The Dis-Integration of the NHS. No to the White Paper.

People change the world when they need to do so.

Deborah Harrington from Public Matters spoke to a meeting of campaigners and trade unionists across Cheshire and Merseyside, our local ICS area. We want the NHS back to the Bevan Model of healthcare, the most efficient, the most integrated service in the world, before the privatisers started leeching off it.

Health care should be

Free at the point of need

for everyone,

paid for by the government

and provided by public service , not by profit making companies

Another great Liverpool Woman who stood up for the poor and fought cholera.

It was women and trade unionists who fought to found the NHS a century ago and we will step in again now.

During the Pandemic, whilst doctors and nurses worked long hours in difficult conditions, the NHS bureaucrats have devoted money and man hours to a major reorganisation of the NHS, which puts into place much that has been planned through the STP. This will embed the role of big International for profit health care companies. These companies are there for profit.

It will reduce local accountability and stop using individual clinical need as its planning base

Would that instead of such plans, they had prevented in hospital transmission of Covid. Please watch and share the video. We will need the biggest campaign ever to stop this White Paper, and the campaign starts small but starts immediately.

We too can change hearts and minds and force change for the better

Women from the cooperative women’s guild demanded that maternity care be available for all free at the point of need. We don’t all want greed and capitalism

You may have heard of a big US corporation Centene taking over GP services, but these corporations are in the NHS nationally and in STPs/ ICS

They are advising the NHS on reorganisation on multinational corporation lines. Hancock has just brought in a top bureaucrat r for the NHS from a big US health care corporation. Please watch the video. Please ask for a speaker at a meeting. Please step up for our NHS.

We don’t remember Polio, you and me.

Public meeting Wednesday 17th February 2021

We don’t remember Polio, you and me. When we look at our little ones running around, playing, making a mess of freshly tidied rooms, it’s about the furthest thing from our minds.

Maybe some of us older mums will have heard snippets of stories from our parents. “Jackie’s friend had it” or “Some lad who used to knock around with your Uncle.” But that’s all they are, stories from a time gone by that soon become vague memories. We never have to retell them ourselves.

Leg braces are a rare sight these days and Iron Lungs you only see in history books.The fight against Polio is still there with vaccines and vaccines that need updating. None of our kids will ever have to wake up alone and afraid on a ward encased in a machine that breathes for them because of Polio.

The fight against polio is still going on in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Polio won’t ever paralyse our babies or snatch their little lives from them too soon, because our parents and grandparents didn’t stand for it. And when it comes to Covid, neither should we.

There was no cure for Polio back in the day and even now with how far we have come, there still isn’t. The reason you don’t hear about it anymore is because our Parents and Grandparents got rid of it the same way we’re trying to get rid of Covid, by vaccinating us against it. Their bravery to take the first step made sure that disease today is only talked about in history books.

People are starting to see the long-term effects of Covid now and it’s easier to see in children. Up to 100 children a week end up in hospital, many in Intensive Care, with what’s being called Long Covid. 75% of the worst cases are in kids from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. Doctors still don’t know if there’ll ever be a cure.

We have the chance to be as brave as they were and save hundreds of our kids . So lets take it.

Let’s get rid of Covid.

Come to our community meeting about getting rid of the virus. Its on Zoom but we hope to put it on facebool live too.

Speakers will discuss the virus, vaccines, public health measures, how to reach all sections of our communities , pregnant women and new mothers, long Covid and the effects of the pandemic on the NHS.

There will be plenty of time for Questions & Answer sessions and public discussion

Please respond to this reorganisation of the NHS

Act to save our NHS

During the pandemic, the upper echelons of the NHS and the Government haver been implementing a structural reorganisation. The reorganisation breaks the national part of the NHS and integrates private companies into the reorganisation. It is being done without laws going through parliament.

The deadline for the response is 8th January, and the link to the consultation is https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/building-a-strong-integrated-care-system/

We have joined with other organisations to try to raise awareness of what is happening. Many people will be aghast that this is happening at all, but during the pandemic, when all eyes should be on the virus, is doubly scandalous.

We are reproduce here the letter from Keep Our NHS Public. Other organisations are circulating in essence the same message. What follows is from the material produced by Keep our NHS Public

Integrating Care: Why NHS England is getting it wrong

NHS England (NHSE) is consulting on their latest plans for ‘integrating care’, including changes to legislation.

