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Campaigners call for artists to contribute to NHS 70th anniversary exhibition

Sunday, 10 June 2018 20:27
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Press Release 11/06/2018, Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public. Contact: James Beecher – 07734 058789

  • NHS funding exhibition, Monday 25th – Saturday 30th June, 11-5pm, Lansdown Gallery
  • Expert on PFI to speak at Opening night, Monday 25th 6-9pm
  • Call for artists to produce posters based on quotes from Aneurin Bevan.
  • Part of Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public’s “NHS 70 Stroud” events
  • Crowdfunder has raised £496 from 20 people so far

The NHS was founded on 5th July 1948 and members of the Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public campaign are kicking off their series of 70th anniversary celebration events with a call to artists to contribute to an exhibition at the Lansdown Gallery from Monday 25th – Saturday 30th June.

The campaigners are asking artists to create a poster based on one of seven quotes from Aneurin Bevan about the principles of the NHS (the quotes and more information are available at NHS70Stroud.wordpress.com/call-to-artists). The works will accompany a photographic exhibition by Marion Macalpine on Private Finance Initiatives or PFI, called “How Come We’re Still Paying For This?”), as well as historic local images, and will then be submitted to The World Transformed Festival in Liverpool in September.

An opening night for the exhibition at Lansdown Gallery on Monday 25th June from 6-9pm will feature Helen Mercer, a recently retired as a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Greenwich University and founding member of People vs PFI, speaking about how to solve the problems PFI is causing in the NHS. The event, as well as the exhibition, is free entry.

The photographs have been described as a “Brilliant, eye-opener exhibition!” and a “Superb gallery show. Very clear and hard hitting.” More information is available at NHS70Stroud.wordpress.com/exhibition.

The exhibition will be open from 11-5pm daily at the Lansdown Gallery on Lansdown Road from Monday 25th – Saturday 30th June. It forms part of Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public’s series of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS – which include offering transport to a national celebration and demonstration in London on Saturday 30th June, and holding a picnic, party and series of talks in Lansdown Hall and Bank Gardens on the 7th July.

Campaigners with Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public launched their programme of activities over the weekend, and copies are now available around Stroud and the rest of the county. The full programme and further information is available at: NHS70Stroud.wordpress.com. The events – which are all free entry – are supported by an online crowdfunder, which has raised £496 from 20 people so far.

Spokesperson for KGNP, James Beecher, said: “We’re really excited to be kicking off our celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Bevan’s book ‘In Place of Fear’ is a great piece of work on the founding principles of the NHS which we think are worth reflecting on today – we look forward to seeing contributions from artists to the quotes we’ve picked out”.

One of the quotes from Aneurin Bevan, the Health Minister at the time of the introduction of the NHS, reads: “The essence of a satisfactory health service is that the rich and the poor are treated alike, that poverty is not a disability, and wealth is not advantaged.”

ENDS

 

Press Release: Community group launches Crowdfunder after Town Council opts not to authorise grant for NHS celebration

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:04
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Press Release: Community group launches Crowdfunder after Town Council opts not to authorise grant for NHS celebration – 29/05/2018

Contact: James Beecher 07734 058789

Stroud Against the Cuts will hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Lansdown Hall from 6.30pm this Sunday 3rd June. The AGM will be accompanied by a film about the housing crisis, Dispossession, and act as a fundraiser for the Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public NHS70Stroud celebrations. Ahead of the AGM, the group has launched a Crowdfunder at www.gofundme.com/nhs70stroud in an attempt to raise the £1,000 they say is needed for “venue hire, public liability insurance, publicity and display materials, and to cover the expenses of our special guests”, as well as to make a film of the event.

The launch of the Crowdfunder follows news the Clerk of Stroud Town Council has decided that “it would not be appropriate, or lawful, for the Council to issue a grant” for Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public “NHS70Stroud” celebrations. Stroud Against the Cuts had applied for £1,000 from the Community Support Fund Grants scheme, and Councillors had agreed in principle to approve the grant - but had delegated the final decision to the Town Clerk. Though the group say they repeated their desire to work with the Council to ensure no funds were spent inappropriately, and committed to modifying or removing any elements that might be regarded as in contravention of Local Government legislation at a “positive” meeting with the Clerk on Thursday 24th May, the grant will not now be made.

