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Gloucestershire NHS "SubCo" despite unanswered questions about NHS land, buildings and more

Thursday, 01 March 2018 14:37 administrator
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Campaigners furious as Gloucestershire NHS "SubCo" approved despite unanswered questions about NHS land, buildings and more

Press Release 01/03/2018 – Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public - Contact: James Beecher 07734 058789.

  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust sets up private “subsidiary company” for 675 staff claiming it will save money on VAT
  • Over 900 staff had signed petition against plans
  • Shadow Secretary of Health and Social Care raises the issue in Parliament

In the coming weeks Unison and Unite will be conducting separate indicative ballots to find out whether staff are willing to take industrial action on this issue.

Today - 1st March 2018 - Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced that "The Board has approved the plans to establish a wholly owned subsidiary company (SubCo) effective from 1st April 2018. The company will employ around 675 support staff in estates and facilities, sterile services, and materials management functions".

Reacting to the announcement, James Beecher of Keep Gloucestershire's NHS Public said: "We are extremely disappointed to hear this - the whole SubCo proposal and process stinks. The VAT-avoidance is fishy, £200,000 has been budgeted for advice from dodgy private sector consultants, and there's a huge range of unanswered questions including crucial ones about hospital assets, land and buildings. Local NHS bosses have refused to listen not only to concerns raised by us and fellow campaigners-but have ignored over 900 of their own staff who signed a petition against the plans. They've also disregarded advice from the government’s NHS Providers Finance Director - who wrote to NHS Trusts telling them not to pursue VAT-avoidance just last September. We asked several crucial questions about the plans ahead of the decision and have received no answers [see overleaf] - this is sadly typical of a process which has often given the impression that NHS bosses have something to hide. There's been no formal means for the public to comment - if the plans are so great, why have the public been excluded?"

Eva Ward, County Councillor for Stroud (Green) added: "As a relatively new member of the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HCOSC) at Gloucestershire County Council, I have been astonished to discover that decisions are often made without the opportunity for advance committee scrutiny. The Subco issue hasn’t been included in previous discussions and the committee depend on hospital staff and their union representatives to keep us informed. It is also difficult to accept that some of the current changes within the NHS and social care are considered to be outside the HCOSC remit. I will be pursuing questions about the SubCo at the next HCOSC meeting on 6th March"

The Gloucestershire case was raised in parliament today by Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care, Jonathan Ashworth who said: “I’m sure you will have seen the news that a Foundation Hospital Trust, in Gloucester, has just announced that it is setting up a wholly owned subsidiary. This is where hospital trusts essentially set up a private company and transfer NHS staff, and indeed assets, into that company. Dozens of hospitals are doing this, or looking at doing this, because of the underfunding of the NHS. It will create a two-tier workforce, thousands of jobs could be transferred – and essentially backdoor privatisation it is. Has the Secretary for Health given you any notice that he will come to the House and explain why underfunding of the NHS is allowing the fabric of a public national health service to be undermined in this way?”

Meanwhile, Bath’s Royal United Hospital has decided to postpone any decision on transferring staff to a SubCo, sending a statement to all staff yesterday reading: “we have listened… after careful consideration and discussion the Board of Directors has agreed that more time and information is needed”. This follows a decision by North Bristol NHS Trust to abandon their plans.

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

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:12 ) Read more...
 

NHS in Crisis - Fix it Now - Gloucestershire PROTEST Feb 3rd 2018

Friday, 26 January 2018 18:43 administrator
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Our NHS is being destroyed... it’s not an accident - but it is an emergency!
 

Let’s fight for our NHS: 

NHS in Crisis - Fix it Now - Gloucestershire PROTEST Feb 3rd 2018
Meet at The Cross, Gloucester, 12noon
NO CUTS! NO CLOSURES! NO PRIVATISATION!
 

(Part of nationwide day of protests called by Health Campaigns Together: healthcampaignstogether.com. Please share/invite friends to the protest Facebook event)


Around the country there are chronic bed shortages, waiting times are
getting longer, and operations have been postponed.