The proposals include a top-down re-organisation of the NHS in England abolishing CCGs, replacing them with 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), statutory bodies under tight financial control from the centre and with even less public accountability. The result will be massive new opportunities for the private sector through the ‘Health Systems Support Framework’ (HSSF). While ICSs will find it difficult to work in real partnership with others such as local authorities in addressing health inequalities, proposals will allow private companies representation on an ICS Board.

Despite the short notice we hope you can respond to the consultation, which has a deadline of 8th January.

We attach a template response to the consultation giving a range of possible answers for you to adapt.

We also attach background papers from Keep Our NHS Public:

     * Our summary of what lies behind the “Integrating Care” proposals

ICSs are an organisational form adapted from the US health insurance market, and the HSSF is central to their development. This Framework has 83 NHSE-accredited companies, 22 of which are US-based. We expect legislation will result in a flood of contracts, much as the government has dished out thousands of Covid contracts, bypassing proper procurement.

     * KONP’s response to the legislative proposals

These include a deregulated market economy in healthcare where even the existing, limited safeguards to protect social, environmental and labour standards are removed, and where a bidder’s track record is not taken into account.

Further detailed critiques of Integrating Care are available on the KONP website. These include a critique of the proposed structure and management of ICSs as revealed in NHSE’s Health Service Support Framework; critique of NHSE’s proposal to bring social care under NHS management; and proposals for real democratic accountability in the planning and oversight of NHS services as well as links to recent articles on ICSs in OurNHS/Open Democracy and The Lowdown (see https://keepournhspublic.com).

The Government has yet to publish a BillOnce it has, we look forward to your involvement in resisting this drive to disintegrate the NHS through financial mechanisms and increased corporate influence.

To reiterate, the deadline for the response is 8th January, and the link to the consultation is https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/building-a-strong-integrated-care-system/

Please do not worry about creating a long academic response. Please just respond. Try to keep a copy of your response and send it to  savelwh@outlook.com

Respond even if it is late.

Please write to your MP and please try to make sure your members know about this

Dear —

Integrating Care: Why NHS England is getting it wrong

NHS England (NHSE) is consulting on their latest plans for ‘integrating care’, including changes to legislation.

The proposals include a top-down re-organisation of the NHS in England abolishing CCGs, replacing them with 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), statutory bodies under tight financial control from the centre and with even less public accountability. The result will be massive new opportunities for the private sector through the ‘Health Systems Support Framework’ (HSSF). While ICSs will find it difficult to work in real partnership with others such as local authorities in addressing health inequalities, proposals will allow private companies representation on an ICS Board.

Despite the short notice we hope you can respond to the consultation, which has a deadline of 8th January.

We attach a template response to the consultation giving a range of possible answers for you to adapt.

     * Our summary of what lies behind the “Integrating Care” proposals

ICSs are an organisational form adapted from the US health insurance market, and the HSSF is central to their development. This Framework has 83 NHSE-accredited companies, 22 of which are US-based. We expect legislation will result in a flood of contracts, much as the government has dished out thousands of Covid contracts, bypassing proper procurement.

     * KONP’s response to the legislative proposals

These include a deregulated market economy in healthcare where even the existing, limited safeguards to protect social, environmental and labour standards are removed, and where a bidder’s track record is not taken into account.

Further detailed critiques of Integrating Care are available on the KONP website. These include a critique of the proposed structure and management of ICSs as revealed in NHSE’s Health Service Support Framework; critique of NHSE’s proposal to bring social care under NHS management; and proposals for real democratic accountability in the planning and oversight of NHS services as well as links to recent articles on ICSs in OurNHS/Open Democracy and The Lowdown (see https://keepournhspublic.com).

The Government has yet to publish a Bill. Once it has, we look forward to your involvement in resisting this drive to disintegrate the NHS through financial mechanisms and increased corporate influence.

