Conference on the pandemic and privatisation. This online conference has been set up by Health Campaigns Together – it wll be free to attend but you must register through Eventbrite if you wish to attend. It will be held on Thurs Feb 25th from 6.30 – 8.30pm more detals are available online through the HCT website
Launch of a Wealden branch of this campaign – Angie Smith from Uckfield will be setting up another branch of this campaign in Wealden and will be holding a launch meeting online on the 27th January. The meeting will be held using Microsoft Teams from 6.30 – 8.30pm . It would be great to have campaigners from Eastbourne and Hastings join this initial meeting.
A final decision will be taken on the future of Eastbourne’s walk-in centre in early December. Already the Review Board of the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) has published their report on the potential closure which unfortunately is recommending the centre closes. We have not been surprised by this outcome although it is extremely disappointing.
The petition has had an amazing level of support from the public and the online petition is still continuing to grow. But more importantly is the fact that as a campaign we have put together so many other arguments against the closure which appear to have been completely ignored by HOSC.
We have submitted our arguments to the independent organisation conducting the public engagement process and they have agreed to include these arguments in their final report. We are also due to be meeting with the CCG in the coming weeks.
But, the issue of primary care services in the town now seems like the elephant in the room. Primary care is so vital for our health but it is also vital for our hospital. Good primary care services keep people from needing hospital care.
But now we are seeing primary care hubs being set up such as the one in Victoria Drive. Local GP surgeries close to our homes, where we would get to know our GP and he or she would likewise get to know us are soon to be a thing of the past. But, most GPs would tel you that those doctor/ patient relationships are of huge importance in their ability to deliver the best care possible.
As we move to these large impersonal hubs we will also find that we are often given appointments with paramedics, physios, nurses and others with less qualifications than our own GPs. If what they say is true, that lesser qualified professionals, can do the work of a GP them why did we ever spend so much money training doctors in the first place?
This method of delivering primary care mirrors the American system which is set up to maximise the profits of their private health corporations. The US system of healthcare is the most expensive in the world and the most inefficient. Americans routinely are denied care that they need and are more likely to go bankrupt because of healthcare costs than anyone else in the world.
So much of our NHS is now being remodelled to mirror the US system. Which is why we refuse to believe claims that our NHS is not being privatised.
Right now in Eastbourne saving our walk-in centre is absolutely critical to primary care and in protecting public health and our hospital. We have ceased collecting petition signatures on Thursday lunchtimes but are organising a public protest to be held in the town centre on the 14th November at 12pm on Banker’s Corner.
This protest will be in accordance with any regulations that may exist relative to Covid 19 on the day. Please if you are coming, wear a mask and observe social distancing.
We will be inviting a number of people to saty a few words about the closure from the prganisations who have supported this campaign. Please come along and show your support for this vital service.
Returning to our campaign against the closure of Eastbourne’s walk-in centre
Our CCG has reopeneed the consultation into the closure of Eastbourne’s walk-in centre. Although we would still argue this consultation cannot be run properly we have to accept that by the 2nd December we will be getting a final decision. We had ceased to be collecting petition signatures ouside the station but we now need to return to being a regular presence in the town. We will be holding a pubic protest each Thursday lunchtime outside Eastbourne station from 12pm to 2pm. Please try and join us if you can.
The consltation runs until the 14th September so please try and make sure you complete the consultation document and voice any concerns you may have over this closure directly to the CCG. Please don’t forget to sign our petition and share amongst your contacts particularly on social networks.
Socially distanced protest for life to be protected
The Government’s mishandling of the Covid 19 pandemic is leading to an unacceptable and unnecessary loss of life in the UK.
Please note: This event was initially planned for last Wednesday but was cancelled as rain was forecast. We now plan to hold this event next Wednesday the 24th June at 12.30pm
The death rate from coronavirus, in the UK has become one of the highest in the world yet we had the benefit of hindsight and this could have been avoided. Our lockdown was too little and too late. The mangement of the crisis once lockdown was introduced has been utterly disastrous with a lack of PPE resulting in the death of numerous healthcare workers. The fact that our healthcare service had been starved of funds, fragmented by privatisation and had lost 10,000 doctors and 40,0000 nurses since 2010 left it barely able to cope. An intensive care nurse told me that although their bed capacity was increased to manage the pandemic the lack of trained staff left existing staff responsible for many more people. She said this has had a psychological effect on them all. The UK lacked adequate ventilators and an adequate oxygen supply yet our Government had known this pandemic was likely since 2010. Elderly people with Covid 19 have been discharged from hospital and transferred to care homes where they are left to die alone. And, where workers may not have adequate PPE to either protect themselves or other residents.