 

Cheltenham A&Ehas been downgraded (meaning it isn’t an A&E overnight), Minor Injuries
Units around Gloucestershire have had their opening hours reduced.


Fed-up GPs and other health workers are leaving.

Plans to replace two of the county's community hospitals in the Forest of Dean with one have just been approved, potentially leading to a loss of another 20 beds.


‘Phone/app-only’ services are replacing face-to-face services like the Stop
Smoking service.

Services keep getting handed to private companies to run - from non-emergency ambulances (patient transport, now run by Arriva), Out of Hours care (Care UK), and hospital pharmacy (Lloyds).


The government is underfunding the NHS by at least £22billion between
now and 2020. Gloucestershire faces over £200 million in cuts and a
£100 million hole in their capital budget... and reorganistion into an ‘ACO’.
 


We want an NHS that provides high-quality care, when people need it.
 

To provide good care, the NHS needs enough trained doctors, nurses and other workers - who should be properly paid. We want an end to the pay cap.


That means the NHS needs to be properly funded.
We must stop the underfunding and cuts of recent years.


We don’t want private companies pursuing profits to own or run
NHS services - this risks care and wastes money.


We want an NHS that cooperates to achieve the best care.
We must end forced competition for services that wastes billions in
a fake market - and allows Richard Branson to sue the NHS if contracts
aren’t given to his company.


No-one should go without care because they are unable to pay.
Treatment should be given on the basis of need -
no conditions should get in the way. Funding by progressive
taxation is fairest, charging for care must be opposed.


We want an end to the PFI rip-off, are opposed to the sell off of NHS
land and buildings under the Naylor report, and are concerned
about the introduction of ‘Accountable Care Organisations’ (ACOs),
which may mean private companies deciding which services are
available for free on the NHS.


Finally, we want the NHS to be as democratic as possible - decisions
must be accountable to patients, healthworkers, and the public.

 

Contact us for updates about campaigns, meetings and protests.
Help us spread the word: find the “Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public”
page and group on Facebook, send letters to local papers, and share
copies of this leaflet with friends, family, neighbours or at work.

 

Stroud: 07734 058789 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Cheltenham & Gloucester: 07947 632437 - cheltenham-gloucesteragainstcuts.org
Forest of Dean: holdpressteam.wordpress.com

 

Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS?

Sunday, 15 October 2017 20:57 administrator
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Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS? 

Please join us at Stroud Old Town Hall this coming Saturday 21st October for an event for anyone interested in getting involved in NHS campaigning locally.

Displays and drop-in 10am-12noon,

Workshop 12noon-2pm.

  • Do you want to know more about what is being done to the NHS?
  • Want to understand the impacts of cuts and privatisation locally?
  • Want to do something to prevent and reverse privatisation?
  • Fancy working with others including those who've had success fighting NHS privatisation locally in the past?


Then come to our "Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS?" event this coming Saturday 21st October.

We're hoping to create an open and welcoming space for anyone interested in NHS campaigning - from 10am-12noon we'll have displays with information, videos, and an opportunity to ask your questions one-on-one.

Then from 12noon till 2pm we'll have a workshop exploring what people know, what's going on, and what we can do to defend the NHS here in Stroud and Gloucestershire.

There's a lot to do, and we'd really appreciate help - come and find out how you can contribute.

 

More details and articles about NHS issues we will discuss on the day in our latest newsletter.

Facebook event to share/invite friends: Will you be one of the folk to fight for the NHS?

 

First time you've come across Stroud Against the Cuts? Read our latest newsletters.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 October 2017 21:39 )
 

Our letter re: Stroud District Councillors refusing to pay £500,000 to central govt

Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:35 administrator
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We wrote the following letter, which was published in the Stroud News and Journal on Wednesday 18th October 2017:

 

Dear Editor,


At “Stroud Against The Cuts” we would like to say well done to the Stroud District Councillors who have told the government “Enough is Enough” and are refusing to hand back more than £500,000 to central government.