To reiterate, the deadline for the response is 8th January, and the link to the consultation is https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/building-a-strong-integrated-care-system/

In solidarity,

Keep Our NHS Public

NHSE CONSULTATION: building a strong, integrated care system across England

Please amend and adapt the wording below in your response to avoid any batch rejection of critical responses

 What is your name?  
 In what capacity are you responding?  
 Are you responding on behalf of an organisation?  
 Do you agree that giving ICSs a statutory footing from 2022, alongside other legislative proposals, provides the right foundation for the NHS over the next decade?
 Strongly disagree   comments or additional information: a)This is a very ‘top down’ exercise with little justification other than the hope it will allow tighter controls on spending. b) Claims that functioning ICSs have already demonstrated significant improvements in patient care are only wishful thinking and not evidence based. c) The plan for ICSs is not focussed on improving care for patients but on binding NHS organisations by financial controls and plans written by the ICS with advice from companies accredited under the Health Systems Support Framework. d) The NHS needs re-integration by abolishing the 2012 H&SC Act altogether and removing the competitive market and the purchaser-provider split. e) Facilitating even more contracting out of services and management structures including the private sector is not ‘integration’ but ‘dis-integration’. f) NHSE/I legislative proposals include the removal of Public Contracts Regulation safeguards over social, environmental and labour standards, and the ability to rule out bidders on the basis of their track record. It will expand the scope for scandals like the PPE contracts awarded without procurement to firms with no relevant experience. g) Other legislative proposals would embed “population health management” as a binding aim for all NHS organisations, without evidence that this will improve patient access to universal, comprehensive healthcare, free at the point of need, publicly provided and publicly accountable, funded through general taxation.  
 Do you agree that option 2 offers a model that provides greater incentive for collaboration alongside clarity of accountability across systems, to Parliament and most importantly, to patients?  
 Strongly disagree   comments or additional information: a) By “collaboration”, the plan includes collaboration with the private sector, which we oppose. b)  There is very little accountability built into the system and large organisations are inevitably far removed from the needs and concerns of local communities. CCG mergers reduce the opportunity for local public involvement; Option 2 goes even further. c) Any reorganisation of the NHS should be looking at increasing accountability and democratic control rather than weakening it.  
 Do you agree that, other than mandatory participation of NHS bodies and Local Authorities, membership should be sufficiently permissive to allow systems to shape their own governance arrangements to best suit their populations needs?  
 Strongly disagree   comments or additional information a) Allowing management consultants and private sector representatives to sit on governing bodies undermines the public sector ethos which is key to the NHS. b) ICSs as proposed will only facilitate top down control. c) The NHSE Health Systems Support Framework (HSSF) strongly prioritises financial savings over patient need. The HSSF is designed to implement systems of patient and data management needed for insurance-based systems rather than clinical priorities and local need. The majority of companies accredited through the HSSF are major corporates, including many involved in health insurance in the US and elsewhere. d) This approach is incompatible with what patients and communities want and need and with NHS founding principles and values.  
 Do you agree, subject to appropriate safeguards and where appropriate, that services currently commissioned by NHSE should be either transferred or delegated to ICS bodies?  
 Strongly disagree   comments or additional information Specialist services require national commissioning in order to ensure consistent standards across the country  

Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) Overview Response to Integrating Care – The next steps to building strong and effective integrated care systems across England1

Introduction In the midst of a massive Covid epidemic, NHS England (NHSE) is driving through a far-reaching topdown reorganisation of the NHS, based on proposals in the Long Term Plan (2019). They are consulting until January 8 on the details of new legislation which they expect the government to enact early this year to give legal legitimacy to changes which are already under way. We are concerned that the implications of these changes for the accountability, availability and access to services and values underpinning the management of services have been barely noted within a tumultuous 2020. Noting the serious concerns that have been raised by the Local Government Association and others, including NHS Providers, we are asking all politicians, from every party, to take a stand against these damaging proposals.

Restructuring of the NHS in England .

At the core of the re-organisation are Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), bodies described by NHS England (NHSE) as NHS organisations that work in partnership with local councils and others to take collective responsibility for managing resources and delivering NHS care. ICSs have been driven from the top by NHS England, and in many areas resisted at local level by councils, GPs and campaigners.

However a 39-page NHSE document “Integrating Care,” seeking new legislation allowing the whole of England’s NHS to be run through ICSs by 2022, claims they are “a bottom-up response.” The proposals reduce the number of commissioning organisations from almost 200 to just 42 new “Integrated Care Systems” (ICSs). This has required merging (and eventually abolishing) local Clinical Commissioning Groups (established as public bodies by the Health & Social Care Act 2012), and replacing the 44 ‘Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships’ (STPs) set up in 2016.

