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Celebrating, Defending, Reclaiming our NHS - a weekend of events

Thursday, 28 April 2016 20:33 administrator
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More people waiting longer at A&E, doctors on strike, bursaries that fund nurse training being scrapped and private companies taking over services from ambulances to pharmacies - our NHS is in crisis.


Stroud Against the Cuts is organising a weekend of workshops, stalls and information on:   

• Researching and fighting cuts & privatisation,

• Organising as workers    in    health    and    social    care,    and

• How we can and should campaign in future.

 

How Come We Didn’t Know?”, an exhibition about hidden NHS privatisation by photographer Marion MacAlpine will be displayed at the Line Gallery.


There will also be films, music and comedy with an NHS theme from 7pm on Friday 17th June as part of the regular John St Social. Entry to this and the other events is free.
 

 

Bread & Roses film screening to mark International Workers Memorial Day

Thursday, 28 April 2016 20:28 administrator
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Stroud Against the Cuts is marking International Workers Memorial Day 2016 and preparing for celebrations of May Day with a screening of Ken Loach's film "Bread & Roses". Join us at the Lansdown Hall on Saturday 30th April from 7.00-9.30pm. Entry is free but we will be collecting donations to cover costs and our work.

 

"Bread and Roses is a story about the most marginalised of LA communities daring to take on their corporate bosses against all odds." A feature length film by Ken Loach and Paul Laverty, exploring the lives of low-paid cleaners in Los Angeles, and union organising, the title is a reference to a slogan first used in the 1912 Lawrence, Massachusetts Textile workers strike - which also inspired the song 'Bread and Roses', and - indeed - the UK Labour Party's rose graphic. Watch a trailer: 


 

International Workers Memorial Day takes place on Thursday April 28th. Information about IWMD events in the UK is available from the TUC, where they say:

 

"In 2016 the theme for the day is "Strong Laws - Strong enforcement - Strong Unions" because across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the Government have removed protection form millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission are pursuing a dangerous de-regulatory strategy. However strong laws are not enough if they are not going to be enforced.

That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the laws. Here in the UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years, however in many other countries enforcement has always been non-existent.

That is why we also need strong unions. Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the Government is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.".

 

Gloucestershire Children's Centres Changes - Stroud Against the Cuts response

Friday, 18 March 2016 10:48 administrator
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Gloucestershire County Council is currently conducting a consultation regarding the future of Children's Centres in the County. We have concerns about the lack of information about what the Council is proposing and the complexity of the consultation, and want to help people to complete the consultation in ways that will defend provision of services.

Two members of Stroud Against the Cuts - Barbara Potter and Christine Stockwell - have completed the questionnaire and their response is below. We hope it helps others to complete the consultation - though obviously your answers to questions about your personal circumstances or experiences will be different. You can fill the consultation in via this link. If you have questions or comments, please email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or text/call 07734 058789. We will respect confidentiality and are willing to publish statements from workers or parents anonymously.


Our objections to the proposals concern the attack on universal services and moving of services to two main centres - much of it is to be provided by volunteers and therefore provision is likely to be patchy and inconsistent as volunteers move on.  Underpinning universal provision was a recognition of the need that all parents/carers have for informal non stigmatising support from time to time.  Children's Centres have cut through the isolation parents feel and provided a local community network.  How will this work if parents have to travel long distances with small children to find such provision in the future?   The absence of universal provision by skilled staff trained to recognise children with additional needs will put at risk the identification of these children and provision for their needs at an early stage.


 

Q1. In which capacity are you responding to this survey (tick all that apply)

 

Someone who has used children’s centres in the past

Q2. How frequently do you access services through a children's centre?

At least weekly

Q2a. In which locality?

Stroud

Q3. To what extent do you agree that the proposed family support service should be for families with children pre birth – 5 years or pre-birth to 11 years 

Pre-birth – 5 years? Strongly agree

Pre-birth – 11 years? Strongly agree

Q4. What impact do you think the proposed targeted support service would have on the early identification and support for children with special education needs and disabilities?

Negative impact

Q4a. Please explain your answer:

Children will be missed as there will not be a targeted service in Stroud. The area is populated with families who do not go out to get help or know how to ask for it. The town is built over a long steep hill making the town centre along way from the top of town. There is new housing being built over the next two years to rehouse families. The area has had many families housed else where.

Q5. To what extent to you agree with the proposal to create 16 Children and Family Centres in areas of greatest deprivation?

Strongly agree

Q6. To what extent do you agree that a network of 30 Children’s Centres should be used for early education and childcare, other universal services run by the local community and as bases for professionals who work with families?

 

Early education and childcare - Strongly disagree

Other Universal services run by the local community - Strongly disagree

Bases for professionals who work with families - Strongly agree

Q6a. If you have any comments or suggestions about the proposed integrated family support service or services to be delivered from other children’s centres please tell us?

I think you need local professionals running all services. Staff who understand and can relate to us.

Q7. Which area of Gloucestershire would you like to give your feedback on? (please select all that apply)

Stroud
Q7f1. To what extent do you agree that the Children and Family Centres in Stroud should be The Park (Stonehouse) and Treetops (Dursley)?

