Cuts & Challenges facing the London Ambulance Service and more this month

This month we have stories of the Governments latest manoeuvres, this time it’s to blame managers for not dealing with the waiting list crisis and not spending the money effectively – you really couldn’t make it up.

They haven’t got off completely scot free as there have been some damaging headlines on Covid failings but as you will read they got off fairly lightly!

There is a bit of good news about Ealing Hospital and some very good reading too.

Our Guest Speaker this month is Malcolm Alexander, Chair of the Patients Forum for the London Ambulance Service telling us more about our ailing ambulance service.

CAMPAIGN MEETING TUESDAY 19TH OCTOBER AT 7.30PM

‘CUTS & CHALLENGES FACING THE LONDON AMBULANCE SERVICE’

Our next Meeting with be on ZOOM from 7.30pm – all welcome.


Our Guest Speaker is Malcolm Alexander, Chair of the ‘Patients Forum for the LAS’ and a long time campaigner.

As many of you will have read the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been in crisis for some time with Government cuts and underfunding leading to increasingly poor performance. More recently plans were revealed to close 68 ambulance stations, to be replaced with 18 ‘hubs’. Thanks to campaigning these dangerous plans are now on hold.


Malcom Alexander was very instrumental in the campaign against the threatened closures and appeared in the national media – we are delighted he can join us for what should be a very interesting discussion – please tune in!


Also on the Agenda will be the latest news on what’s happening at Ealing Hospital and LNWH Trust, mental health, upcoming meeting with Tim Orchard, CEO of Imperial Trust, future street stalls & the campaign for fair pay in the NHS.


To join the ZOOM Meeting here at 7.30pm please contact us. 

 

 

GOOD TO BE OUT ON THE STREETS AGAIN!:

It was great to be out on the streets of West Ealing last Saturday with our Stall after such a long time. There was lots of interest especially in our Mental Health leaflet. Clearly many people and their families are experiencing problems and some are having difficulties accessing services. It certainly doesn’t help having no beds in Ealing for children or adults under 65** Thanks to everyone who came to help. 

**Please do have a read of our latest research on beds in Ealing on our website produced by members of our Mental Health Working Group.

A SHORT UPDATE ON EALING HOSPITAL:

The Trust who runs Ealing Hospital meets in Public every two months, so it is an opportunity for us to ask questions. Recently Ealing Hospital has been  getting more resources and some attention.  At the meeting last month a clear statement was made that Ealing Hospital will remain a District General Hospital with a fully operational A&E, so they have to resource all the services that are needed to support that. There are plans to increase surgical activity but these are not yet defined. In the pipeline is plans to build a new multi-story car park, but that means the current car park will be sold, no doubt for more housing!  

GOVERNMENT FAILINGS ON COVID EXPOSED OR LET OFF THE HOOK?


Media headlines on the Parliamentary Health & Social Care Committee’s Coronavirus – lessons learnt to date’ report, gives the impression that the Government failings on Covid, leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths has finally been exposed. But has it? 

Reading more closely and looking at the response from national campaigners and bereaved families is seems the Government has got off lightly and the real lessons not learnt.

Perhaps this is not surprising given that it was chaired by Jeremy Hunt (Health Secretary from 2012-18) keen not to be too implicated for his own role, and Greg Clark Conservative MP.

‘Keep Our NHS Public’ who recently concluded their excellent ‘Peoples Covid Inquiry’ which took evidence from bereaved families, front line staff and expert scientists and clinicians (unlike the parliamentary committee) said –

‘Despite outlining some mistakes in the Government’s early response, which will surprise next to no one, the report and the spin on it rests most of the blame on public health bodies rather than the Government, and of course Prime Minister Boris Johnson gets off almost scot-free’


Hannah Brady, Spokesperson for the ‘Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice Campaign’, said the report was a slap in the face for the families which is not surprising given that the Committee explicitly refused to speak to them or any bereaved families.

‘The report … is laughable and more interested in political arguments about whether you can bring laptops to Cobra meetings than it is in the experiences of those who tragically lost parents, partners or children to Covid-19. This is an attempt to ignore and gaslight bereaved families, who will see it as a slap in the face.’

You can read more on this story here

 

MASSIVE WAITING LISTS – BLAME IT ON THE MANAGERS!


Yet again the Government is shifting blame for its failures, this time it’s the waiting list crisis. According to Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, “throwing money at the problem is not the answer”, it’s down to health managers to manage the money much more efficiently and make it go much further! Just how the current (or indeed proposed) amount of funding can go further with over 100,000 NHS vacancies and lack of at least 17,000 beds, he doesn’t explain.


The Health Secretary’s plans to ‘fix the crisis’ include an independent management review which is to be led by recently retired Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Gordon Messenger (military training for NHS bosses?) Javid also proposes changes that would allow him to take control of hospitals considered to be performing poorly, possibly replacing the whole leadership team with higher performing neighbours or business leaders. This obviously isn’t going down well with health service managers who rightly see it as a ‘slap in the face’ and, many of them are reported as thinking about leaving the NHS.


You can read more on this story here


OCTOBER ISSUE OF HEALTH CAMPAIGNS TOGETHER BULLETIN – A MUST READ!


The latest issue is packed with great stories and analysis as usual including; the Health & Care Bill summed up patients paying privately for hip and knee operations; fantasy hospital plans, pharmacists to cash in on GP crisis.You can read it here online – 

A easy to read set of leaflets has been produced by Health Campaigns Together which summarise the key threat of the Health & Care Bill 

You can read them here