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International Health Policy Expert to speak at weekend of NHS events - Press Release

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 09:43 administrator
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Press Release – 14/06/2016 – Stroud Against the Cuts

International Health Policy Expert to speak at weekend of NHS events

Support for event from The Retreat, which held an NHS Pub Quiz on Monday 13th

‘Healthcare for all’ is a special NHS weekend of events organised by community group Stroud Against the Cuts that will take place at the Stroud Valleys Artspace and nearby venues from 5pm on Friday 17th till 5pm on Sunday 19th June. The event will include:

  • Keynote speech from Dr John Lister (3.30-4.30pm, Saturday 18th
  • Screening of Michael Moore documentary (7-9pm, Saturday 18th
  • An informative photographic exhibition (open 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday)
  • A day of information and workshops (Saturday 10am-5pm)
  •  A comedy night (7pm-late, Friday 17th), and more

Providing a keynote speech at the event from 3.30-4.30pm at Stroud Baptist Church is international health policy expert John Lister, of Health Emergency. Dr Lister is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, and Health Journalism at the Coventry University Department of Media and Communication with a PhD in Health Policy. He is a founder member of Keep Our NHS Public, and a board member of the International Association of Health Policy. In 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service, John researched and wrote a major book: The NHS After 60, for Patients or Profits. He is also the author of two books on international health reform: Health Policy Reform: Driving the Wrong Way? and Global Health vs. Private Profit, and one of the authors of NHS For Sale – Myths, Lies & Deceptions, published last year (copies of which will be available at the event).

John will presenting a keynote speech on the past, present and future of the NHS, followed by a panel debate with Stroud’s Caroline Molloy, Editor of campaigning journalism website OurNHS openDemocracy. All weekend there will be an exhibition at the Line Gallery in John St - "How Come We Didn't Know" - featuring Keep Our NHS Public member Marion Macalpine's series of photographs exploring the hidden privatisation of our NHS, which has been touring the UK.

Stroud pub The Retreat is supporting the event with drinks for the exhibition Private View, and donated £50 as part of a pub quiz on Monday night which featured NHS questions supplied by Stroud Against the Cuts.

The weekend event will also feature a workshop on researching privatisation from Corporate Watch, and advice for health and social care workers from a member of a successful campaign against NHS-privatisation in Bristol. HEARTBEAT! A night of comedy, video and music at the SVA, John St. on Friday night – run in chatshow format by Joe Reeve as Elvis will feature stand-up poet Jonny Fluffypunk, Stroud’s female improvisational trio Brewhaha and Brighton-based psychology lecturer and author Dr Carl Walker’s ‘Picked Up, Patched Up and Sent Home’ show, – as well as music from Stroud Global Beats. A ‘Doctors and Nurses’-themed closing party will be hosted by the popular Vine Club on Saturday night (tickets £7 / £6 in advance). Full details are available on the Stroud Against the Cuts website.

James Beecher, one of the organisers of the event said: “We hope our ‘Healthcare for all’ weekend will help people understand what is happening to the NHS and inspire them to take action – we’re really excited to be bringing such knowledgeable speakers to Stroud, and would encourage people not to miss the opportunity to learn from them.

Notes for editors:

1. Details of the NHS weekend are available on SATC’s website, and further information about each of the events is available on Facebook: How Come We Didnt Know? NHS Privatisation Photographic Exhibition Friday 17th -Sunday 19th June, Heartbeat! A night of NHS Comedy, Video & Music - Friday 17th June, 7pm – late, Saving our NHS - workshops, talks & stalls - Saturday 18th June 10am-6pm, SiCKO - Stroud screening of Michael Moore doc - Saturday 18th June 7-9pm, Vine Club- Doctors & Nurses – Saturday 18th June 9.30 – late.


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

Thursday, 28 April 2016 20:33 administrator
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Ahead of the anniversary of the founding of the NHS on July 5th 1948, we've organised a weekend of events exploring the past, present and future of the NHS and how we can campaign to ensure healthcare for all.


We're kicking it all off with 20 questions on the NHS at The Retreat pub quiz - 9pm at the Church St pub (just off the High St, by Sunshine Health Food shop).


The main event is a day of talks, workshops and stalls, 10am-5pm on Saturday 18th - including workshops on researching privatisation, organising in health and social care workplaces and in community campaigns. There will be activities for children at the SVA (12.30-1.30pm), and parents will be able to leave children at the regular creche at the nearby Stroud Baptist Church on Saturday morning.

Caroline Molloy - Editor of OurNHS will offer tips on campaigning and attempt to answer all your niggling NHS questions (11am-12noon), Mark - a Unison rep and member of the Protect CCHP campaign which successfully fought privatisation of children's NHS services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire - will provide a training session for health and social care workers on organising in workplaces (12.30-1.30pm), and Corporate Watch will run a session on researching the private companies taking over our NHS (1.30-3.30pm).
Other health workers and speakers will join us for a panel debate, and we'll have a keynote speech on the past, present and future of the NHS (3.30pm - 4pm, followed by Q&A and debate till 5pm).

This is accompanied by a weekend-long exhibition at the Line Gallery in John St - "How Come We Didn't Know" - featuring Keep Our NHS Public member Marion Macalpine's series of photographs exploring the hidden privatisation of our NHS.

