Good support for new Petition & more news on NHS plan – ESON newsletter 30/01/19

Our 2019 Campaign has got off to a great start with hundreds of signatures collected for our new Petition at our January Street Stalls. Lots of people stopped to chat and show their support, including Ealing North MP, Stephen Pound.
This Thursday there is a London wide protest against the recently published Government ‘NHS Long Term Plan’ and if you need any incentive to join the protest then please read leading health campaigner John Lister’s excellent analysis of what the Governments plans really mean for the future of our NHS.
We also have two news stories that feature our local NHS. The first is on the steady increase in cancelled operations at West London hospitals and the other is on the tens of thousands of extra hours that junior doctors are working since the contract was imposed on them – please read on –
Recent Street Stalls a big success – 252 sign our Petition:
We had 14 helpers at our January Stalls in Greenford and Pitshanger. Both stalls reported a very positive response from the public with lots of people taking leaflets and stopping to talk and thank us for our work. 252 signatures were collected on our new petition which calls for ‘Shaping a Healthy Future’ plans to be abandoned, full funding and staffing of Ealing Hospital as a District General Hospital and re-opening Maternity and Childrens Services. Well done to everyone who helped.
A copy of our Petition is here
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Must read – latest analysis from John Lister on NHS Long Term Plan:
It really is worth taking the time to read the informative article by John Lister (link below) who is Secretary of Keep Our NHS Public and editor of Health Campaigns Together – here are a few snippets:-
“What is shocking is the virtual absence of discussion and proposals to address the severe problems facing the NHS. The major restructuring of the NHS goes forward at pace”. So it’s restructuring above all else with little to say on major problems such as the 100,000 staff shortages (no workforce plan), the financial crisis facing many acute trusts and the lack of acute & mental health bed capacity.
The much publicised £20.5 billion extra won’t do much more than stabilise the NHS and keep the lights on but isn’t enough to fund the 60+ uncosted commitments in the Plan, which John describes as window dressing.
The hard proposals in the Plan are the top down imposition of a new, centralised structure of 44 ”Integrated Care Systems” ( ICS) by April 2019, based on the 44 STPs. These will be unaccountable to local people and communities. Each ICS will be working towards an “integrated care provider contract” which we all opposed last year and with no guarantees they won’t be awarded to private companies.
More CCG mergers are on the way with only one CCG per ICS, leaving local CCGs such as Ealing at best as rump bodies (even more then it is now.) And GPs surgeries are to be merged too covering 30-50,000 patients.
We certainly will have lots to campaign around! You can read the full article here –
‘NHS Plan Unfit’ – Protest this Thursday 31st January
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This Thursday, national NHS bosses, NHS England, have their Board Meeting in London. It is the first opportunity for campaigners to give their verdict on the ‘NHS Long term Plan’, which is ‘Unfunded, undemocratic, unfair, unsafe’. Keep Our NHS Public have organised a protest Rally outside the NHS England Board Meeting this Thursday 31st January from 10.00 -12 noon outside Skipton House, 80 London Road, SE1 6LH.
Our Ealing Save Our NHS banner will be there from 10.30 to 12.00. We hope some of you can join us.
31 operations cancelled every day in West London:
A recent article in Get West London has revealed that there has been an 8% increase in operations being cancelled at West London hospitals, up from 10,524 on 2016/17 to 11,5382 in 2017/18, the equivalent of 31 per day. Top of the list is West Middlesex with 5986 cancellations and lowest is London North West with 949 cancellations. Most of the reasons are stated to be patient “not being ready” or “available”, but over a 1000 cancellations are due to no beds and another 1000 due to theatre overruns. The figures are pretty similar nationally. Thanks to Kevin for alerting us to the article – well worth a read.
Junior Doctors working well over contracted hours – says survey
The Health Service Journal (HSJ) has recently published details of the first national survey of junior doctors since the introduction of the controversial junior doctor’s contract. Junior doctors are allowed to file a report when they work beyond their contracted hours or work without breaks, as well as other contract breaches – called ‘Exception Reports’. NHS Trusts can be fined for such breaches.
According to the HSJ figures, 36,000 doctors have worked beyond their contracted hours 63,000 times since 2015. Unfortunately the highest number of ‘exception reports’ were at London North West NHS Trust with 2,569 (they have 440 junior doctors). Because the Report is not weighted to reflect doctor numbers it may be the case LNWHT is not the worst as some Trusts had less exception reports but have employ far less junior doctors and some Trusts actively ‘discourage’ junior doctors from putting in reports.
What this first survey shows is that junior doctors were right to fight against the contracts as so many of them are now working well beyond their contracted hours, potentially placing themselves and patients at risk.
You can read the HSJ story here
You can read what junior doctors say here