Yet none of this causes ‘our’ Government to change course. Instead they have pressed ahead with the Health & Care Act, which will only make matters worse, and have set impossible financial targets for NHS Trusts and the newly created ‘Integrated Care Boards’. If they comply with these targets it will mean a much worse service for all patients.
All the more reasons for us to keep up our campaigning!!
**ESON CAMPAIGN MEETING: TUESDAY 17th MAY**
We hope you can join us at our online Campaign Meeting next Tuesday at 7.30pm
From 7.30 – 8.15pm we will hear from our Guest Speaker, Paul Day, Director of the ‘Pharmacist Defence Association and Union’ (PDA). The PDA represents and supports individual pharmacists (and pharmacy students). Pharmacists played a fantastic role in supporting the roll out of the Covid vaccine and are under increasing pressure from the Government to play an even greater role in patient care without extra resources. Paul will be happy to answer questions, including concerns about drug supplies.
From around 8.15pm we have the business part of our meeting where we will be discussing our Stall at Hanwell Carnival on 18th June, campaigning in ‘NWL’, ideas for leaflets and a report back on our meeting with local NHS officials on mental health and future NHS organisation in the Borough.
You are very welcome to join our meeting at 7.30pm on the Zoom link here –
EALING BROADWAY STREET STALL – SATURDAY 21ST MAY:
Our next Stall will be from 11.30 – 1.00 pm outside Marks & Spencers in Ealing Broadway. As usual we will have plenty of leaflets to give out and our Petition to reinstate acute mental health beds in the Borough.
If you can help for a while we will be very pleased to see you.
A ROUND UP OF WHATS HAPPENING IN NORTH WEST LONDON NHS:
Ealing Hospital: A review of services is to take place at long last! We are pleased to report that the new Chief Executive of London North West NHS Trust, Pippa Nightingale, has agreed to meet us to discuss this and other concerns.
North West London:
Along with other campaigners in North West London we attend the ‘in-public’ meetings of the North West London CCG, which covers eight Boroughs and is soon to be replaced by the North West London Integrated Care System (ICS). It is an opportunity for campaigners to gather information and ask questions about what’s happening to our NHS services.
Some of the highlights from the recent NWL CCG meeting are –
Unacceptable levels of bullying and harassment in NWL NHS: This was revealed in the National NHS Staff Survey along with general dissatisfaction among staff across the Board. The new NWL CEO Rob Hurd is making it his top priority to address it.
Finances under the Cosh: Plans to reduce their ‘projected’ £92.9million deficit – and the Government’s unreasonable targets of pre-Covid levels + 4% for elective care activity will only lead to more cuts.
Apparently NWL ICS is the lead for the London Ambulance Service and its £69 Million deficit, so more cuts for this struggling service no doubt.
Private Contracts: There are literally hundreds of contracts but we only get to hear about the eight over £5million. BMI/Circle are doing very well with a £6 million contract for ‘increasing elective care capacity’. Apparently the NHS can’t meet the Government’s 104% target without them.
Performance: Pretty much a tale of long A&E waits, emergency calls not being answered in 30 seconds as required and in some cases being ABANDONED. Shockingly people needing a Mental Health assessment routinely wait 12 hour in A&E and this was normal even before Covid!
‘HEALTH & CARE ACT – AN ATTACK ON THE NHS’ :
The Health & Care Act, which has just been passed by Parliament, is an attack on the NHS, breaking it up into 42 regional and separate units, called Integrated Care Systems (ICS),
These Integrated Care Systems cover huge areas. The North West London ICS, which includes Ealing, covers eight boroughs with a population of over 2.2 million.
It will have a massive budget (tightly controlled by Central Government) and total control over who delivers services and indeed what services are provided across the whole of North West London.
It will also open the doors to even greater privatisation and doing absolutely nothing to address the massive shortages of staff and chronic underfunding.- in fact there is even a threat to national pay and conditions for NHS staff.
We have a short article on our website that explains the new NHS structures and the threat of the Health & Care Act to the NHS.
It’s an easy read and it would be great if you could circulate it to friends and family.
FRIMLEY TRUST LOSES £9M FOR NOT MEETING GOVERNMENT TARGETS
Not far away from us in Surrey, is Frimley Health Foundation Trust who cover Wexham Park Hospital in Slough among others. The Trust is set to lose £9m for not meeting the Governments elective targets in 2022-23, £2m of which is because it needs to close theatres to fix a dangerous roof – you couldn’t even make this up!
The story in the ‘Health Service Journal’ goes on to say that, despite the theatre closures, the Trust still expects to carry out 99% of the amount of elective work it did in 2019-20. But this isn’t good for the Government, who have set every Trust a target of carrying out 104% of elective work they did pre covid.
An overall £35.2m deficit is predicted for Frimley for 2022-23 – bad news for their patients..
John Lister and the team at ‘the Lowdown’ have been very busy doing some in-depth research on the 42 new Integrated Care Systems due to come in to being on 1st July which will control health care across England, including in North West London.
Almost all of them are projecting big deficits in their first year which will bring them in to conflict with the Government who has made it very clear they must break even in 2022/23.
So all the fine words we have been hearing about the ‘benefits of integrated care systems’ are no more than a cover for a system of control to keep costs down regardless of patients needs or demographics.
North West London is not covered in the Lowdown article, but will be the subject of the next in-depth article – however it is still very interesting reading. Read it here.
HIGH COURT RULING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT
The government’s policy towards care homes in England at the start of the Covid pandemic has been ruled illegal, in a significant blow to ministers’ claim to have thrown a “protective ring” around the vulnerable residents.
Dr Cathy Gardner, one of two grieving daughters who brought the case after their fathers died from Covid in care homes in April and May 2020, called on Boris Johnson to resign after the landmark ruling, saying the illegal care homes policy was just one of several failures in the management of the pandemic.
More than a quarter of all deaths among care home residents in March and April 2020 involved Covid-19 – more than 12,500 people.
Michael Mansfield QC, who chaired the People’s Covid Inquiry, urged the public to hold the Government to account: “If you can show in an individual case that a relative or loved one died as a result of exposure to someone who transmitting or carrying Covid, which is what must have happened in those early days, then obviously the first port of call is going to ministry and saying you want compensation”
Well done to Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris for shining the spotlight on this disgraceful treatment of vulnerable people, it shows that victories can be won against the Government.
‘THIS IS GOING TO HURT’- AUTHOR ADAM KAY TO SPEAK AT ESON JULY MEETING!!
The well-known author and former doctor Adam Kay has agreed to speak and answer questions at our online July Meeting. He is best known for his book, This is going to Hurt’, which was recently a television series. The book and series focus on his experiences as a obstetrics and gynecologic junior doctor from 2004-10.
The series was ironically partly filmed in Ealing Hospital’s empty Maternity Unit, which was an added incentive for him to speak to us.
You can hear Adam Kay on Tuesday 26th July – more details nearer the time.