|It has been brilliant to hear lots of the stories of the well run, friendly and efficient vaccine delivery here in Ealing and around the country. It is definitely a good news story and a great example of how the NHS, does it best when it’s allowed to get on with the job of looking after us.|
How unlike the privately run so called ‘NHS Test & Trace’ that is now heavily dependent on local authority-run Test & Trace to back them up by chasing down new carriers of variants and encouraging self-isolation. Without a doubt a locally delivered service works best!
Despite being in lockdown and at the height of a pandemic, the Government has still found the time to draw up worrying plans to take even more control of our NHS and which we will certainly be campaigning against! As a first step we urge you to sign the ‘We Own It’ Petition
You can read more about these stories and the Petition in this issue of our Newsletter.
ESON Meeting next Tuesday 16th February – the ‘Mental Health Crisis’
It’s our monthly meeting next Tuesday and we will be discussing the Mental Health crisis, hearing updates on the vaccine rollout, Peoples Inquiry and Government plans to re-organise our NHS.
Our Guest Speaker will be Alia Butt, Chair of NHS Staff Voices. Alia is an NHS Psychotherapist & passionate about fighting for better mental health services. She will be answering questions and leading our discussion on the crisis in Mental Health services and how we can effectively campaign. Definitely one not to miss!
We would love to see more people get involved and new ideas, so please think about joining us, you will be very welcome.
Tuesday 16th February, 7.30pm. Please contact me to be sent the Zoom link
The vaccine roll out is definitely a good news story and NHS staff have been working very hard often as volunteers to help get the vaccine to us –well supported by the local authority too.
Nearly 40,000 vaccines have been delivered at Ealing Town Hall and the Dominion Centre butCouncillors and MPs have raised concerns about the lack of sites at both the East end of the Borough in Acton and North of the Borough in Greenford, Northolt, which might be affecting take up.
Two new community pharmacy sites are opening: Boots in Greenford Retail Park and Roxanne Pharmacy (Greenford Methodist Church) and one has opened by Remedy Pharmacy, St Marys Church)
Hopefully this will help with ‘vaccine hesitancy’ which is becoming a problem as you can see from some of the figures we have obtained.
As of the 8th February first vaccines have been given to –
Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers – 84% of residents but only 47% of staffAll those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers – 77.5%All those 75 years of age and over –82%70 -74 years of age – 80.7%Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals – 55%Housebound –74.6%The picture for take up according to ethnicity shows that take up for those defined as ‘White’ is 79.44% compared to ‘Black & Black British’ which is only 48.35%. The figures are much higher for Asian or Asian British at 71.97%
A lot of work is being done by the NHS, Ealing Council and community groups to try and combat vaccine hesitancy, some of which we have shared on our ESON Facebook.
In a turnaround from previous advice people aged 70+ can now ring up to ask for appointments by contacting their GPs, ringing 119 or booking at the mass vaccinations centre – the nearest one of these is CP House in Ealing Broadway.
Don’t believe the Media – the Tories are not ending privatisation!
Many of you will have seen headlines and reports on a leaked Government White Paper on the NHS, which outlines plans for a new top-down reorganisation of the NHS. The media reports, especially from The Times and the BBC clearly following a steer from Downing Street, both herald the plans as a step to “scrap forced privatisation and competition within the NHS”.
So does this mean an end to privatisation? The answer is unfortunately NO. The White Paper clearly says ‘there will continue to be an important role for voluntary and independent sector providers‘.
In fact these plans will also allow private companies like Deloitte, to sit on the new Integrated Care System (ICS) Boards that make decisions on how NHS money is spent!
Of course it is better that the NHS bodies will no longer be forced to put contracts out to tender, but it doesn’t apply to IT and other non-clinical services and they will still have discretion to do so. It seems likely to us that this Government will INCREASE privatisation by handing out big contracts, sometimes without even going out to tender.
