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Statements from the Public on the NHS Transfer

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 19:41
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As well as anonymous statements from staff affected by the proposed transfer of many
of Gloucestershire's NHS services to a social enterprise, we are also receiving statements
of support from the public - and are happy to publicise them where appropriate.

The following is a powerful email we received from John and Josie in Tuffley reminding us
why we must campaign to save our NHS:

"My husband and I are both just shy of 80 years old, We are both able to just
remember a time before the NHS. You might wonder why I am writing to you but We
feel that there are not many of us that can remember our parents fear when
illness struck the family. I would just like young parents to think how they
would feel if they were in a situation my parents were in when I was taken ill
as a young child I required a operation which they had to pay for. They didn't
have the money to pay and without the help of my grandparents and neighbors
there was no way I could have had the operation. I was lucky good neighbors and
my grandparents did a collection but I know my parents went through hell
wondering how they could find the money. If any of us needed see a doctor my
parents had to wait until pay day, money was so short you only went if there
was no choice as to pay meant cut backs on the food which for us was sparce
anyway.

The NHS was the most wonderful thing to happen to Britain, when my child
required a operation no problems, no worries. People just cannot imagine how
the NHS changed our lives.  The reduction in child mortality, longer lives for
adults, suffering was treated and the country had healthier and happy people.

My husband and I are healthy active people, and live a full retirement neither
of us are on any medication and are very lucky and this is due to the NHS. Now
we are wondering if our children and grandchildren will have the same future we
have had, as without the NHS private care is still out of the range of most
working families.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO FIGHT TO SAVE OUR NHS AND KEEP OUR LOCAL SERVICES IN THE NHS"

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 20:10
 

NHS staff comment on Social Enterprise proposal

Friday, 30 September 2011 10:07
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This is a page where we will publish statements from staff so they are able comment publicly but anonymously on NHS Gloucestershire's plans to transfer over 3000 staff, 9 community hospitals, 10 health clinics and a number of county-wide health services to Gloucestershire Care Services Community Interest Company, on the consultation process, and on the legal challenge that SATC is supporting to stop the transfer. We invite members of staff to send us anything from short statements to long testimony regarding these issues. Please email any statements or queries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , a supporter of the campaign who is an member of NHS staff and union member, or send via post to: Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public, c/o SATC, The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud, GL5 1DF.

We are also looking into how we can create a space on the website where anonymous comments can be uploaded.

 

Statements Received:

1. "I am a 'bank' community staff nurse working for NHS gloucestershire. I am pleased that there is hope that the social enterprise could be stopped. The social enterprise is in my view definately underhand and money driven. My new social enterprise contract amounts to a a pay cut of over £4,000 annually based on a 37.5 hour week. I am incredulous. I am NHS, I wear an NHS uniform. I am an NHS nurse bitterly disappointed with changing to social enterprise. NHS Gloucestershire claim that they "will retain the same staff, buildings and clinics" and that "Staff transferring into the new organisation will recieve the same terms and conditions". But not for 'bank' nurses in the NHS." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

2. "The one thing that the NHS has always enjoyed is the fact that its staff have a great pride in what they do, and the fact that they do it for the common good. Everyone I have spoken to, my own staff, my peers and my managers all agree that the NHS is where they have wanted to work and where they would like to continue working. No-one sees the transfer to a CIC as anything but a not particularly subtle way of privatising the largest health provider in Gloucestershire. The real tragedy, as far as I am concerned, is the fact that so few members of the public realise it. Unless something drastic happens in the near future, more than half of all the health provision in Gloucestershire will be in the hands of a private enterprise. Although the change may appear seamless at first, despite political remonstrations to the contrary at some time the CIC will become vulnerable, and the threat to its services and to the people who depend on them will become only too apparent. This will almost certainly occur when it's too late to do anything about it." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