The mergers inevitably result in larger bodies, more remote from the needs and concerns of any local community, and therefore a loss of local accountability. This point has been powerfully argued by the all-party Local Government Association (LGA), which represents the leaders of 335 of England’s 339 local authorities. Their response states: “We are concerned that the changes may result in a delegation of functions within a tight framework determined at the national level, where ICSs effectively bypass or replace existing accountable, place-based partnerships for health and wellbeing…. 1

https://www.england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/integrated-care-systems/ 2

Calling this body an integrated care system is to us a misnomer because it is primarily an NHS body, integrating the local NHS, not the whole health, wellbeing and social care system.”

The Health Service Journal, aimed at NHS managers, has also shown how vague the proposals are: “ICSs will be given a single pot of money from which to manage spending priorities. But there is no framework for how this will be spent that assures fairness, value for money and quality outcomes.”

29 of the proposed 42 ICSs have already been approved by NHS England – even though they lack any legal status, and almost all are functioning behind closed doors with no public accountability. The remaining 13 STPs2 are required to become ICSs by April, or face the intervention of an “intensive recovery support programme.”

The LGA calls for the establishment of alternative structures involving genuine partnership with local authorities and, through them, links to local authority services and responsibilities that are vital components of the wider determinants of health.

Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) has issued a response to the lack of public accountability inherent in ICS structures, and set out proposals for developing genuine public accountability. The Report is on the KONP website here. KONP also rejects the assumption, repeated frequently throughout ‘Integrating Care’, that social care might be managed through NHS ICS structures. KONP campaigns for a publicly provided national care, support and independent living service.

At local level, we argue it is essential that social care continues to be managed by local authorities, retaining essential links to wider local authority responsibilities such as housing, education and leisure. KONP’s critique of the approach to social care set out in Integrating Care is here.

New legislative proposals Integrating Care seeks new legislation that would provide the formal legal basis for ICSs that they currently lack, as well as changes to existing procurement requirements. KONP argues for the abolition of the commissioner-provider split, believing the NHS should be provided and managed directly as a public service, not through commercial contracts. However we argue that what is worse than a managed market in health is an unmanaged and unregulated market.

The failed £multi-billion Covid-related contracts, including those for PPE or Test and Trace, dished out with no proper procurement procedures, have revealed what this can mean in reality.

NHSE wants to scrap Section 75 of the 2012 Health & Social Care Act which requires significant contracts to be put out to competitive tender, and to remove contracts from Public Contracts Regulations.

The prospect of changing the law so that more and more large NHS contracts could be awarded without any due process or public scrutiny is seriously worrying. KONP’s detailed response to the legislative proposals in Integrating Care is here.

Values underpinning the management and direction of ICSs Under proposals for ICSs, all providers will be bound by a plan written by the ICS Board and financial controls linked to that plan. Private companies may support the Board and potentially have a place on the Board, as well as being contracted for services.

NHS England has established a Health Systems Support Framework (HSSF) to facilitate easy contracting by ICSs. The Framework consists of organisations accredited by NHS England to support the development of internal structure and management of ICSs, and, potentially, also to play a longterm role in direct management of ICSs. A quarter of the 83 organisations approved by NHSE to take on contracts with ICSs, and potentially also take seats on decision-making Boards of ICSs (as has happened in North East London) are American-based, offering expensive data-based systems designed to benefit US insurance companies and private hospital chains.

Research in the USA and experience in England has exposed the lack of evidence that data-led attempts at “population health management,” or targeting the small number of patients with complex medical and social needs, can either reduce demand or cut costs. However, such approaches do facilitate the development of private insurance pathways running alongside NHS care.

Digital technology and number-crunching are among the more lucrative areas in which private companies are seeking profitable NHS contracts, and this is a strong theme running through the HSSF. However digital and data are also areas of notorious recent private sector failures – including the Covid-tracking app, the privately-run test and trace system, Capita’s long delays in contacting professional staff offering to return to fight the pandemic, and the £10 billion saga of the NHS Programme for IT.

And while Integrating Care argues for the need to establish ICSs as “statutory bodies” with real powers, notably “the capacity to … direct resources to improve service provision,” there are real fears that NHS England sees ICSs and ‘system-wide’ policing of finances as a way of more ruthlessly enforcing cash limits and “control totals” limiting spending across each ICS, with growing lists of excluded “procedures of limited clinical value”. These approaches to structure and management of ICSs pose a major threat to the NHS, distorting and undermining the core values and ethos of the NHS.

