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Great Result for SATC

Tuesday, 16 October 2012 20:32 administrator
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On Monday 15th October, over 20 members and supporters of Stroud Against the Cuts went to Sanger House in Brockworth to hear the result of the board of NHS Gloucestershire's final vote on the  consultation process. The vote was unanimous in favour of establishing a new, standalone NHS Trust in the county - what SATC have been campaigning for all along!

 

This is a victory for anti-cuts and anti-privatisation campaigners across the county, and thanks are due to everyone who helped the campaign in any way, including signing petitions, marching, donating money, writing letters and completing consultation forms. 

 

The campaign has taken almost 2 years now so a celebration is planned, before continuing to campaign against creeping privatisation across the NHS and destruction of staff pay and conditions. Stroud Against the Cuts will also be spreading the word about our achievement to inspire and motivate other campaigners to Keep the NHS Public across the UK. Please help to do this. For the full press release about the victory, see below.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 October 2012 10:21 )
 

A landmark triumph for people power

Monday, 15 October 2012 12:16 administrator
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Press Release – Stroud Against the Cuts – 15/10/12 – for immediate release

Gloucestershire’s Community Hospitals to stay in NHS –outsourcing decision reversed

Today Gloucestershire NHS campaigners were celebrating victory as Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust

announced that the county’s 8 community hospitals and health services (including 3000 nurses and other health

workers[1]) would remain in the NHS – reversing an earlier decision to outsource services, in what would have been

the largest such transfer in the country.  The board of NHS Gloucestershire voted today to create a new standalone

NHS Trust [2], and to reject the option of opening health services up to private sector bids.  Locally this means staff

and hospitals will remain wholly part of the NHS. At a time when many NHS Community health services elsewhere in

the country are being tendered and taken over by private companies like Virgin and Serco [3, 4], and when concern

about the consequences of the recent NHS Act is increasing at the highest levels [5], it is also a decision with

significant national implications, and the first decision of its kind.

The decision follows a hard-fought 18 month campaign by anti-cuts campaigners across the county, including a

High Court challenge against the Primary Care Trust’s outsourcing plans by 76 year old Michael Lloyd of Stroud,

who argued that NHS options for services had not properly been considered.  Lawyers acting for Mr Lloyd obtained

a court order in February 2012 [6] halting the proposed outsourcing and requiring NHS Gloucestershire to go back

to the drawing board and properly consider NHS options. In May, health ministers conceded [7] and the PCT

accepted [8] what campaigners had always argued - that creating an NHS Trust was an option, and that there was

no legal requirement on local health bosses to put services up for tender. The court order had also required NHS

Gloucestershire to consult staff and the public – consultations which resulted in 91% of staff, and 96% of the public

voting for the services to be run by an NHS Trust [9].

Michael Lloyd, a retired railway-man from Stroud, said “I am delighted by today’s decision. I can remember what

life was like before the NHS existed, and we cannot allow a return to the fear and poverty that ill health brought in

those days, and indeed still brings in the American market-based system.  Our NHS is too precious to be handed

over to anyone on a political whim, nor should it have to compete against private providers, who are only interested

in maximising their profits. The public, and the staff who provide my healthcare, should have been consulted in the

first place, so I’m very pleased that our voices have been listened to at last.”

Caroline Molloy of Stroud Against the Cuts said “This is a triumph for people power, and the outcome we’ve worked

for from the start. We would like to pay tribute to the tens of thousands of people across Gloucestershire who have

contributed to this victory for our NHS, whether by marching, filling in consultations and petitions, attending

meetings, contributing financially, or helping the campaign in countless other ways. We also owe a huge debt to the

brave members of staff and trade unionists who spoke out, to the national campaigners like Keep Our NHS Public

who have supported us, to the legal services commission who made the court case possible through legal aid

funding, and most of all to Mr Lloyd, without whom, all these NHS staff and local hospitals would have already left

the NHS. We were told over and over that there was no alternative to outsourcing our hospitals – but today we’ve

proved that to be false. We’ve also shown that despite statements to the contrary, competitive tendering out of the

NHS isn’t compulsory, and that local health bosses retain discretion to keep all services in house.”

Claude Mickleson of Forest against the Cuts added “We know that the NHS still faces wider threats, both locally and

nationally, with widespread attempts to privatise, cuts staff numbers and to lower pay.  We will need to be vigilant –

but we will be better able to resist future attacks now that we have won this battle.  We hope today’s outcome makes

everyone – including the Clinical Commissioning Group who will soon take over decision making in Gloucestershire -

realise that when the principles of a free, publicly owned NHS are under attack, people can and will stand up protect it.”

ENDS
For more info please contact Caroline Molloy 07931 302507

Notes for Editors
[1] The services affected are eight community hospitals (Stroud, Cirencester, Dilke, Fairford, Lydney, Moreton,

Tewkesbury, and the new Vale Hospital in Dursley) and nine health clinics (Beeches Green Stroud, Stonehouse

Health Clinic, Cinderford Health Centre, Coleford Health Centre, Lydney Health Centre, Hesters Way Healthy Living

Centre, Holts Health Centre Newent, Lydbrook Health Centre, Symn Lane Clinic), as well as District Nursing, Health

Visiting, Podiatry.