But now our Government is relaxing lockdown and people are starting to go out and about again. Beaches have been crammed with people on hot days, workers are having to get on trains and buses again and many have no option but to forget about socially distancing themselves. And schools have started reopening, although many local authorities refused to allow this. And, many parents have kept their kids at home. Modellers are predicting a second wave of Covid 19 by the end of June.
We believe that something has to be done to stop this killing, because that is what it is. We have a Government who is taking actions, or refusing to take actions, that are resulting in the unnecessary death of many.
For this reason we will be holding a peaceful and socially distanced protest in Eastbourne town centre on Wed 24 June at 12.30pm at Banker’s Corner, Terminus Rd, Eastbourne. We will provide placards for you to hold and you can choose which one you take out of four. These will say
- We stand in solidarity with victims of racial killings
- We stand in solidarity with kids whose lives are threatened by the premature reopening of schools
- We stand in solidarity with workers whse lives are threatened by the lack of PPE
- We stand in solidarity with the elderly left to die of coronavirus in care homes
In order for us to have the right number of placards we are asking that you contact us and let us know if you are planning to attend. Please email Lucette and let her know which placard you would prefer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We ask that everybody wears a mask and stays 2m from any other protestors. Please don’t attempt to engage any members of the public in conversation as we don’t want people coming up to us to speak. Please bring your friends and families and lets send a powerful message, safely, that Eastbourne will not tolerate this loss of life.
We will be cancelling all film and speaker events until further notice and all of or regular meetings at the View Hotel
The first of our film events – another chance to see The Great NHS Heist
Bob Gill is a working GP, passionate NHS campaigner and a film producer. He has produced this superb documentary film which explains how the NHS, that we own, is piece by piece being taken away from our ownership and into private hands. His film shows how this theft has been happening for many years and is often taking place without the general public even realising it. He also documents how this transfer of our healthcare system to private hands is destroying the standard of care that we receive.
This event will be free, and open to anyone who cares about our NHS but please do book your tickets on Eventbrite if you would like to attend. The film will start at 6.30pm so please arrive in plenty of time so we can make a prompt start. St Elisabeth’s Church is at 268 Victoria Drive, Eastbourne BN20 8QX and has full disabled access.
Film/ Speaker Events at St Elisabeth’s Church
St Elisabeth’s Church in Victoria Drive has been booked by this campaign for events held every two months on the last Friday of the month. These events will all be either a film screening or a speaker event and we hope very much that this will help raise awareness amongst our population of why we are all experiencing so many problems within the NHS.
These events will be held on the following dates this year from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
- 28th Feb
- 24th April
- 24th June
- 28th August
- 30th October
St Elisabeth’s Church is at 268 Victoria Drive, Eastbourne BN20 8QX and has full disabled access.
Protest against the closure of the Walk-In Centre at Eastbourne station
The Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG has opened a formal public consultation into the closure of the Walk-In Centre at Eastbourne station.
Already we have met up on four occasions this year and had groups of us outside the station collecting signatures on the petition against the closure. But we have now organised a protest which will take place at 1pm on Sat 29th February. We are hoping many other groups and indivduals will support this campaign and join us at this protest.
You clearly want to keep our walk-in centre. When we have been out collecting signatures on the petition 80-90% of the people we approach are more than happy to sign. Yet our CCG seems determined to go ahead with this plan.
Many of the people I have spoken to will ask me why this move is even being suggested. The CCG has given three reasons why they feel the Walk-In Centre is no longer needed. These are that:
- We now have evening and weekend appointments available at some GP surgeries in the town
- We can access the 111 service at any time of the day or night seven days a week
- There is now an Urgent Treatment Centre at the hospital
They say that they reached this decision after extensive research into how and when the walk-in centre is used. But the fact remains that if you went to the walk-in centre and asked to see a doctor you may well be told there is a four hour wait. So it would seem that the public are still needing that centre.
You may remember that we were running surveys of public opinion both online and on paper. Some of the findings we saw when analysing your responses go against the claims our CCG is making. These are that:-
Less than 20% of the people who responded to our surveys said they no longer have difficulty getting a GP appointment when they need it.
Over 95% of you feel that the 111 service could not replace the Walk-In Centre and only 14% of people said they would rate the standard of care the 111 service offers as good.
Nearly 90% of you feel the Urgent Treatment Centre at the hospital would not make a good replacement for the Walk-In Centre.
Many of you have given us moving accounts of times when the Walk-In Centre has saved your life and there seems to be an endless list of reasons why it should exist. The central location of the centre has been of huge significance many times.