We're also screening Michael Moore's documentary comparing health systems internationally and the health insurance industry, SiCKO, 7-9pm on Saturday night and further entertainment comes in the form of HEARTBEAT! A night of comedy, video and music at the SVA, John St. 8pm - late on Friday night, and a 'Doctors and Nurses' closing party with the Vine Club 9.30pm - late on Saturday night.

Attendance to all events bar the Vine Club Closing Party is free - but we will be seeking to recover costs and collect donations to help us fund our NHS campaigning activity.


For more information read our latest newsletter for our supporters.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 June 2016 18:38 )

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

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 or and look out for people giving
out leaflets with more details.   

Hannah Basson


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:



Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:26 administrator
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  • · 250 people March through streets of Cheltenham on Saturday 12th March to support strike action by Junior Doctors

  • · Protest comes as polling shows 66% of the public support strike action by Junior Doctors


  • · Protestors express disappointment at attendance of MPs to debate NHS Bill on Friday 11th March


Contact: James Beecher 07734 058789 | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photographs are available on request.

More than 250 marched through along the Promenade in Cheltenham to a rally in Montpelier Gardens on Saturday, in a “March for the NHS” organised by Stroud Against the Cuts, Cheltenham & Gloucester Against Cuts, and Momentum Cheltenham and Gloucester (one of the local branches of the group set up to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party).

A video of the March has already been viewed 3,500 times. On Wednesday 9th March, polling firm Ipsos Mori reported that “Public support for the third round of the junior doctors’ strike is as high as it was for the first two strikes in January and February, [with] the same proportion (65%) supporting junior doctors strikes as for the previous round of action in February (66%) [. Meanwhile] Opposition to junior doctors striking has decreased by five percentage points [from 22%] to 17%”.


Local Junior Doctor Charlotte complained (in a speech recorded on video) that David Cameron and other government ministers had been lying about the dispute. “Does he have any idea about the amazing emergency services that we are already providing?”, she asked. “There are Obs and Gynae services [Obstetrics and Gynaecology] 24/7, there is A&E 24/7, there are junior doctors on the wards dealing with all kinds of emergencies 24/7, 365 days a year.” Addressing Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, she said: “We work weekends Jeremy, we work nights Jeremy, we work all year Jeremy. Trying to use the argument that we need a 7-day NHS to change junior doctor contracts is completely flawed. You cannot spread 5-days worth of 9-5 doctors plus doctors that are providing emergency care 24/7, across 7 days. We are not overstaffed in the week and we cannot be then spread to the weekend. They are not proposing that we actually work more hours, they just want to spread us thinner across the week. But we’re already understaffed during the week! We need more resources. If you want to sell a 7-day NHS to the public, you have to be willing to increase funding, increase the number of nurses, increase the diagnostics staff, increase the number of social workers so you can actually discharge patients at the weekend. Junior doctors are already there all weekend. All night, all day – Christmas, Easter – I’m working Easter weekend for example!”

As well as the speeches from another Junior Doctor, a member of the Royal College of Nurses, and local campaigners, a statement was read out on behalf of Shane Clark - a UNISON steward in the ambulance service who was working and hence unable to make the protest: “UNISON members from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation that provides 999 and out-of-hours doctor services to Gloucestershire has massive concerns about the state of emergency service provision in the NHS.  This is not limited to Gloucestershire because this is a national issue and one that our UNISON colleagues within other neighbouring NHS organisations continue to highlight on an almost daily basis.  

So what is the root issue? Put simply it's a lack of government funding over a long period of time. This long term neglect has all of a sudden caught up with us. […] Our members in UNISON also stand in solidarity alongside the Junior Doctors and groups such as 38Degrees, Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance and Stroud Against Cuts to name but a few - all with the same aim of highlighting these concerns. Together we are stronger and it's great to know so many people care about the great work done by those in the NHS.”


James Beecher from Stroud Against the Cuts spoke about why the group supported the NHS Reinstatement Bill that had its second reading in Parliament on Friday 11th March: “The Bill seeks to reverse not only the Coalition Government’s Health & Social Care Act introduced by Andrew Lansley – which introduced Clinical Commissioning Groups, mandatory tendering of services, and removed the duty to provide comprehensive healthcare – but previous marketising reforms too. Crucially including not only a resolution on PFI and protection for international trade agreements, not only the end of the ‘external market’ that allows private companies to take over our health services, but the ‘internal market’ that forces even public NHS bodies to compete against each other […] The NHS Reinstatement Bill calls for an “organisation” of what is currently disorganised – fragmented and competing.””

Mr Beecher and others expressed disappointment that under 50 MPs attended the debate on the Bill, including only 14 Labour MPs. They said Stroud Against the Cuts would continue to support the bill and encourage MPs to do so. The group will also be supporting further strike action by Junior Doctors, set for 8am on Wed 6th - 8am Fri 8th April and 8am on Tues 26th- 8am Thurs 28th April.


Notes for editors:

1. For more information on the March, including photos and videos, go to the Stroud Against the Cuts Facebook page.

2. For more information on the Junior Doctors strike, organised by the British Medical Association.

3. The full details of the Ipsos Mori polling are available online.




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