[2]As the Health & Social Care Act 2012 abolished Primary Care Trusts with effect from April 2013, the PCT’s

‘provider arms’, ie community services, have had to find new homes.  In most of the country these services have

been housed in other NHS Trusts, but across the South West there was a widespread move to outsource to

non-NHS providers, a move that started under the ‘Transforming Community Services’ programme introduced by

the last government.

[3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/features/9193015/Healthy-competition-in-the-NHS-is-a-sick-joke.html

[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-19786652

[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/13/david-nicholson-fears-nhs-reforms

[6] http://www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/2012/10/nhs-gloucestershire-nhs-swindon-board-papers-for-october-15th-2012/ see appendix 2 for court order

[7] http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/exchanges_between_doh_and_glouce in particular, see second letter from Department of Health to Geoffrey Cliften Brown MP (attachment 701443), dated 21st May.  There had been earlier misunderstanding about the need for tendering in some quarters, see for example: http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/9655101.Stroud_MP_Neil_Carmichael_refuses_to_join__Keep_NHS_public__campaign/

[8] See for example http://keepglosnhspublic.posterous.com/communication-from-the-board-of-nhs-glouceste letter from Jan Stubbings dated 16 May (scroll down)

[9] http://www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/2012/10/nhs-gloucestershire-nhs-swindon-board-papers-for-october-15th-2012/ appendix 3 (staff consultation results), app.x 5 (public consultation results) 

Last Updated ( Monday, 15 October 2012 15:18 )
 

PRESS RELEASE: GLOUCESTERSHIRE PEOPLE POWER ON SHOW AGAIN

Monday, 13 February 2012 17:31 administrator
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Don't forget to keep signing our petition: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/keep-gloucestershire-s-nhs-public/sign.html

Below is our most recent press release. We're trying hard to keep this website up to date, but if you are a reading this as an employee of a media organisation, do email or call for the latest information.

 

PRESS RELEASE 13/02/2012                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Caroline Molloy 07931 302507
 
GLOUCESTERSHIRE PEOPLE POWER ON SHOW AGAIN

Summary: Last week, Thursday 9th February, a Gloucestershire resident discovered that his legal case heard in the High Court in London would not be answered by a defence. Instead, NHS Gloucestershire, the Defendants, agreed not to proceed with their plans to transfer of all nine of the county’s community hospitals and local health services out of the NHS and into a standalone ‘Community Interest Company’ (CIC) in an out of court settlement. 

 
In the recent case, Gloucestershire health bosses had planned to transfer the county’s community health services, including over 3000 NHS nurses, physiotherapists, health visitors and podiatrists (1), out of the NHS on 1st October 2011. At 2.15pm in Court 19 of the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday, NHS Gloucestershire and Michael Lloyd issued a joint statement in which the Primary Care Trust agreed to withdraw plans to transfer hospitals, health clinics and services out of the NHS. They agreed to go back to the drawing board, to consult the local community and health workers about what they want, and to seek NHS options, which do not require a competitive tendering process (2). Maternity and prison health services were transferred to the Acute Trust (Gloucester and Cheltenham Hospitals) and the 2gether Trust (mental health services) last year, which campaigners argue indicates there are at least two possible routes to keep the rest of Gloucestershire's community health services in the NHS.
 
The joint statement marks the latest stage in a campaign that has involved thousands of people in protests, public meetings, petitions and fundraising (3). Campaigners have pledged to continue to work with health workers, unions and the general public in pushing for the services to remain within the NHS.
 
James Beecher, Chair of Stroud Against the Cuts said: “We’re winning, but we have not won yet. We will need to continue to work together as citizens and health workers, making our views known, and we will be organising a public meeting as soon as possible (4). We continue to collect signatures on our online ‘Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public petition (5). As Nye Bevan said, “The NHS will continue to exist for as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it”. We hope our local health services will more remain in the NHS, publicly owned and accountable, for many years to come.”
 
Caroline Molloy, a spokesperson of Stroud Against the Cuts, added: “We are delighted that options for community health services in Gloucestershire to remain within the NHS are now back on the table. This is what the community wanted.  This outcome would not have been possible without the work and support we have received from the people of Gloucestershire”
 

Statements of support have been flooding in from members of the public, health staff and national figures (6), many of these are available on the Stroud Against the Cuts website: www.stroudagainstcuts.co.uk (7), along with further information about the case.

 
Click Read more for notes (1) to (7).
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 February 2012 10:36 ) Read more...
 

