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Monthly Organising Meeting - Monday 19th November
SATC Newsletter 2018/16

Monthly Organising Meeting

Stroud Against the Cuts is organised through monthly open meetings.
Join us at The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud, 7-9pm on Tuesday 2nd October. Share our organising meeting on Facebook.

Our monthly meetings are open to anyone who supports our aims to challenge local and national cuts and privatisation.

On the agenda will be:
 
  • Review of Actions from previous meeting
  • Treasurer's report
  • Unite the Union's Universal Credit day of action (more details below)
  • Keep Our NHS Public meeting report
  • Health Campaigns Together conference report (more details below)
  • Local NHS situation (more details below) and report back from Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Gloucestershire County Council
  • AOB
If you would like to attend and raise an agenda item please let us know. Read on for further information about upcoming events, news and campaigning.

Reclaim Social Care Conference

Several members of Stroud Against the Cuts will be attending the Health Campaigns Together "Reclaim Social Care" conference this Saturday 17th November in Birmingham (SATC is affliated to HCT). Travel details are below if you are interested in attending - you need to book a place.

"Drastic underfunding and wholesale privatisation of so called Social “Care” is condemning many people to a life of indignity, isolation, neglect and even maltreatment.

Join us to explore how to reverse privatisation and secure quality, stable, publicly funded and accountable social care services for all.

Speakers from Health Campaigns Together, the Labour Party, the unions, DPAC, National Pensioners Convention, Relatives and Residents Association, and from Scotland."

Trains from Cheltenham to Birmingham New Street are the cheapest and most straightforward:

9.11am arriving around 10am then a short walk to the conference centre from New Street - £12.80 advance ticket

Return from Birmingham New street is 17.30pm arriving Cheltenham 18.16 - £9.90p Advance ticket.  Total £22.70

We may also have spaces in shared cars. Message Chris Stockwell on 07717 491587 for details.

A pdf leaflet with programme for the conference is available.
 

Universal Credit Day of Action

On Saturday 1st December, Unite Community are holding a National Day of Action against Universal Credit. We will be discussing local action at our upcoming meeting.

Unite the Union say: "Universal Credit causes serious financial hardship for claimants.

The government claim Universal Credit (UC) will make things better for claimants. But where it has already been rolled out it’s been plagued with problems that are pushing more people into poverty.

It has caused tens of thousands of people to fall into debt, rent arrears, and to become reliant on food banks.

Despite huge flaws in the system the Tory government continue to push ahead with rolling out UC to more claimants.
"

Universal Credit day of action event page on Facebook.

Further downgrade at Cheltenham Hospital?

BBC Gloucestershire are reporting on an unprecedented reaction from Surgeons to the latest plans for Cheltenham hospital. Full article: Gloucestershire hospital plan 'not safe'. We will discuss this at our upcoming meeting

From the article by Hayley Mortimer: "Almost 60 consultants and senior doctors at Cheltenham General Hospital have said moving out-of-hours general surgery to Gloucester could put patients at risk.

They have written to Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's chief executive about their concerns.

The trust plans to move emergency and inpatient general surgery seven miles away to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

A spokesman said patients would have access to the correct care there.

One doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the BBC: "We can see a plane crash about to happen. It's going to be catastrophic.

"The trust doesn't realise the detail in their plan. It's not safe."

Cheltenham General is the only hospital in Gloucestershire treating urological, gynaecological and orthopaedic patients as well as providing chemotherapy cancer treatment.

Under the plans patients who develop internal bleeds, sepsis or abdominal pain overnight or at the weekend would have to be taken by ambulance to Gloucester."

Some items of interest you may have missed


1. Keep Our NHS Public's response to the Budget: "Plenty of spin but no more money for the NHS" - " This government clearly cannot be relied on to offer what is required. The onus is yet again placed on the staff to ‘reform’, cut ‘waste’ and do more with less, to perform miracles with very little. It’s high time this government reversed it’s hostile policies towards the NHS. NHS activists must redouble their efforts in the months and years to come."

2. Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green Kt, the first National Clinical Director for Children at the Department of Health, and the first Children’s Commissioner for England, has written a response to Health Secretary Matt Hancock's comments about preventative care and the NHS that surrounded the budget. They write that "the government is betraying children on a grand scale, and making positive ‘choices’ impossible", in a piece for OurNHS openDemocracy: "Why politicians need to 'take responsibility' for children's health too"

3. John Lister of Health Campaigs Together also responded to the budget, noting that "New figures for numbers of school nurses who are also key to preventive action on children’s mental health shows a brutal 24.7% cut since the service was transferred to local government in 2010." Read his response as part of HCT's News roundup.

4. "A record number of 18,647 emergency and non-emergency children’s operations were cancelled last year", the Guardian report.

5. "Keep Our NHS Public welcomes powerful TUC report on the Mental Health Crisis" - a useful summary of the report, highlighting that "In 2013 there was 1 mental health doctor for every 186 patients accessing services. In 2018 this has fallen to 1 for every 253 patients. In 2013 there was 1 mental health nurse for every 29 of patients accessing services. In 2018 that has fallen to 1 for every 39 patients. ...  Between June 2017 and May 2018, 23,686 mental health staff left the NHS, equivalent to an eighth of the total workforce in mental health. By the end of June 2018, one in ten mental health positions were unfilled, and net recruitment of mental health nurses is getting worse"

6. In case you needed a reminder of the threat to the NHS: "Let American firms run hospitals, urges free trade group" (The Times, £/register)

7. October 23rd marked a year since the introduction of upfront charges for secondary care for people unable to prove their "eligibility" for NHS care (in particular, undocumented migrants). In another piece for OurNHS openDemocracy, Ed Jones looked at "Upfront NHS charges one year on [and] 6 reasons why they harm us all"

8. On a related note, a legal victory this week "protects patients by pulling doctors out of Government’s hostile environment" with regard to data-sharing (if not charging yet). Rita Chadha, Interim Director of Migrants’ Rights Network, said: “On the 70th Anniversary of the NHS it is absolutely vital that our great British institutions uphold the best British values. The right to privacy and the access to health care, is a right that many of us take for granted, sadly this has not been the case of health services for migrants. We are delighted that the Government is starting to dismantle the hostile environment by conceding that deterring people from accessing health services is cruel, inhumane and ultimately more costly” 
The Centre for Health and the Public Interest needs your help to continue providing a critical independent public interest perspective on UK health and social care policy. Watch a video about their fundraising drive.

Read one of their recent reports: "When the Health and Social Care Act was passed in 2012, the treatment of private patients was expected to become a significant source of NHS hospital trust income. NHS treatment of private patients: the impact on NHS finances and NHS patient care finds that while there has not been significant growth in private patient activity or income within the NHS in the intervening period, the continuing squeeze on NHS funding could lead to such practice becoming more commonplace, with a potential to impact on the availability of care for NHS patients."

Mark Thomas is 54, the NHS is 70.

UK national average life expectancy is 84. If Mark makes it to 84 the NHS will be 100 …what will they both look like?

Mark Thomas will perform his new show in Bristol at the Tobacco Factory from 6th-8th February. Tickets are available for £17/13.

On Saturday 7th July we marked the 70th anniversary of the NHS and celebrated the founding principles of the service. Thanks to everyone who took part and made the day so special - including Paul Southcott, our "Aneurin Bevan", and Mike Bale for filming and putting this piece together. Please watch and share! (you can also share the video on Facebook - where it's had over 1,600 views)

Check out NHS70stroud.wordpress.com for more information about the day - more photos, videos and audio recordings to come! If you didn't get a chance to donate on the day but valued the event, we would still appreciate donations.
DONATE to our #NHS70Stroud crowdfunder
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