Conclusion Integrating Care raises serious concerns for the future of the NHS and social care services, concerns that we set out in detail in papers available on the KONP website, along with proposals for alternative structures and why social care should remain the responsibility of local authorities. Our concerns, based on hard facts, are widely shared by councillors, senior NHS management, GPs and seasoned analysts. NHS England’s proposed changes threaten to make the NHS less locally responsive, less accountable, more dominated by US and other management consultants and contractors, and more focused on policing cash limits than meeting the needs of patients. NHS England’s priorities should be on strengthening the NHS in alliance with local government and communities, not creating new remote bodies or adopting systems meant to maximise profits of private health insurance. Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) January 2021 https://keepournhspublic.com/

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign urges people to support the COP26 action in Liverpool on November 6th

Women’s lungs are especially susceptible to particulates from carbon-based fuels and particularly to traffic pollution and in some countries to cooking pollution.

Babies in the womb and in early life are vulnerable to pollution. Children suffer from badly insulated and badly heated homes.

Disasters kill women three times more often than they kill men.

Above all, though our children deserve a future on our planet, in a climate system that can support human life. To do that we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.

The money spent subsidising fossil fuels would be better spent on health, care and education


Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign

is proud to join and sponsor the campaign for Climate Justice on November 6th. We support the demands for an environment fit to live in, and for a great future for all the babies born in Liverpool Women’s Hospital and those around the world.

Our children and grandchildren could live long lives in comfort and prosperity if the world drops the mass pollution machine that is fossil fuel.  The world has to change for the future of our children.

We demand action against the damage done to babies in the womb and to children’s lungs from exposure to airborne pollution from fossil fuels, especially traffic.

Badly insulated homes mean our children get ill especially with respiratory infections. We call on the government to insulate Britain to save our children and the climate

Keep Liverpool Women’s Hospital on the garden site on Crown Street, set back from Traffic. We oppose the waste involved in plans to move it to the Royal Site,  with less space and worse traffic.

Stop charging migrant women thousands for maternity care. These charges kill babies.

Devote resources not to polluting industries but to researching women’s health.

We want investment in health care as part of the Green New Deal to ensure clean air, well-insulated homes, good public transport to take cars off the road, larger well-ventilated schools, a national childcare system and well-funded social care, good youth work, support for disabled people.

Good health requires good food and that means sustainable farming for all, without the intensive farming of animals that breeds viruses.

Stop privatisation of the NHS. Stop the Health and Care Bill, invest in good healthcare for all

If we can afford to subsidise some of the richest corporations in the world to produce fossil fuels then we can definitely afford a great health service.

Midwives before fossil fuel subsidies!!

We demand major investment in health care for all and especially for women who are affected physically and mentally by pollution and stress.

We demand investment in mental health and know that a good environment helps prevent and helps heal mental illnesses

We demand the resources in staff and funding to give all women full attention during labour and good  ante and postnatal care

What practically you can do to Stop the Health and Care Bill 2021

Suggestions from simple to  complex

  • Write to  your MP and councillors. It does not matter what party. They all need to hear from their constituents. If you can, go to their surgery/ office. Make an appointment.
  • Write to a friend or family member who has a Conservative MP asking them to contact their MP. Conservative MPS are particularly crucial. Many do not  understand what goes on the NHS and  those in newly won seats are anxious about it
  • Put a poster up in your window. We will soon have car stickers.  Email us with your address and we will send them to you
  • If you are in a trade union, write to them asking them to  raise their game in the campaign against  the Health and Care Bill. We can send you a draft letter.
  • Write to your local CCG or ICS
  • Talk to friends and family so they know about it to and ask them to do any of the above
  • Send one of our post cards ( awaiting delivery) to any of the above
  • Do the above once a week or once a fortnight
  • Sign petitions including this one
  • If you have knowledge or interest write to the members of the Select Committee in Parliament during early  September

Those letters that seem individual are most effective

Slightly  more involved

Even more involved

  1. Help leaflet hospitals and other workplaces early morning
  2. Help with Stalls outside Conservative Party MPs offices
  3. Help with the Don’t blow it kill the Bill hankies for MPs campaign by embroidering a  white hanky to give to a Tory MP
  4. Help find a place to exhibit the tapestries
  5. Attend a training session
  6. Come to demonstrations ( these are limited at the moment.. we need to respect Covid)
  7. Help invent still more ideas than those above

Asking Conservative MPs to scrap the Health and Care Bill.

