examine the future of the NHS and Social Care system. The Bill is backed by a number of Lib Dems, Tory Philip Lee who has hard right view on charges, right wing labourite Alan Lewis, former Conservative Health Sec, Stephen Dorrell and former Labour Health Sec, Alan Milburn. Dorrell has described this as “a new Beveridge report” with the most pressing need being “to establish new funding and management structures that ensure joined up and tailored care” ( sounds like charges !) Lamb said the Commission would engage public and staff , suggesting involvement of “NHS Survival” and “Care England” which represents social care providers. The next reading of this Bill is scheduled for 11th March, the same day as the NHS Bill so likely to crowd out discussion of the NHS Bill.