3. "As a member of NHS Gloucestershire staff, I am pleased to hear that Stroud Against the Cuts has successfully delayed the transfer to Social Enterprise. I have no wish to see any of our hospitals or services taken out of the NHS. I believe the local people will suffer if we lose the NHS status and that it leaves the services open to privatisation in a big way. The management of Gloucestershire Care Service CIC seem to imply that all the staff are looking forward to the transfer but as there was no consultation about these change's I do not know where they are getting the impression that the staff are for this change into the private sector. Thank You Stroud Against the Cuts for putting up a fight for the local people and the staff that work in the services. Another thing I am really worried about is the GP's becoming accountants I feel at the moment if a doctor tells a person they do not need to see a consultant we believe them but in the future can we be sure? It may be because they don't want to use their budget or that they have no money left, all this will cost lives. 
I am proud to work in the NHS.  It is what makes Britain Great.
This is our NHS - we want to keep it public." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

4. "Dear Readers, Like most healthcare workers I became a nurse because society has a moral obligation to provide healthcare to all based on need alone, I did not become a nurse to provide investors with profits and will refuse to let my work,or own healthcare needs be exploited by investors, which make no mistake is the intended outcome of this transfer from NHS to Social Enterprise. Healthcare must be owned and available to all it is the only civilised way. The lack of consultation is a disgrace, Thankyou Michael Lloyd and S.A.T.C. We won't give up." (NHS employee, Gloucestershire, via email)

5. "I have just left the above Trust [NHS Gloucestershire] after working in the same role for 10 years and am disgusted at their proposals. They are making staff who have dedicatedly provided excellent service to our patients apply for their own jobs, some staff they are even saying that they cannot apply with no logical reasons for this.  These are staff who have done this job for decades in some cases and have never had poor appraisals or reviews. The problem with this PCT is that they look after their own. It is about time that the funds for providing care for our patients were put in at the bottom of the structure, making sure that staff who deliver this care on the front line and their immediate managers were funded and then cuts made through the vast amount of tiers above when the money runs out.  This trust are cutting valuable front line staff and not valuing the service and experience they provide.  Patients will suffer in the long run, the hospital is losing valuable dedicated staff daily and at this rate the Trust will not have a work force capable of running the service. I thought the government were going to cut bureaucracy as stated in the ‘white paper’ but this isn’t happening.  This Trust are rushing towards social enterprise to make sure that this top heavy management structure can still keep control.  I went to the original meetings where ‘choice’ was not given, they had already made up their mind that social enterprise was the best route for them, staff and patients don’t come into it.  If the GP consortium’s are going to take over in 2013 we should wait until then to see what is required instead of running along into a dead end with no chance of a ‘u’ turn.  This Trust has wasted so much money on IT systems that are not fit for purpose, land purchase that was extremely overpriced, plans for new hospital and reduction of bed space when we are meant to be joining a competitive market.  Their decisions do not make sense and I fear that there is a hidden agenda." (former NHS Gloucestershire employee, received via email)

 

 

"We were never consulted on any choice. They made it very clear that the social enterprise was the only option. Even now my colleagues know very little about it." (NHS Nurse, cited in Guardian.co.uk article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2011/oct/05/nhs-gloucestershire-community-interest-company-transfer?newsfeed=true)

6. "I really didnt want to do this at first but after yet another management briefing (e-bulletin) telling us all how the legal challenge will open us up to privatisation and how we cannot be in the NHS, I felt I had to write. I attended the Wendy Savage talk and I heard the lawyer talking about the local health services. She was very clear. She stated that a judge cannot decide what the PCT does, he can only ensure the law is not broken. In effect, if the campainers win, any competitive tendering wil be the CHOICE of the management. This is because they do not have to put us up for competition if they choose an NHS option. She said that we can be a community NHS trust because the only stopping them was that the Dept of Health dont want it - so it not law preventing them. The only stopping them from letting us be a community trust is a lack of back bone.  They also told us before that we cannot be with the acute trust because jobs will be lost. It hasn't happened in South Glos though. Only reduced numbers of offices, not reduced jobs. If we become a 'social enterprise' (which a CIC is not very close to) I will look for work elsewhere and I have colleagues who have said the same." (NHS Gloucestershire employee and Unite member, via email.