#DontBlowIt#NHSResistance  #NHS_Not_ICS  #SaveOurNHS #NHSPay15 

The last leg of our tour of Tory constituencies in Lancashire ended this week with a trip to the Morecambe and Lunesdale seat of David Morris MP and then a visit to the Wyre & Preston North seat of Ben Wallace MP. 

This has been a collective campaign by Unite Community Lancashire branch, along with Chorley and South Ribble Hospital campaign, and members variously  from Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital campaign,  SHA Liverpool City Region, Keep our NHS Public Merseyside, Defend Our NHS Wirral and Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC), and members from various Constituency Labour Parties and from Trades councils in Lancashire.

The plan was to contact the 11 Conservative MPs in Lancashire who all voted the Health & Care Bill through on its second reading. The aim was to urge them to vote against the Bill and to oppose the Integrated Care Systems into which the NHS has been remodelled. We wanted to deliver to each of them a lovingly hand embroidered handkerchief with the message 

“Don’t Blow It! Kill the Health & Care Bill Before It Kills Us”

Thanks to the CK999 and 999CallForTheNHS campaigns for the brilliantly creative  #DontBlowIt campaign and to all the volunteers around the country who have been hand embroidering handkerchiefs.

We attempted to visit 13 Tory MPs as we included a trip to Bury North MP James Daly and Bury South MP Christian Wakeford. No one in James Daly’s office would deign to come to the door and would only communicate over the intercom. 

In some constituencies, we held stalls near the MP’s office to speak to local voters. It was heartening to see the extent of awareness in the public of the dismantling of the NHS,  they knew they were being denied care, they knew it has been made so difficult to get appointments,  referrals, tests, scans and that they or their friends and family are suffering as a result. Those who worked in the NHS knew they were being taken for granted, underpaid, exhausted, expected to do more for less, their lives being put at risk throughout the pandemic. They understood that remodelling the NHS on the American system is  a terrifying prospect for us all. 

Why would any government think it was a good idea to push through the complete remodelling of the NHS and fast track legislation to legitimise what they have already done during a global pandemic which has killed hundreds of thousands in the UK and millions across the planet? 

No one admires the US system so why would a 21st Century country import that profit-driven system in place of Bevan’s National Health Service? That US system which incentivises cuts, which is a bare minimum “service”, which is bureaucratic,  inefficient and yet massively more expensive to run,  and which encourages denial of care and consequently has pain suffering and death built-in. 

The public were angry, and they couldn’t sign our petition quick enough. We often had queues of socially distanced people waiting for their opportunity to sign the petition.  

The sun shone again yesterday. Unfortunately, no one at the office of  David Morris was prepared to speak to us or meet us. They didn’t answer their phone. We were told by another occupant of the building that whoever was in his office wouldn’t come down. He wasn’t listed on the board of occupants so we couldn’t contact his office by the entrance intercom. So, we had to post his embroidered handkerchief in his letterbox.

Ben Wallace’s office in Great Eccleston was deserted. (Just like the offices of Jake Berry, Nigel Evans, Christian Wakeford). No answer at the door. No lights on. No intercom even.  Again, how do people contact him? If you can’t even catch him in his constituency during the very long summer parliamentary recess, when MPs are supposed to be back in their constituencies, it must be impossible when Parliament is sitting. But never mind we will go back another time to see them again.

Again, we had to post his embroidered handkerchief through his letterbox.

Mark Menzies – no way of contacting him in the constituency,  no office, no answer on phone.

Paul Maynard– no answer on phone, address apparently on an industrial estate.

Jake Berry – deserted

Nigel Evans – deserted

Christian Wakeford – deserted

Ben Wallace – deserted

Katherine Fletcher, Andrew Stephenson, Antony Higginbotham, Scott Benton – staff came to the door.