Chair of Stroud Against the Cuts James Beecher said: “We're obviously very disappointed that our funding application has not been authorised. Who can access health care, and how that care is managed and paid for, are clearly issues that are "political" in the sense of who has power in society, but nonetheless as we keep saying, the purpose of our event on the 7th July is to celebrate the founding principles of the NHS. In defending these principles, we believe that it is ordinary people standing up for NHS services and the people who work in them that is most important – not party politics.”

He added, “While not being granted funding by the Town Council makes organising our NHS70Stroud events more difficult, we are determined to ensure to the celebrations go ahead – and as closely as possible to our plans. We really want it to be a great day for the town – worthy of the occasion. We are obviously even keener than previously to collect donations, as without them we will have to curtail the activities – people can contribute online via gofundme.com/nhs70Stroud, or at our AGM this Sunday 3rd June.”

Stroud Against the Cuts' 2018 AGM will be held on Sunday 3rd June from 6.30pm at the Lansdown Hall (GL5 1BB). It will include election of officers, a review of the previous year and overview of the group’s plans for next year. There will also be a screening of the film “Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle” (from 7.30pm). The 80 minute documentary explores the agenda behind the neglect, demolition and regeneration of council estates in the U.K. over the past thirty years. The film-makers say: “Dispossession is the story of people who know that housing is not an expensive luxury, but a fundamental human right… The film reveals how individuals and communities are fighting against the state and private developers, as they try to save their homes from demolition, while investigating the decisions that turned a crisis into a tragedy.”

At the NHS70Stroud celebration in Lansdown Hall and Bank Gardens on Saturday 7th July there will be stalls from health organisations, music from the Songs of Change choir, Stroud Red Band bringing their boisterous brass, and a selection of hits from 1948. Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public are hoping to have talented jive dancers, as well as top speakers on the NHS and its history, and will even be joined by 'Aneurin Bevan' (an actor reading some excerpts from his speeches). There's the promise of cake too, of course. More information is available at: nhs70stroud.wordpress.com.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:10
 

Celebrate 70 years of the NHS - help us fund a series of events in Stroud!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 09:12
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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service on the 5th July 1948, Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public are organising "NHS70Stroud" - a variety of events and activities – and hoping to encourage the residents of Stroud to celebrate and reflect on the principles of the NHS and their value.

We are organising:

An all-day celebration event on Saturday 7th July (Website) at the Lansdown Hall and in Bank Gardens: 70 years of the NHS-Stroud event (Facebook event)

An exhibition from 25th June – 1st July (Website) at the Lansdown Gallery: People Vs PFI Exhibition-How come we’re still paying for this? (Facebook event)

We need funding for venue hire, public liability insurance, publicity and display materials, and to cover the expenses of our special guests. We'd also like to pay a film-maker to create a record of the event. Donate via GoFundMe.

We've been lucky enough to to receive some funding already, but have also had a setback with a significant grant being denied. We are keen to run a free event open to all, and we'd be really grateful to anyone who is able to help. We think the 70th anniversary of the NHS is a significant moment for the country and we want to ensure there is a celebration worthy of the occasion. The principles of the NHS - that all should be able to receive health care, and access the treatment they need, free at the point of use, funded by general taxation - are just relevant today as ever. These principles need our support and the 70th anniversary is a great moment to consider their value and commit to improving the NHS. Donate via GoFundMe.

As Aneurin Bevan wrote in his book "In Place of Fear" in 1952:

“Society becomes more wholesome, more serene, and spiritually healthier, if it knows that its citizens have at the back of their consciousness the knowledge that not only themselves, but all their fellows, have access, when ill, to the best that medical skill can provide."

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:11
 

Hands Off Our NHS, Hunt!