Statements from elsewhere:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2011 10:10
 

Press Release: Transfer of NHS services to Social Enterprise halted, SATC says Keep services in the NHS

Friday, 30 September 2011 08:59
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Stroud Against the Cuts says: "Offering Gloucestershire's NHS services to a social enterprise opens those services to privatisation, it does not save them from privatisation. The legal action will open those services back up to the NHS.  NHS Gloucestershire can and should keep these services in the NHS and avoid any need for any tendering process."
 

A Full Press Release is available be clicking 'Read More' below. BBC Gloucestershire have covered the story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-15124270

You can hear an interview with Caroline Molloy of Stroud Against Cuts on BBC Gloucestershire Friday 30th September morning here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00kcfqj/Mark_Cummings_NHS_in_Gloucestershire/

Skip to 1:06:20 for the piece on NHS Gloucestershire and the legal challenge.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2011 16:35 Read more...
 

Stroud District Council pass motion calling for scrutiny of NHS plans

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 21:53
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[Immediate report, to be updated. The Citizen publised a story on this here: http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/party-support-scrutiny-NHS-handover/story-13437142-detail/story.html]

On Wednesday, 28th September, Stroud District Council hosted an "Extraordinary Meeting" to discuss a motion put forward by Cllr Karen Cross (Labour) and Cllr John Marjoram (Green) regarding the transfer of NHS services in Gloucestershire to Gloucestershire Care Services Community Interest Company. The meeting was well attended my members of the public who filled the public gallery, with jeers and applause as appropriate.

After a fairly "extraordinary" debate (of the farcical kind), featuring several ammendments, a version of the motion was eventually passed unanimously by the Council. The text follows:

 

"RESOLVED: that this Council is concerned that the public view is that GLOUCESTERSHIRE'S COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES are being rushed into a new 'social enterprise' organisation without proper consultation or preparation. We demand proper scrutiny by the Health Community and Care Scrutiny Committee of Gloucestershire County Council so that all assumptions being made by Gloucestershire Community Health Service can be tested and alternative proposals can be considered.
 
 The following questions would be submitted by Cllr Apperley to the Health and Community and Care Scrutiny Committee of Gloucestershire County Council:-
 
·        What are the alternative possible structures and why is a social enterprise outside of the NHS considered the most suitable?
·        Who will actually own the company? Who appoints the Board? Who appoints the Chief Executive? How will staff actually be involved in the running of the company and the appointment of future managers?
·        What will be the terms and conditions for existing staff if or when they move to this organisation?
·        What assurances are there if the social enterprise fails?
·        What will be the terms of conditions for new staff?  
·        Will staff who transfer from the social enterprise back to the NHS loose out on pensions compared to those who remain in the NHS throughout? 
·        How will the local community be represented and what degree of control
will community representatives have?”

 

This ammended motion sadly removes the phrase whereby the "Council wholeheartedly condemns" the rushed transfer - terminology which was apparently too "inflammatory" for the Tories (inflammaTories?).

It also removes the statement that the council "wholeheartedly support[s] the stance being taken by the Gloucester and District Trades Council, Local Anti-Cuts Groups and the general public in fighting this major change to health provision in the County". Hardly suprising that the Tories could not stomach this.

A full report from the meeting will appear on this website in due course.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 September 2011 10:51
 

2nd press release - Demonstration and legal action to save our NHS

Saturday, 24 September 2011 13:23
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Over 500 people attended a demonstration in Stroud today to protest against plans to take local hospitals and community health services across Gloucestershire out of the NHS, and into a ‘Community Interest Company’ which is being badged a ‘social enterprise’.

The crowd, with shouts of ‘Whose NHS?  Our NHS!’, ‘The NHS is not for Sale’ and ‘Social Enterprise – No way!  We Demand Our Say!” wound through central Stroud, before listening to speeches outside Stroud's Subscription Rooms about how the plans are being fought both through legal action and through community and union action.

Photo courtesy Robin Hayward. More photos to come!

For a video of the march see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7s0vTzuNeA&feature=youtu.be

For more information and links to press coverage, click 'Read More'

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 19:45 Read more...
 


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