It has certainly been all change this week with Matt Hancock out as Health & Social Care Secretary and Sajid Javid in. But don’t expect any change in Government policy, nor an end to awarding of NHS contracts to cronies, their ever-increasing privatisation and continued underfunding of the NHS!
All the more reason to support our national Day of Action on 3rd July!!
In this month’s newsletter as well as details of our 3rd July event you can read about the latest on the GP Data Grab, Northwick Park Maternity Service being rated as inadequate by the CQC, local vaccine news, Sign the latest KONP petition and more.
JOIN US THIS SATURDAY – STAND UP FOR OUR NHS ON ITS 73RD BIRTHDAY
NHS workers around the country have been incensed by the insulting 1% pay offer, after the huge sacrifices they have made, working round the clock and covering for the thousands of vacancies caused by the underfunding of the NHS by this Government.
But now they are fighting back. Together with Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together they have called a national Day of Action on the 73rd NHS Birthday on 3rd July which is gathering momentum with nearly 50 events planned across the country.
Ealing Save Our NHS is supporting this action and we have organised a local protest / NHS celebration outside Ealing Hospital. We are very pleased to be joined by Dr Mona Kamal (NHS Staff Voices), local MPs Virendra Sharma, James Murray and Rupa Huq and GLA member Dr Onkar Sahota. As it’s a birthday as well as a protest there will be some home-made cakes too.
We do hope you can join us on 3rd July at 12 noonto demand pay justice for our NHS staff, proper investment for the NHS and an end to privatisation. Please spread the word.
LATEST ON THE GOVERNMENT PLANS TO GRAB OUR GP DATA:
As many of you will be aware, the Government has instructed NHS Digital to take the patient records which GPs hold on everyone in England and enter them all into one massive database. This would mean incredibly sensitive data about all of us who use the NHS – including sexual health, mental health and criminal records – all being pooled and shared including with ‘third parties’ such as private companies.
This data is an incredible valuable resource for private companies such as insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and others.
The Government recently published its draft data strategy called ‘Data Saves Lives, Reshaping Health & Social Care with Data‘. Apparently sharing our data with just about anyone who wants to pay for it, puts the patient in control according to Matt Hancock!
The campaign to stop the Data Grab including the threat of legal action, led by Foxglove, Open Democracy and a coalition of campaigners has pushed the implementation date back to 1st September with a Government promise for more ‘open consultation’.
According to Caroline Molloy of ‘Open Democracy’ there is no sign of any openness, with only one paragraph on GP data in the whole 91 page strategy! And as to patients being in ‘control’ that is laughable, as once our data is shared it’s totally out of our control and we can’t choose for it to be used only for public research and not commercial organisations.
This means our only ‘choice’ is to opt out of both public research and commercial organisation use unfortunately. We now have until 25th Augustat the latest to opt out.
Between now and August 25th we need to keep getting the word out, so please spread the word. We have been publicising the Data Grab on our website, social media and have also called on NHS bosses at both local and NWL level, the GP Federation and Local Medical Committee of the BMA to properly inform the public about the plans and how to opt out.
Very good website with information on the data grab, ‘how to opt out’ and more. Opt Out Form – There are a number of versions being circulated, all of which do the job.
TIME TO BRING BACK EALING MATERNITY AS NORTHWICK PARK GETS ‘INADEQUATE RATING’
As many of you will know, in 2015 as part of the so-called ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ our much-loved Maternity Unit at Ealing Hospital was closed down on the supposed grounds that women would be better served by centralising births at other much larger maternity units. We worried that continuity of care would be lost and the needs of our very diverse community not addressed. From time to time we have heard stories that Ealing women often felt second class and that services were not always sensitive to the needs of BAME women.
In April 2021 the Care Quality Commission carried out an unannounced inspection of maternity services at Northwick Park (NWP) following reports of a cluster of perinatal deaths, management bullying and cultural issues. The CQC report which has been covered by the Media makes a very disturbing reading indeed and it is no surprise that the maternity services have been rated ‘inadequate’
Whilst most women do give birth safely at Northwick Park there was a very worrying cluster of stillbirths during July and August 2020. Of the 7 stillbirths in this period, 7 of the women were from a BAME background and 2 had limited English. An independent review of the deaths was carried out by the North West London Integrated Care Service, which suggested that with better care 5 of the deaths were preventable and might have made a difference for the other 2 babies. Concerns were also raised in their review about the intermittent Translation Service. Given that 61% of the 4000+ births a year are by non-white mothers this needed urgent remedy.
There are far too many other problems for us to cover here but the very high use of Agency Staff was clearly a big contributing factor and would certainly undermine any prospects of continuity of care.
This is a far cry from the better service Ealing mothers were promised, so we still say: bring back Ealing Hospital Maternity Unit – Ealing women deserve better!
You can read more about the CQC Report in this article from the Health Service Journal
The London North West University Healthcare Trust, which manages Northwick Park, say they have made plans and improvements in order to address the CQC’s recommendations. You can read the Trust response to the CQC inspection here.
OTHER LOCAL NEWS:
Ealing Hospital suspended services:
The London North West University Healthcare Trust who manage Ealing Hospital is carrying out a review of their suspension of Emergency Overnight Surgery and the Trauma & Orthopaedic Service at Ealing. They suspended these vital services during the Covid crisis. The review is due to report at the end of July.
Ealing is doing well with 212,000 first doses and 133,500 second doses. However, uptake is lower in Acton, Northolt and parts of Southall mainly due to hesitancy among some BAME communities, mainly among Caribbeans and other black ethnic groups.
Currently in Ealing 92.5 cases per 100,000. The Delta variant is now dominant as elsewhere. One interesting development is thatall contact tracing in Ealing is now being done by Ealing Council Public Health and not national ‘Test and Trace’. Time to redirect all those billions to all local areas!
The UK Government is raiding up to £10 billion from NHS budgets to pay private clinics and hospitals to treat NHS patients in England. In the wake of the Covid pandemic, our National Health Service is still not being funded enough to be able to treat many of the people who need care.
There are thousands of closed hospital beds that could be reopened with adequate resources but instead, all this money is being diverted in to private sector coffers.
The real NHS needs MORE resources injected NOW.
Tell the Government to leave the £10 billion in the NHS, and not give it to private hospitals