So hear is what you can do if you want to help save this service:-
- Keep signing our online petition and sharing it with friends and family
- Become involved with our campaign and help collect signatures in the town centre
- If you belong to a local organisation ask them if they will give their backing to this campaign. It will add weight to our argument if we can show many local organisations are backing us. If you can get a link to our online petition on your website that too would help. Please get in touch by emailing us on email@example.com
- Come along to the protest on the 29th February at 1pm outside the station.
- Please do engage with the CCG’s public consultation. They have this dedicated webpage where you can read their consultation document and get a link to their online survey. Or, you can contact them on 01273 403687 or email EHSCCG.YourSay@nhs.net. There are also printed booklets you can complete available in the walk-in centre.
Snap election 2019
It is vitally important that for the 2019 snap election we get a message to voters that this election is not all about Brexit.
Health Campaigns Together has supplied us with 4000 of an election special edition of their newspaper. This paper is a fantastic resource for Labour Party campaigners which sends a clear message saying We can’t trust the Tories with the NHS. We have already delivered some around Eastbourne, 500 have gone to Wealden Labour and 500 have gone to Bexhill and Battle Labour. If you feel you could help distribute some of these papers then please contact us, if you give us your address we can deliver papers to you.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
SCREENING OF DR BOB GILL’S FILM THE GREAT NHS HEIST
We are delighted to have the opportunity to be showing this shocking expose of how our Government has been secretly preparing our NHS for a corporate takeover next Tuesday in Eastbourne. Produced by Dr Bob Gill a GP in South-East London this film is a must see for anyone who wants to vote #NHS.
Away from any media scrutiny our NHS has been completely restructured since the 2012 Health and Social Care Act was made law. Our healthcare service that was rated the best in the world in 2010 has been undergoing a structural transformation to become more and more like the US system over the last seven years.
Dr Bob Gill has exposed how this transformation has been taking place without many of us realising it. The underfunding has played an important role in allowing this transformation to happen. As services are defunded we have all become aware of issues such as increasing waiting lists, hospital departments closing, problems accessing a GP and many more. The aim of the Government has been to deliberately create failures in the service so we all fall out of love with the NHS and not put up any resistance when they announce that corporations are taking over.
You may be thinking that all that sounds like some crazy conspiracy theory and a bit far-fetched. But you can go and look at the Ridley Report written in 1977 for Maggie Thatcher which details how public services can be privatised. In the report it clearly states how underfunding and creating system failures can be used to reduce public opposition to privatisation. Or, you can just remember how Maggie got away with privatising British Rail.
Privatisation in Britain of public services has rarely benefitted anyone other than the wealthy corporations – there is no reason to believe the privatisation of the NHS would be any different. It is abhorrent to think that our Government has been willing to allow people to be harmed by failures in our NHS simply to achieve their goals of privatising the service with little opporsition from the publlic.
Our NHS is on the brink of being captured by the American Health Insurance Corporations. Next Thursday, however we go to the polls and we can vote for our NHS and get a Government in place who will place people before profit.
Make sure you know how to vote for your NHS by coming along to see this remarkable film. Please register on Eventbrite if you wish to come.
Dr Bob Gill is still seeking finding for the making of this film – if you feel you would like to contribute please visit his GoFundMe page.
We also intend to set up NHS hustings in towns around East Sussex. The first of these to be arranged is for Wealden. This will take place on 30th Nov from 6.30pm- 8.30pm at the James West Community Centre, Brunel Drive, Hailsham BN27 3UB.
If you wish to attend please arrive in plenty of time so we can get started promptly. If you wish to ask a question at this event then please submit your question to us by the morning of the 29th Nov. The Centre has full disabled access. Contact: email@example.com
THIS EVENT HAS HAD TO BE CANCELLED AS BBC SOUTH-EAST HAVE ORGANISED ANOTHER EVENT AT THE TOWNER THAT EVENING WHERE THEY WILL BE SPEAKING TO ALL CANDIDATES
The NHS hustings for Eastbourne has now been arranged for the 9th December. It will take place at Seaside Community Hub, 125 Seaside, Eastbourne, BN22 7NN from 18.30 pm to 20.30 pm.
If you wish to attend please arrive in plenty of time so we can get started promptly. If you wish to ask a question at this event then please submit your question to us by the morning of the 8th Dec. The Centre has full disabled access. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
BEXHILL AND BATTLE
THIS EVENT HAS HAD TO BE CANCELLED AS CANDIDATES WERE UNAVAILABLE ON THe 5th Dec
The NHS hustings for Bexhill and Battle has now been arranged for the 5th December. It will take place at St Martha’s Church Hall on Cooden Sead Rd, Bexhill TN39 4SL from 18.30pm to 20.30pm.
