Thanks to everyone who signed the ‘SOS NHS’ Petition calling for an urgent £20 billion for the NHS. A very respectable 177,000 signatures was handed in to Downing Street the day before the Spring Budget.
Well, unsurprisingly Chancellor Rishi Sunak did not deliver the funding we wanted but the fight
needs to carry on as chronic underfunding and understaffing exacerbated by the Covid Pandemic are putting NHS staff and services under intolerable strain.
Billions of pounds of NHS money have been given to private companies ill-equipped to deliver a decent service – whilst the NHS is starved of the funding and even more cuts are ordered to “make it more efficient”! It really is time to get the privateers out of the NHS. So please support the campaign to ‘Rebuild Our NHS and Get Private Profits Out’.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN
REBUILD OUR NHS: GET PRIVATE PROFITS OUT!
The private sector is making huge profits out of the NHS and this Government seems committed to give them even more of our money whilst starving the NHS of much needed funds.
The national anti-privatisation campaign – ‘We Own It‘ has launched their ‘Rebuild our NHS: Get Private Profits Out’ campaign to lobby local NHS leaders across England and have asked ‘Keep Our NHS Public’ groups like Ealing Save Our NHS to help.
The campaign’s demands are simple:
Ban private companies from being on our local NHS decision making boards & committees
Ban private companies deciding who provides NHS services
End outsourcing and privatisation of NHS services
The We Own Itcampaign aims to build unprecedented pressure on ‘local NHS leaders’. They want to get 3,000 emails sent to each Chair of the new 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICS). These Integrated Care System bodies will control NHS budgets from 1st July 2022 and plan ,decide and commission NHS services.
We Own It have made it very easy for us to send these emails.
All you have to do is click the link below and in two minutes an email is on its way to Penny Dash, Chair of our local North West London ICS.
‘KEEP FREE COVID TESTS’ – PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION
Keep Our NHS Public co-chair Dr John Puntis has set up this Petition which now has over 500,000 signatures. Although launched the day before free Covid tests ended, it is still worth signing and circulating. The end of free lateral flow and PCR tests, reflects a dangerous mindset that the Covid pandemic can be simply wished away by those hoping to persuade us that a return to ‘normal’ is imminent.
TIME TO STOP THE PING PONG AT EALING HOSPITAL:
Since 2017 when the disastrous plans (‘Shaping a Healthy Future’) to close our A&E and beds were finally consigned to the dustbin, we have been campaigning for a proper plan for Ealing Hospital.
Despite some much welcome investment in Ealing recently, the flow of services has mostly been one way – out of Ealing Hospital into Northwick Park Hospital. The situation was worsened by Covid when lots of services were closed and re-located, including 24 hour Emergency General Surgery and Trauma & Orthopaedics and were very slow to return. Emergency General Surgery re-opened only as a daytime service, while ambulances with suspected trauma patients continued to be diverted away from Ealing to Northwick Park.
Finally, as a result of campaigning by ourselves, MPs and especially the determination of the staff at Ealing Hospital, 24 hour Emergency General Surgery restarted in December 2021. Then on Monday 28th March the ambulance divert was finally lifted, so trauma patients will once again be treated at Ealing Hospital (hurrah!)
At a recent meeting of the Council’s Health & Wellbeing Board we heard that a Review is to finally take place of the ‘Ealing site’, which is welcome – better late than never. However in the meantime, more services are STILL being ‘centralised’ at Northwick Park Hospital.
Breast & Urology:
A major investment is to take place of Breast Care and Urology, but it comes as no surprise that the beneficiary is once again Northwick Park which, the Trust pretends, is patients’ favoured geographical location! (So apparently, this doesn’t depend on where people actually live.)
We have tried to impress on the London North West Healthcare Trust our concerns about the accessibility of Northwick Park and how such moves will worsen health inequalities, but so far they are not listening.
Ealing Hospital, we are told will retain the ‘current Breast Service’ (which is only 2 of the 4 pre-pandemic clinics) and treatments such as radiology and there will probably still be some Urology clinics at Ealing but not anything else. As for Central Middlesex Hospital, it seems its ‘so-called’ limited Breast & Urology services are to completely cease!
We hope to meet with the new London North West Trust Chief Executive, Pippa Nightingale, to raise our concerns and discuss the future for Ealing Hospital.
Public Satisfaction with the NHS at its lowest since 1997
A recent British Social Attitudes survey shows that public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to just 36%, the lowest since 1997. Dissatisfaction with GPs has fallen quite dramatically with only 38% of patients satisfied with the service compared to 68% satisfaction in 2020.
For the first time people were asked what they thought the most important priorities should be for the NHS. Top of the list was making it easier to get a GP appointment, followed by improving waiting times for planned operations and increasing the number of staff in the NHS. This is not surprising, given the difficulties in getting GP appointments and when about four in ten people are either on the 6.1 million waiting list for treatment or have a family member who is on it.
Public support for the principles of the NHS remains strong with a big majority supporting the NHS being free when you need it and available to everyone and a significant majority supporting the NHS being primarily funded through taxation.
We would recommend reading GP Dr Nick Mann’s response to the public satisfaction survey on the Keep Our NHS Public website here
Mental Health Services near to collapse
According to a shocking new report by mental health charity stem4, publicised in The Guardian, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are in a state of near-collapse across much of the UK.
The report draws on a survey this Spring of 1001 GPs, and finds 95% of respondents believe CAMHS services are either in crisis or very inadequate, revealing a deterioration over the past six years.
Almost two thirds of GPs fear their young patients may come to harm through lack of access to treatment, with half reporting that 60% of their referrals are rejected, because young people’s symptoms of anxiety, depression or self-harm are not seen as “severe enough”. Almost one in five (18%) say a patient has attempted to or taken their own life due to lack of access to treatment over the past 12 months.
Cleaners and Porters at Croydon Hospital win a big pay rise
A strike at Croydon Hospital has been called off after GMB members won a ‘massive’ 24 per cent pay rise. Cleaners and porters at the South London hospital were due to walk out on Monday in a dispute over wages and sick pay. But now their employer, outsourcing giant G4S, has offered the workers an immediate 24 per cent pay rise with backpay and an occupational sick pay scheme. It’s great to see low paid workers who worked throughout the Covid pandemic winning some justice!
Kendal & South Lakes campaigners stop move to new hospital 45 miles away!
The story – a downgraded local hospital, a tick-box ‘public consultation’ and a local Healthwatch giving an veneer of fake accountability – that sounds a lot like our experience of fighting to save Ealing Hospital!
Local people in Kendal and South Lakes were supposedly being consulted on options for a bid to the New Hospitals Programme – except of course it was rigged for the favoured option, which was to close their nearest major hospital, the Lancashire Royal Infirmary and replace it and the Royal Preston with a new hospital 45 miles away near Preston.
A very vigorous campaign by Kendal & South Lakes Keep Our NHS Public has led to the removal of the option to build a new hospital near Preston. They now intend to fight on to get much needed funds for their local hospital, Westmoreland General which has been facing closure for some years. Yay! Well done to them!