Friday, 27 April 2018 10:19
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Campaigners tell Health Secretary “Hands Off Our NHS!” - PRESS RELEASE 27/04/2018

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY – banners, placards and a government minister. For further information call James Beecher 07734 058789

Campaigners are preparing to give Jeremy Hunt a Stroud welcome, with the Health Secretary due to visit Stroud Hospital at 1.30pm.

Campaigners from Stroud Against the Cuts, Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public and other groups plan to rally at Stroud Hospital from 1pm to greet Hunt with their questions and concerns. Members of the Hands Off Lydney and Dilke hospitals campaign – currently planning legal action against plans to close the hospitals[i] – will also attend. Expressing surprise that Mr Hunt would want to visit Stroud – a town known for successful campaigns to save the local Maternity Unit[ii] and prevent privatisation of community health services[iii] – campaigners say they are keen to ask Hunt about a number of local issues of concern:

-       Why are our patient transport ambulances run by private Arriva?

-       Why is our 111 service run by private company and Tory donors Care UK?

-       Why are the Forest of Dean equivalents of Stroud Hospital – Lydney and Dilke – set to be closed?

-       Why is Stroud's Minor Injury Unit now closed at night?

-       Why are patients waiting up to a year for hospital referrals?

A Facebook page for the event suggests, at time of writing, that 75 people may be in attendance. A tweet about the event has been shared 119 times.

NHS campaigner with Stroud Against the Cuts, Caroline Molloy said:

“Next month Jeremy Hunt will become the longest serving Health Secretary – there’s no else he can blame for the crisis in the NHS that’s occurring under his watch. Hunt has recently watered down or scrapped targets for timely NHS treatment – thousands of patients in Gloucestershire and hundreds of thousands around the country see their conditions worsen while they wait. Thanks to the ‘Hostile Environment’ in the NHS we’re even seeing people who’ve lived in the country for years told they can’t access the NHS.[iv]

Chair of Stroud Against the Cuts James Beecher said:

 “We’ve had enough Hunt’s lies – the cuts, closures, the privatisation. We don’t want Hunt coming here to pose for photo opportunities and pretending he cares when the reality is that with him as Health Secretary the NHS has experienced its worst ever funding squeeze. Yet at the same time somehow private health providers are receiving more than 4 times more NHS cash than they were a decade ago, with Arriva taking over our local patient transport and Care UK running 111 and Out of Hours care. Hospitals, particularly small hospitals and A&E departments are closing or downgrading as we see in the Forest of Dean and at Cheltenham, and indeed Stroud Hospital’s own Minor Injuries Unit. As NHS services are scaled back, private health firms are swooping in.”

Notes for editors and links after the "Read more" button

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:11 Read more...
 

Videos from the "What's Happening to Our NHS?" conference

Saturday, 17 March 2018 17:09
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Videos from the "What's Happening to Our NHS?" conference organised by Stroud Labour Party recently.

We understand that sadly there were technical issues with the official filming at the conference, but provide links to videos we made through live-streaming to Facebook of the event. Please excuse amateur video and audio skils and the limitations of our equipment - we believe this footage is still useful both for those who could not attend the event and anyone wishing to revisit a session:

 

1. Successful Campaigning with Pete Gillard from Shropshire Defend Our NHS and Joanne Land from 999 Call for the NHS

2. Professor Wendy Savage on the current threats to the NHS

3. David Drew MP, Michael Sweetman from Unison and Reg Beagley from Unite on the Gloucestershire NHS SubCo

4, There are also some quieter videos from the session on the impact of the cuts from the perspective of a clinician in the NHS and on rural areas with Gill George, and on children - with Barbara Potter, which was followed by a panel discussion.

Some of our other recent videos you may be interested in:

* Junior Doctor Joe on the NHS Gloucestershire SubCo

* Live at the union rally against the NHS Gloucestershire SubCo, with Michael Sweetman and a representative from the successful North Bristol campaign

If you are on Facebook, you can keep up to date with local and national NHS news via the Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public page (don't forget to like and turn notifications on for the Stroud Against the Cuts Facebook page too!)
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 March 2018 17:11
 


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