This is after all the same Government that has already awarded least £20 billion of pounds in contracts, without any competition, to the private sector. If they were genuinely ending privatisation then they would be taking steps to end private contracts already awarded, but there is no mention of bringing back outsourced services at all.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION :
Anti- privatisation campaigners ‘We Own it’ have launched this petition to call on the Government to stop the private takeover of the NHS – please sign and circulate
Local Authorities could be silenced!
Hidden away in the White Paper and without any mention in the media are plans to limit opposition to ‘reconfigurations’ of services in a number of ways.
The Government are proposing to abolish the power that Local Authorities have to refer reconfigurations to the Secretary of State for further review.
Hammersmith & Fulham & Ealing Councils used this power to get an Independent Review of ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ plans to close Charing X and Ealing A&E. Although it didn’t stop it then it certainly helped to build the case against it.
The justification for stripping local authorities of this right of referral is that the Secretary of State is to be given the power to intervene early in the reconfiguration process – apparently having both would create a conflict!
The Government are also proposing to make it a legal duty for local authorities to ‘collaborate with health authorities’. This could mean that local authorities would not be able to oppose or campaign against local NHS cuts, re-organisations or privatisation.
There has been quite a bit of coverage and analysis of the White Paper from campaigners – all well worth a read: –
Government used crisis to increase privatisation – Keep our NHS Public
White Paper Power Grab -LowdownNHS
New NHS White Paper -LowdownNHS
Peoples Covid Inquiry launched:
In the absence of an arranged formal public investigation, campaigners believe that the timefor a Covid Inquiry is now, in order to analyse why this country has suffered over 100,000 deaths, andwhat lessons should be learned to inform future decisions and policy making.
A host of leading academics, celebrities, campaigning groups and unions together with frontlineworkers, have joined with Keep Our NHS Public to launch a People’s Covid Inquiry.
A dedicated website and campaign video has also been launched which will feature testimony from members of the public, keyworkers and celebrities.
You can watch the Peoples Covid Inquiry Launch Video here –
Overseeing proceedings will be the renowned human rights barrister, Michael Mansfield QC.
Participants will include: Chair of Independent SAGE, Sir David King, author and poet Michael Rosen, Lancet editor Richard Horton, Representatives from the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group,President of the UK Medical Women’s Federation Neena Modi, and GP, writer & broadcaster Phil Hammond.
The first session, ‘How Well Prepared was the NHS? is on 24th February.
You can get more information on the Inquiry, register to watch sessions and submit a question to the panellists on the website – please spread the word!
‘Vaccines for ALL’ Campaign launched:
Ealing Save Our NHS is supporting a new campaign that has been launched to ensure the coronavirus vaccine is made safely accessible to everyone, regardless of immigration status, ID or proof of address.
The Government has stated that everyone is able to access the coronavirus vaccine and recently announced an amnesty, but in practice, people are being asked for ID, are unable to register with a GP, and are afraid to access services because of longstanding and entrenched barriers to healthcare and fears about the Home Office “hostile environment”.
Without further action the pandemic will continue to have a disproportionate impact on all marginalised groups including migrant communities, people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, and BAME communities.
The Campaign is calling for a number of measures including a ‘firewall to prevent the sharing of information with the Home Office’ and an end to the hostile environment created by NHS migrant charges.
You can read more about this campaign, which is supported by Medact, the Refugee Council, the Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants, Trade Union Congress and 140 other organisations in this article–
We are seeking assurances from the NHS to ensure they are taking steps to remove any barriers to vulnerable people accessing the vaccine or seeking medical help.
A great line-up of speakers and workshops is planned for the evening and already nearly 500 people have signed up. The failures of the privatised ‘NHS Test & Trace’, the PPE Scandal and the blatant cronyism in allocating lucrative contracts have certainly fuelled interest!
Don’t miss out – register today here –
Latest Health Campaigns Together Bulletin – a really good read
The fifth issue of the monthly news bulletin includes the latest news and articles on the Mental Health crisis, the leaked White Paper (that has subsequently been published) and info on Vaccination & Test Trace campaigns
You can read a copy here
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