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Dear supporters

Apologies that we haven't been in touch for a while, we have had reduced capacity lately. We're trying to ramp up activity as NHS bosses have launched a new "engagement exercise", and - as you may have heard - this includes a threat to the future of Cheltenham A&E as well as to hospitals in the Forest of Dean and urgent care across the county. Please read this email in full for details. We also have an exciting event coming up!

Please join us on Monday October 14th at the Lansdown Hall, Stroud, GL5 1BB for a screening of a new film:

Under The Knife - a 90-minute feature length documentary about the covert dismantling of the NHS that is going on right now. You can watch a trailer and find out more below. There will be a short Q&A after the film, with information about local NHS campaigns - including a stall providing NHS-related materials.

Please book a free ticket online so we can know how many people are coming. The venue has a capacity of 150 which we would really like to fill - so please invite friends, colleagues and neighbours - and let us know if you can help distribute flyers.

There are free screenings around the country if you wish to tell friends further afield.

Watch the trailer for Under The Knife.
Under the Knife poster - "The NHS is seriously ill. Can it be cured?" - 'This film is a weapon in our struggle to save the NHS' - Ken Loach. Narrated by Alison Steadman

In Under the Knife, Emmy award-winning director Susan Steinberg uncovers the covert, creeping privatisation of the NHS in the past three decades, culminating in a law which removed the legal duty of the government to provide universal health care. More than 200 MPs and Peers with vested interests voted for legislation which opened the floodgates to private companies. The democratic process had been subverted by the government.

Using interviews and archive footage, the film charts the history of the NHS which arose out of the ashes of post-war Britain to the turbulent times of today. From the influence of Neoliberal ideas on the NHS to the introduction of private finance initiatives, the film tells a ground-breaking story of complicity and survival.

More than 50 people have been interviewed for the film – including politicians from all parties, leading journalists, clinicians, expert commentators and patients – which is illustrated through live action and historic footage as well as satirical humour through animation, taking us deeper into the heart of the NHS than ever before.

Health policy touches everyone throughout the world. Everyone needs to hear this story"

Lansdown Hall is situated a short walk from Stroud High Street. The rail and bus stations are 5 minutes’ walk from the Hall.

There is a limited amount of on street parking outside Lansdown Hall where you can park for free for up to an hour (plus some designated disabled parking spaces for Blue Badge holders). Church Street carpark is free in the evenings.

Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public campaigners in front of local NHS engagement bus, with banner reading: "NO NHS CUTS - Restore full A&E at Cheltenham, Don't downgrade it. NO NHS CLOSURES - Oppose the closure of Lydney and Dilke. The Forest of Dean needs two Hospitals. NO NHS PRIVATISATION - End private companies profiting from our health services and end the waste on tendering"

Local NHS bosses are running an "engagement exercise", called "Fit for the Future".

We feel it is misleading, and that their survey and information do not allow for informed consent or useful feedback on their document. One useful response has come from the Restore Emergency at Cheltenham General Hospital (REACH) campaign, who've developed a document explaining the Fit for the Future proposals, and their own survey.

As Reach say, their “questions also give respondents the ability to reflect the extent to which they support or oppose each point raised. This survey should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete, so we are asking as many people as possible who have any interest in the services offered at Cheltenham General Hospital to complete the survey."

Once you've read the Fit for the Future - explained link above, please click to complete the Reach survey!

Major changes are planned for our NHS - what we're saying


We've been handing out leaflets at engagement events like the one pictured above - below is the text of the leaflet. Get in touch if you can help us distribute leaflets - or download and print your own via this link:

Gloucestershire's NHS bosses are running a new "engagement" exercise, called "Fit for the Future". Rather than improving our NHS, this is based on making changes because of £226 million of "savings" our local NHS is being forced to make due to government cuts.

NHS bosses are not being transparent about their plans - which include an effective closure of Cheltenham A&E. We are also concerned there is a risk of "urgent care services" being handed to a private company to run - as is already the case for these services in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, and for Non-Emergency Patient Transport and Out of Hours GP services in Gloucestershire.

Alongside this, NHS bosses are pursuing closure of two hospitals in the Forest of Dean - despite the transport challenges a single hospital for the district will create (see HOLD - Hands Off Lydney and Dilke hospitals on Facebook or holdpressteam.wordpress.com/about); and Minor Injury Unit opening times have been reduced across the county.

Restore Emergency at Cheltenham Hospital (Reach) have been campaigning for a full, 24/7 A&E Department to be re-instated at Cheltenham General Hospital, which serves a population of at least 200,000 since 2013 when the A&E service was 'downgraded'. They are running their own consultation - go to reachnow.org.uk and like and follow REACH - Restore Emergency at Cheltenham General Hospital's page on Facebook.

We've won before!

In 2012, the Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public campaign successfully prevented the transfer of local community services out of the NHS
 

...but we need your help.


For a variety of reasons, our core team has limited capacity to campaign at the level we have in the past. If you care about the future of local health services and our NHS, we need your help! We plan to make Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public a truly county-wide campaign group, and fold our activity in Stroud Against the Cuts - which has come to focus on the NHS in recent years anyway - into this.
Please get in touch if you can volunteer to help at our film screening, with leafleting, or with organising events and keeping the Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public campaign running.
Stroud Against the Cuts on twitter Stroud Against the Cuts on twitter
Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public
Keep Our NHS Public - national website Keep Our NHS Public - national website
Copyright © 2019 Stroud Against the Cuts, All rights reserved.


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