If you wish to attend please arrive in plenty of time so we can get started promptly. If you wish to ask a question at this event then please submit your question to us by the morning of the 4th Dec. The Church Hall has full disabled access. Contact: email@example.com
Please Note – The Film screening of Sicko is now cancelled
Film screening – Sicko
Kino-Teatr, 43-49 Norman Road, St Leonards-on-sea TN38 0EQ
November 2nd 10.30am
The film is, unfortunately, now very relevant to us as we head rapidly towards a US style healthcare system. It compares the US system with other healthcare systems around the world including our own NHS.
It was made at a time when the US healthcare system was ranked 37 out of 191 systems examined by the World Health Organisation. At the time certain measures, such as infant mortality and life expectancy in the States, were equal to those of countries with much less economic wealth. The film compares the US system with other healthcare systems around the world including our NHS. and includes interviews with people who thought they had coverage but were denied care when they needed it.
This is a powrful portrayal of what awaits us as a country if we fail to act now and prevent this Government from pushing our NHS furher and further towards a US-style system.
Tickets are free but limited, if you wish to go along please register for a ticket on Eventbrite.
Film screening – Under the Knife
Martello Suite, the View Hotel, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 4DN
October 15th – 6.45pm for a 7pm start
We have been offered the chance to have a film screening of a documentary on how the NHS has evolved over the years to the crisis point we are witnessing today.
The film Under the Knife by Tarquin Ramsay and Pamela Kleinot charts the history of the NHS from the socialised medicine of 1948 to the system we have today that is so close to being just another private healthcare system.
I hope it will answer the question about how our politicians have got away with destroying something that is ultimately so vital for all our lives.
The View Hotel has full disabled access, please do arrive on time so we can get started promptly. There will be time for questions and answers after the film and we hope to be announcing one or two speakers soon who will join us for the evening.
Read more about this film on the Eventbrite page. Tickets are free but please do register to attend in order to avoid disappointment.
Monthly plannining meetings
Brodie Hall, next to Christchurch with St Phillip, Seaside, Eastbourne BN22 7NN 7-9pm
We now have the use of Brodie Hall in Eastbourne for a monthly planning meeting on the 4th Wednesday of every month. These meetings will be an important and essential aspect of this campaign as they will give us an opportunity to share ideas and information and co-ordinate our efforts for maximum effect.
Everybody will be welcome to these meetings, so please feel free to just turn-up if you want to find out more. Nobody will be expected to commit to doing anything more than they feel able to.
I hope through these meetings this campaign will grow and become effective at protecting local services.
We are an East Sussex campaign and so I hope in time to find other venues outside of Eastbourne for similar meetings. But at the moment are finances are very limited.
Brodie Hall is a good start so please try and get along to our first meeting on September 25th.
Mental Health Crisis Summit
Royal Free London – Saturday 28th September 10am-5pm
It would be hard to have missed the fact that mental health services are in a crisis. In particular, the services offered to our children and teenagers are hopelessly inadequate. It is necessary now, that as a NHS campaign we focus our attention on psychiatric services in particular. Locally we have lost around 1/3 of all our psychiatric inpatient beds and teachers are talking about how mental health problems are now very common in schoolchildren. But, they are also talking about how they are being left to try and manage this with little help from services.
If you are interested in attending this conference here are the details on the Health Campaigns Together website.
Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt
Devonshire Park Theatre October 11th
We all need a bit of light relief, and its fantastic when you can combine it with your normal campaigning activity! Many of you wil have read or at least heard of the Adam Kay book This is Going to Hurt. It is a brilliant account of the outrageous pressures and demands that we place on our junior doctors and was an eye opener for me.
Adam Kay became a junior doctor in 2004 and quit the profession before he reached consultant level. He wrote the book when he saw how Jeremy Hunt was treating junior doctors, as he wanted the public to know more about the demands they are under.
He is now a comedian, and his book is very funny as well as shocking. But, he also does a theatre show and in October it will be coming to the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne.
If you feel you would like to join with fellow campaigners and go as a group to see this show then it is on October 11th at 8pm. If you feel you would like to come, the cost of the tickets are £26. If you make a donation to the campaign using the donate button on the website and then email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to say how many tickets you have paid for I will make a group booking on the 9th September.