David Morris, James Daly – although apparently there was someone in the office, no one would deign to come to the door to take receipt of the handkerchiefs

What can we say about Sara Britcliffe MP for Hyndburn? Well, Sara’s staff could see and hear me at their door but refused initially to answer the intercom. Eventually, veteran  County Councillor and Lancashire County Council vice-chair, father of the MP, came to the door and accepted the handkerchief, leaflets and letter addressed to his MP daughter. Sadly, shortly afterwards, the MP who was not present to witness what happened,  wrote a misleading post on Facebook making false accusations against us, alleging that we surrounded her staff and intimidated them. Must be those Harry Potter books again and the Hogwarts’s school of magical thinking if I alone could “surround” one man and intimidate him? Quite a magical power! 🦄🧙‍♀️🎩 This false account was picked up and repeated by Lancs Live with no attempt to verify what happened. 

It was then picked up by the Lancashire Telegraph, again with no attempt to ask what my version of events was other than to ask for permission to use our photos, which I didn’t see until after they already used them. The Lancashire Telegraph piece was quite comical, it made fun of the MPs accusations using the tag #HankyIntimidation and for some reason they did seek a quote from Cllr Peter Britcliffe who was forced to admit he was not intimidated by me, being as he is such an experienced long-term Councillor. He would have looked silly trying to claim he was surrounded and intimidated by one woman wielding a scary hand-embroidered handkerchief! 

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/19491158.hyndburn-social-media-row-save-nhs-hanky-intimidation/

We must thank Sara Britcliffe MP and her daddy, County Councillor Peter Britcliffe for increasing the publicity our visit got. 👏 It’s a pity the local media/press didn’t want to report more often and in-depth about NHS privatisation and about our tour of Lancashire. Perhaps they will use this blog to do so? 🤔

I don’t know how constituents get hold of some of these Tory MPs. It’s nigh on impossible.  Presumably, you must write to them. We did find a post-box for David Morris which is more than can be said for Fylde MP Mark Menzies who didn’t appear to have an office in the constituency at all. His constituents must have to write to him at Parliament. 

We found an address for Paul Maynard MP,  Blackpool North & Cleveleys, on another industrial estate but it was Friday 13th and we had had enough of wild goose chases searching for the non-existent offices of Mark Menzies so when we didn’t get an answer by phone we decided to stop wasting our time and petrol!

So, 13 MPs later, unlucky for some? unlucky for all of us if they wave through this Bill! 

If you are a constituent of any of these MPs please go to one of their surgeries ( if you can get hold of them and if they hold surgeries) or write to them, tell them you object to the remodelling of the NHS, don’t be fobbed off by platitudes that they “love the NHS” or the “NHS is safe and will never be privatised”. All governments of all colours have said that while continuing the long slow privatisation by stealth. This bill is the final nail in the NHS coffin, and it must be opposed outright. It can’t be tinkered with and improved by amendments, the whole premise of the Bill is dangerous and destroys the NHS denationalising it, breaking it down into 42 separate businesses with capped budgets, with private profiteers able to sit on the boards and committees making decisions about what services will be offered, to whom and which providers will get the lucrative contracts. It is about denying care. 

We can afford a high quality, universal,  comprehensive publicly provided and run National Health Service available free to all according to medical need. This model is far cheaper than the US model both for patients and the Government finances

We, the public,  cannot afford to allow the government to reduce our NHS any further, it’s already a shrunken postcode lottery provided by a hotchpotch of providers.

The disastrous remodelling of the NHS had no political, legal or democratic mandate, no one proposed it at an election, no one had the chance to vote for or against it, but they did it anyway. The top bureaucracy of the NHS, closely advised by the big healthcare corporations, created Integrated Care Systems quangos which had no legal authority, but which have gone round dictating and calling the shots around Lancashire and South Cumbria (and across the whole of England).

Sadly, many MPs, CCGs, GPs, Hospital trusts, Councillors and local authorities have meekly gone along with their diktat putting up no resistance.

Where is the evidence that the local organisations scrutinised these plans,  or did they wave them through?

Where is the regard for the health and wellbeing of the population?  The rhetoric was about Integrated health and care being better, fluffy & cosy leading to prevention of ill health, reduction of inequality and better services! Sounds lovely. But it was all magical thinking!

Social care is indisputably a mess. Council funding has been cut to the bone, the providers of services are now largely private companies running expensive disconnected businesses paid for from people’s own pockets or from the cash strapped councils. Poor  Pay and conditions have led to a terrible turnover in staff. How has it been integrated into NHS provision?