Strongly disagree

Q7f2. Would the location of the proposed Children and Family Centres in Stroud have any impact on you and your family?

Negative impact

Q7f3. To what extent do you agree with the proposals that in Stroud, Fiveways, Parliament, Painswick, Nailsworth and Wotton children’s centres will be used for early education and childcare, other universal services run by the local community and as bases for professionals who work with families?

Strongly disagree

Q7f4. Would the proposed services offered at Fiveways, Parliament, Painswick, Nailsworth and Wotton in Stroud have any impact on you and your family?

Negative impact

Q8. If you have any comments or suggestions about the proposed 16 Children and Family Centres or the other children’s centres please tell us?

The staff need to be regular to get to know the families attending the centre. To understand the local needs. To build families trust and the families confidence. Raising children is lonely and mental health issues can arise having a knock on effect with the children and other family members. A qualified listening ear and someone to point you in the right direction can prevent a crisis happening. Suicide and self harm statistics in Stroud are very high. Changing the services in Stroud will impact families and could be critical in some cases. It removes a gathering space for community to make friends and support each other in challenging times with the help of staff.

Q9. To what extent do you agree that a new Parent and Community Support service should be created to offer advice and support to schools and voluntary and community groups?

 

Strongly disagree

Q9a. Please explain your answer

I would think the staff in a children Centre are qualified to do so and have years of experience. I have found them to be welcoming to all. Parent led groups would become a clic that others would be put off attending.

I would think the staff in a children Centre are qualified to do so and have years of experience. I have found them to be welcoming to all. Parent led groups would become a clic that others would be put off attending.

Q10. To what extent do you agree that the existing Children's Centres childcare facilities should be expanded to meet government proposals to increase nursery entitlement to 30 hours a week for 3 and 4 year olds of working parents?

Strongly agree

Q10a. Do you have any comments or suggestions about this option?

 

The parents in Stroud are unlikely to have a contract to qualify for the Nursery entitlement. Most people work on a zero hours 'contract'.

Q11. To what extent do you agree that a high quality public health nursing service should continue to work closely with other services to support families?

 

Strongly agree

Q11a. Do you have any comments or suggestions about this option?

The Health Visitor programme has been cut. 8 Children in my sons class including my son did a years education without being able to hear. There is no point in verbally teaching a group of children who cannot hear anything. It was a complete waste of time. Simple hearing test for glue ear and other hearing problems would have picked up this problem before they reached school if the pre school check ups hadn't been cut. It is very important to improve the nursing services and bring back regular childhood checks.

How many children aged under 5 do you have?

0

How many children aged 6-11 do you have?

0

Do any of your children have special educational needs or a disability?

Yes

Which types of childcare do you use (tick all that apply)

None

Please tick all the statements that apply

 

Transport is a problem for me


Last Updated ( Friday, 18 March 2016 13:41 )
 

Supporting the junior doctors strike

Thursday, 28 April 2016 08:58 administrator
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Stroud Against the Cuts is supporting junior doctors as they oppose imposition of an unsafe and unfair new contract of employment. Learn about the junior doctors dispute via the BMA's special website.

Below are some videos featuring local junior doctors speaking about the dispute and explaining why they have been left with no option but to take strike action

Farzad Sadaat speaks at a public meeting organised by Stroud Against the Cuts in February:

Charlotte Walker speaks at the rally at the end of the March for the NHS on 12th March in Cheltenham - organised by Stroud Against the Cuts, Momentum Cheltenham & Gloucester, Gloucestershire Socialist Party and Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public.

Sarah Tomlinson speaks at the rally at the start of the March for the NHS:

 

NHS Reinstatement Bill - letter to SNJ from SATC Treasurer Hannah Basson

Thursday, 17 March 2016 16:22 administrator
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Dear Sir,

In 2012, Stroud Against the Cuts fought hard and
won to keep local health services publicly-owned.  Now many people are scared that a deal being
done behind closed doors between the EU and the USA (known as TTIP) will lead
to further expensive privatisations and reduction of services, with an increase
in user charges and the introduction of the government’s much debated health insurance
schemes.  

This Friday 11th will see the 2nd reading in Parliament of the NHS Bill.


This Bill is the first serious attempt in over 30 years to restore the NHS to its founding values as a publicly-owned, economically-sensible service that would offer universal health and wellness services, funded via taxation.  This Bill would stop the NHS being treated as a service of ‘economic interest’ which keeps it vulnerable to the vulture-like
picking off of more profitable aspects by large corporations.  It would also remove the NHS from TTIP.

The cost of enacting this Bill would be saved very quickly, with savings from then on of up to £20 billion a year according to some academics. This is the price of running the NHS for the benefit of privateers and those who wish to promote the idea that the NHS is unaffordable (more precise costing has been embargoed indefinitely by this government).

Although, its detractors say NHS staff do not want another reorganisation, under the current system thousands of NHS staff will be ‘reorganised’ every 3-7 years as services are re-tendered and staff contracted over and over.  

This is the only sensible reorganisation that puts patients first.

To find out more, please have a look at www.nhsbill2015.org or www.keepournhspublic.com and look out for people giving
out leaflets with more details.   

Hannah Basson

 


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