Review of the film Groundswell
The screening of the film Groundswell attracted around thirty people. The questions and answers session was lively and clearly demonstrated the passion with which the Eastbourne public care about their NHS. I would like to thank all who came along on that day, especially those of you who assisted me in setting up and those who spoke at the event. Carol Mills has written this review of the film for anyone who was unable to get along to see it.
By Carol Mills
This shoe string documentary by independent film maker John Furse charts a group of grassroots campaigners from Darlington who set out to oppose the privatisation of the NHS with the forming of the ‘999 Call For the NHS’ Campaign.
It is a David and Goliath story. “The film follows the campaigners’ increasingly urgent efforts to alert the public to the threats from plans to reconstruct the NHS on private sector business lines involving major international corporations” -JF. It also documents the 999ers committed support to the vital NHS Reinstatement Bill that would restore the NHS as a publicly owned and publicly run service.
The story follows the group from its inception in early 2014; through to their 300-mile Jarrow to London People’s March For The NHS in September 2014. It maps out their struggles and hopes along the way ending with their lobbying success at the Labour Party Conference 2017 when their campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill was unanimously adopted by party delegates.
The Campaign began when Darlington working mum Joanna Adams started sending out tweets from her living room. And along with other main protagonists Steve Carne, Deborah Harrington and Jo Land and fellow Save Our NHS campaigners, the Campaign grew from there. When told “I don’t think you realise how much you do” Joanna responded “I do, but I don’t know how to stop, when we have saved the NHS I will stop”.
“Groundswell covers a tipping point in Britain’s political landscape as the ‘new’ politics’ confronts the ‘old’ in the wake of the 2008 global banking crisis” – JF. The film documents the “journey that took political innocents into the darker recesses of British democracy as they were confronted by the machinations of the ‘old’ party politics which they defied”- JF.
The struggles campaigners have had with the one group who they should be able to rely on for support, the Labour Party, are clearly alarming. The ‘New Labour’ devotion to private sector interests in the NHS are sadly still there. Worryingly, the film shows Joanna even receiving a poison pen letter from somebody in Labour desperate to halt her efforts to fight for the NHS.
Covering two General Elections, the film reveals the anger and disillusionment at the time of the 2015 election when Labour suffered the historic loss that handed the running of the country of to the Tories in majority. Then with the shock Corbyn Leadership win (and re-win in 2017) things started to look more hopeful.
The NHS Reinstatement Bill had always received the support of a few Labour politicians, including Jeremy Corbyn. But it was not until 2017, when delegates voted unanimously in favour of the party backing the Bill at Conference that it became policy.
The victory lay with the campaigners. The people who had taken on the UKs political machine with dedication and effort that is beyond admirable.
As well as the 999 Campaign, the film features other NHS campaigners such as Dr Bob Gill; Dr Chris Day – NHS whistle-blower, Dr Youssef El-Gingihy; Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Keep Our Nation Health Public (KONP) and more; along with politicians such Caroline Lucas from Green Party.
Seriously. This is a must watch film for many reasons not least of which being that it convincingly outlines the vital importance of the wider movement in bringing about political and social change.
The Tories are pursuing their radical plans to snatch the NHS from being a publicly funded and run service in order to turn it over to a US style privatisation model of ownership. The public have been hoodwinked into not seeing what is before them by the smoke screen mantra of “free at the point of delivery”.
We are being deliberately befuddled by a whole string of baffling Tory NHS ‘News Speak’ Sustainability and Transformation Plans; Accountable Care Organisations; Integrated Care Providers. All fluffy and innocuous sounding but a deadly thorn by any other name.
“Will the British public rise up against the destruction of this epitome of the Post-War Dream?” – JF. Can we get the message out to the public fast enough i.e. that if we don’t act now it may be too late? Are there enough determined folk like the 999ers resolutely fighting for Our NHS?
The 999 group continues its campaigning today with the Justice4NHS legal action appeal against the NHS Accountable Care Organisation contract (since renamed by NHS England ”Integrated Care Provider”). Please consider donating to help them. For details:-
Don’t worry if you’ve missed the film. It is now available to view via:-
Please support your local campaign. If you live in East Sussex, the East Sussex Save the NHS Website:- https://esussexsavethenhs.wordpress.com/ and their Facebook Group:- https://www.facebook.com/groups/389439988091179/. You can also follow them on Twitter @ESussexNHS.
Please consider holding a film showing of Groundswell. John Furse can be contacted via email:- email@example.com
Or via his website-: http://www.johnfurse.co.uk
Or for more information on Groundswell see:-https://johnfurse.wordpress.com/groundswell-whose-nhs-a-grassroots-journey-parts-1-4/