Austerity has been going on for seven years, ever since the Conservative Party has been in power. In the 2010/11 financial year, Stroud District Council received a Formula Grant of £6.55 million from central government. This has been cut dramatically since to the point where there will soon be no central government grant at all. Nationally, local authorities have been handed cuts of over £20 billion since 2010 – central government grants to local councils have fallen by 38%. This is unfair – it means wealthier areas that can raise more taxation locally are more able to provide for their residents than poorer areas where residents may need more support. Central government cuts have an impact: in this paper there have been stories recently that the council is planning to end free parking, and that around 20% of the staff at the council may lose their jobs. Meanwhile, the future of the Subscription Rooms is uncertain, and there are rumours about the Museum in the Park too.


Although political parties have important differences, it is good to see that local Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat district councillors will stand together against central government cuts to our district. Together councillors from these parties make up the majority of Stroud District Council, and their cooperation has made this challenge possible. Hopefully, their decision to challenge the government will provide an example to other councils within Gloucestershire - and support councils throughout the country who feel forced to take similar action.


Stroud Against the Cuts is not affiliated to any political party, and we have challenged the District Council on previous occasions. Credit where it is due, we would like to thank these councillors for showing courage and leadership in resisting the government; and we offer our support in applying further pressure.

 

NHS 69th anniversary event - Wed 5th July, 6-8pm

Saturday, 01 July 2017 19:45 administrator
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03/07/2016 Press Release: Campaigners mark 69th anniversary of NHS founding

What: Picnic with food and drink, music, face-painting and sharing of thoughts on the NHS

When: Wednesday 5th July, from 6pm (till around 8pm)

Where: Trinity Pocket Park, next to the Trinity Rooms (opposite Stroud Hospital/Stroud Maternity Hospital)

Description:

It's the 69th anniversary of the founding of the NHS on Wednesday July 5th 2017 (1), and campaign group Stroud Against the Cuts (2) will be holding a bring-and-share picnic involving music, face-painting, and thoughts on the past, present and future of the NHS - including short updates on local and national NHS campaigning. The event is part of the national Health Campaigns Together week of events and action in every area (3) which kicked off with the “Not One Day More” demonstration in London on Saturday 1st July (4). Organisers are inviting people to dress in 1948-style or wear NHS blue/white, and to prepare "party pieces" - short comments on recent experiences of the NHS, memories of how the service has changed, and perspectives on which aspects of the NHS we should celebrate.

Quote:

James Beecher, one of the organisers said: “We want to celebrate the principles behind the NHS – of comprehensive and universal health care provided on the basis of need not ability to pay, paid from taxation – the fairest way. We think high-quality, prompt, healthcare needs well-trained, well-rewarded workers – and that achieving a system that provides this efficiently and affordably means a service that is publicly owned and run – accountable to the public. On Wednesday, we will both celebrate the NHS and reaffirm our commitment to fight the policies which have undermined our the service in recent years and decades - through privatisation, emphasis on competition rather than cooperation, and attacks on the terms and conditions of workers – from doctors and nurses to cleaners. We’ll be mentioning the ongoing local Minor Injuries Units, privatisation of the Out of Hours service, the problems of the ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ for Gloucestershire and other aspects of health campaigning locally and nationally.”

More information is available on the Stroud Against the Cuts website and on Facebook

Notes:

1.       The 5th July is the day then Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (now known as Trafford General Hospital). Stroud Against the Cuts held a similar celebratory picnic last year and plan to hold a larger event to mark the 70th anniversary in 2018.

2.       Stroud Against the Cuts was formed in November 2010, and in 2011/12 successfully fought to prevent privatisation of Gloucestershire’s community health services – the event, like that campaign, is organised under the Keep Gloucestershire’s NHS Public name through which the group is affiliated to national groups Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together.

3.       Health Campaigns Together is a national network of national and local groups campaigning on health policy.

4.       Members of Stroud Against the Cuts joined thousands of people at the Not One Day More demonstration in London, on a coach of 65 people including members of Unite Community, Cheltenham & Gloucester Against Cuts, Unite the Unison and other groups.

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 July 2017 10:47 )
 


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