PRESS RELEASE: CRUNCH POINT ARRIVES IN LONG CAMPAIGN AGAINST LOCAL NHS PRIVATISATION

Friday, 12 October 2012 11:02 administrator
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CAMPAIGNERS URGE PCT BOARD TO HEED MASSIVE PUBLIC VOTE FOR NHS TRUST TO RUN LOCAL HEALTH SERVICES

Interview/Photo Opportunity: Monday October 15th, [campaigners from across Gloucestershire will attend an extraordinary board meeting and  respond to the decision on the future of Gloucestershire’s health services]. Contact: Caroline Molloy, Stroud Against the Cuts - 07931 302507

On Monday, October 15th, the Board of NHS Gloucestershire will hold an extraordinary meeting to decide whether Gloucestershire’s community health services will be run by an NHS Trust, or opened up to bids from the private sector.

This marks a decisive moment in Gloucestershire campaigners’ long running campaign to keep the county’s community hospitals, clinics and health services in the NHS.  Earlier plans to transfer Gloucestershire’s community hospitals, clinics and health services [1], to a “social enterprise” (a non-NHS body) on 1st October 2011, were halted in an eleventh hour legal challenge by retired railway worker Michael Lloyd, 76, from Stroud, in Feb 2012.

On Wednesday 10th October 2012, NHS Gloucestershire revealed the outcome of a public consultation, which they were obliged to conduct as part of the legal settlement reached with Mr Lloyd. NHS Gloucestershire state [2] that “During the 12 week engagement period, NHS Gloucestershire has received a significant level of feedback regarding the future management of its community health services. The overwhelming majority of respondents, from all groups, expressed a preference for Option 1 – the establishment of a new NHS Trust.” (emphasis added). Of 2,564 responses, 96% voted for Option 1, in addition to a petition of 6,530 signatures expressing support for Option 1.

James Beecher from Stroud Against the Cuts responded by saying “We would like to thank all those who completed the survey and who’ve helped the campaign get to this stage. We’ve always said that putting our health services out to tender was unnecessary and that staying in the NHS via a new NHS Trust was possible, popular, and appropriate.  We’re glad that NHS Gloucestershire has now made clear that this is a valid option and one for which, as they say themselves, support is “overwhelming”.”

Caroline Molloy from Stroud Against the Cuts added “Having established that both patients and staff want our NHS to remain in public hands, without tendering, that this is entirely possible, and the considerable disadvantages of going out to tender, it would be astonishing and irrational if the board instead opted for ongoing uncertainty and the risk of private take-over.  We urge the board to listen to the public, and to allow staff to get on with the job of looking after patients within the NHS.”.

The court settlement also required NHS Gloucestershire to survey NHS staff, and the report released on Wednesday [3] again states that their “overwhelming preference” is “to be a standalone organisation in the form of an NHS Trust”, with 1,482 staff voting for this option ( 91.03% of the responses).

The report also confirms that going out to tender would be a lengthy and complex process which could lead to services being split up, that a private sector takeover would incur additional costs which would have to be recouped in ‘efficiency savings’, and if this option were chosen, the ownership of hospital and health buildings would be transferred out of the NHS, to a company called ‘PropCo’.

Notes to editors:

[1] The services that are under discussion include eight community hospitals (Stroud, Cirencester, Dilke, Fairford, Lydney, Moreton, Tewkesbury, and the new Vale Hospital in Dursley) and nine health clinics (Beeches Green Stroud, Stonehouse Health Clinic, Cinderford Health Centre, Coleford Health
Centre, Lydney Health Centre, Hesters Way Healthy Living Centre, Holts Health Centre Newent, Lydbrook Health Centre, Symn Lane Clinic (Wotton-under-Edge)), as well as services such as District Nursing and Podiatry.

[2] For the report on the public “engagement exercise” see: http://www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/?wpfb_dl=2454 [1]

[3]     For the report on the survey of affected staff see:
http://www.nhsglos.nhs.uk/?wpfb_dl=2452 [3] 

Last Updated ( Friday, 13 March 2015 15:47 )
 

PRESS RELEASE: NHS Services Escape Privatisation after High court Drama

Thursday, 09 February 2012 17:35 administrator
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PRESS RELEASE 09/02/2011 

NHS Services Escape Privatisation after High court Drama

Statement from Stroud Against the Cuts, one of the local anticuts groups that supported the case.

 

James Beecher from SATC said: "We are delighted that options for community health services in Gloucestershire to remain within the NHS are now back on the table. This is what the people of Gloucestershire wanted. This outcome shows what can be achieved, and gives the people of Gloucestershire, health workers and health unions the opportunity to continue to work together to defend our local NHS hospitals and services."

 

Caroline Molloy, also from SATC, added: "It will continue to be crucial for people to make their views known, and we will be organising a public meeting as soon as possible. We continue to collect signatures on our online petition. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us. As Nye Bevan said, "The NHS will continue to exist for as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it." We hope our local health services will remain in the NHS, publicly owned and accountable, for many years to come."


Click Read More for contact information and the statement issued by Michael Lloyd and NHS Gloucestershire (or click here for the statement alone: http://www.stroudagainstcuts.co.uk/fightback/healthcarecuts/38-healthcare/110-joint-statement-from-nhs-gloucestershire-and-michael-lloyd-claimant-in-the-judicial-review.html).

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 February 2012 11:55 ) Read more...
 


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