Packed out AGM – Lets keep up the fight to defend our NHS – ESON Newsletter 25/01/20

British Ambulance showing interior
We have had a great start to our campaigning this year with a packed house for our AGM and a big commitment to keep up the fight for our NHS. Our first Stalls of the year take place this Saturday with a brand new hard hitting leaflet and plans are underway to join in the National Day of Action called by Keep Our NHS Public on 15th February.
100s of people have joined Keep Our NHS Public eager to do something to defend our NHS and new groups are being set up around the country – all very encouraging.
Promises of more money for the NHS by the Government have not halted the threat of local cuts and there is no new money for the NHS to ease the pressure of winter, despite a big crisis on the horizon. Certainly plenty to campaign on and publicise at the moment!
Packed house for our AGM
We had a great turn out for this year’s AGM and were delighted to welcome visitors from the newly formed Harrow Keep Our NHS Public.
Our Chair, gave a report on what we had done in 2019, which included: distributing 40,000 leaflets on the streets, loads of carnival stalls, street stalls, celebrations and protests as well as attending official meetings and research, a big public meeting, a film screening and lots more. We almost felt tired listening to it all!
The latest Conservative Government has made lots of promises on the NHS, so we will be highlighting their record throughout 2020. Of course we will continue the fight to restore services to Ealing Hospital and oppose any cuts. We also hope to do more campaigning around privatisation, mental health, discrimination and racism in the NHS.
We really need more people to get involved to meet, research, protest, spread the word online and more –everyone is good at different things, so please think about giving us a hand.
Out on the Streets – this Saturday 25th January
This Saturday we are running two Street Stalls in Pitshanger Lane (opposite the Co-op by Albert Road) and Greenford Broadway from 11.00 -1.00pm (near the Wishing Well Pub). However, if it is very cold we might pack up a bit early. We will be giving out our latest leaflet and asking people to sign our ‘Bring back services to Ealing Hospital’ petition.
If you can join us for an hour or so you will be most welcome. We finish off the morning with a coffee and a bite to eat as it’s nice to be sociable too.
National NHS campaign – Keep Our NHS Public has called a Day of Action on Saturday 15th February to highlight the Winter Crisis and focus on NHS cuts. Ealing Save Our NHS and other NHS campaigns around the country have been asked to organise an event in their local areas on the day and get as much publicity as possible.
We like a bit of fun so will be outside Ealing CCG HQ (NHS bosses) at Perceval House in Ealing Broadway from 11.00am with banners, placards and a bit of theatre, involving a bed, skeleton and more! Around 11.30 we will be making our way to Marks & Spencers, where we will have a Stall, finishing at 1.00pm.
We hope you can join us on the 15th. More details to follow
Ealing Hospital still under the knife & no plan
It’s been nearly a year since the Government dropped their plans to close Ealing’s A&E, and yet there is still no new plan for the future shape of the Hospital. Senior doctors at Ealing are currently drawing up proposals which can draw on their skills and meet the needs of our community. Unfortunately this is taking place at the same time as London North West University Healthcare Trust, which runs the hospital, is under the cosh from North West London NHS bosses to drastically cut its rising ‘deficit’.
Every service at Ealing Hospital and elsewhere in LNWUH Trust is under scrutiny. Some very worrying options for cuts are being considered including removing emergency surgery at night at Ealing, which is vigorously opposed by surgeons and the Hospital unions. A&Es need back up surgery to be available urgently, so if these cuts are pushed through it is very worrying and we will be campaigning hard against them!
Despite Government promises of more NHS money, balancing the books still takes precedence over patient care!
It’s all change as top bosses walk away from London North West University Healthcare Trust
Big changes have been taking place at Senior Management Level in London North West NHS Trust, which runs Ealing Hospital. The Chief Executive Jacqueline Docherty is leaving at the end of March 2020 and just before Xmas, the Trust Chair, Peter Worthington suddenly departed.
He has now been replaced by Sir Amyas Morse, who is also Chair of Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust and was previously head of the National Audit Office, so he presumably has a head for figures, which he will certainly need. Both the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officers have also left.
Ealing Hospital Staff lose nursery and get hit by increased car park fees too!
Just before Xmas the Staff Nursery at Ealing Hospital was closed down after 30 years (boo) – a nasty Xmas present for the staff. Hospital bosses claimed that numbers had fallen and it was no longer sustainable – where have we heard this before? Apparently they increased the nursery charges to help cover the income loss and it had the opposite effect! On top of that, they are going to hugely increase charges to use the staff car park, which will impact on earnings. Claims they are trying to attract and keep staff look pretty weak!
Winter Crisis – A&E Performance is the worst ever!
According to the Kings Fund in December 2019, 4.6 million people were on hospital waiting lists and there were 100,000 vacant staff posts. For the first time in recent memory the NHS has not been given any extra government funding to help with the winter crisis (but the private sector has – see later story). And although adult social care services were allocated an extra £240 million of financial support to reduce pressures on the NHS, this temporary financial fix is a far cry from the substantial funding reform needed to put these services on a more resilient footing.
A&E performance is at its worst level since current records began. In November 2019 for the first time ever no A&E department in the country met its 4-hour wait target. Lack of beds is the major factor with 15,000 beds cut since 2010. In addition, Social care cuts mean that patients have to stay in hospital beds longer than necessary, adding to NHS and patient woes. At London North West University Healthcare Trust (LNWUHT) bed occupancy regularly runs at 95-100% and that’s not even in Winter.
Thankfully Ealing Hospital did not lose its beds or A&E otherwise it would have been catastrophic! Nevertheless waiting times in LNWUHT are pretty poor with only 60% of Type 1 patients (most urgent) being seen within 4 hours, well below the 95% target.
The picture round the country as the Winter Crisis hits!
Millions for the private sector to ‘help’ with Winter Crisis:
National NHS bosses, NHS England and Improvement have allocated around £22 million to outsource’ some operations and diagnostic work to the private sector, in an attempt to keep waiting lists down during the winter, according to the Health Services Journal (HSJ)
They claim it will go to NHS Trusts with a record of ‘delivering’, if so why do these NHS Trusts need to outsource the work and not do it themselves!
Reward for failure as new North West London NHS boss appointed:
Earlier this week 5 new NHS bosses for London were announced. The 5 are to head up the new ‘Integrated Care System’ (ICS) which will centralise budgets and decision making on patient care. ESON and other NHS campaigners in North West London opposed the planned ICS as we believe it will drastically reduce public accountability, making it easier to make cuts and will fail to meet local needs.
The most controversial of the 5 new bosses is Penny Dash, who will be the head honcho for the North West London region (that’s us) She is currently a senior boss at management consultancy firm, Mckinseys. Management Consultants were paid over £76 million of public money to advise and provide systems that would pave the way for closing Ealing and Charing Cross A&Es. Their plans all failed. McKinseys were paid the most, over £34 million!
Certainly ESON and other campaigners don’t intend to let this appointment be made without a fuss!