We want a nationally-funded universal care system run by public service, free at the point of need. Not a privatised fragmented service that leeches off the NHS and  local authority budgets

The Health and Care Bill says nothing about social care, it does not oblige any organisation to provide Hospital care for us. It involves the denial of medical care in return for a bigger share of the savings/profits for providers, it requires staff to do more for less, work beyond their competencies & be “flexible” meaning they can be forced to work anywhere in the footprint of Lancashire and South Cumbria or beyond and forced to work for any provider including private profiteers

WORSE STILL they plan to make £340,000,000 of cuts to services in Lancashire and South Cumbria alone and on top of all this, the measly 1% pay offer (effectively a pay cut as its well below the inflation figure of 4%) has to be funded out of existing inadequate budgets.

So, I would really like for one of these MPs to explain how that can work? How do you magically conjure up better services, better health & care for the nation while continuing to undermine the NHS, continuing to pay poverty wages & cutting staff income, continuing with staff shortages, cutting budgets, making “savings”, allowing profiteers to take out huge profits from the ICS capped budget etc?

What kind of magical thinking or delusion is this? Have they all been reading Harry Potter books, looking for unicorns and phoenixes or invisibility spells? It’s an impossibility. It’s fiction. 

We had an efficient,  integrated health system, it was called the NHS. We need it to be renationalised, reinstated and properly resourced for all our sakes and for future generations.

It is possible that some  Conservative MPs really do not understand the NHS sufficiently well to know what is going on

 For a straightforward explanation of the Bill please see this and for more detail this

Tell your MP, wherever you live in England, whichever party they represent, that you want them to oppose NHS reorganisation into Integrated Care Systems (or whatever new name they give them to pretend their plan has changed) and you want them to vote against the Health and Care Bill during the Committee stages, the House of Lords stages and when it returns to the House of Commons in late autumn.

Health and Care Bill; councillors can help scrap the Bill!

Dear Councillor

You can help save the NHS from the Health and Care Bill now in Parliament.

This bill is a threat to the NHS in total.

  • Breaking the National Health Service into around 42 geographical systems with reduced responsibilities to provide healthcare
  • The American managed (or accountable) care model, designed to create a two-tier system, a bare bones service for those who are too poor or ill to get private healthcare/insurance.  
  • Private companies getting a seat on the Integrated Care System boards. Companies could get huge contracts without competition  
  • We can expect rationed treatment, so more people will have to pay
  • Restricted funding
  • More private companies involved through the Health System Support Framework.
  • Threats to staff professional regulations
  • Local Authorities having less say but being bound by the Integrated Care  Board  decisions on annual budgets
  • Local Authorities having less say on closures
  • Using Apps, overriding clinicians’ skills and knowledge by making them follow actuarial algorithms
  • Discharge to Assess – discharge from hospital without care packages in place
  • Neglect of maternity

Who says NO to the bill?

Keep our NHS Public, Defend our NHS, Socialist Health Association, Open Democracy. Every Doctor, National Pensioners Convention. Public Matters. Socialist Health Association, 999 Call for the NHS. Health Campaigns Together. We Own It. British Medical Association, Labour Party Conference Policy. All the local health campaigns working together in Cheshire and Merseyside including the local trades councils

What you can do: Add your name to the opposition. Help tell your electors of this risk. Vote for your council to cease cooperation with the so called Integrated Care System. The only integration is with the private sector, Care is till privately owned, under funded, unstable, means tested and far from comprehensive and it is privately owned( and very profitble. We want a service not a sytem

Call a meeting in your area.

The NHS has already been badly damaged by the Government:

  • Poor funding for a decade
  • Outsourcing
  • Shortage of staff
  • Poorly paid staff
  • Bringing in private companies
  • PFI (Just look at the “new” Royal)
  • The chaos of privatised and means tested Social Care.
  • ICS system  introduced without legal sanction
  • Years of cuts in beds
  • Mental health service in ruins
  • Children’s mental health services damaged
  • Dental care not available for many
  • Maternity services needing urgent investment and better staffing
  • The pandemic deaths
  • Children getting illnesses of poverty
  • Millions wasted on propaganda by the big corporations involved in the NHS
  • GP surgeries taken over by private companies
  •  Propaganda hiding the truth of cuts


Our Alternative

  • A fully funded, fully staffed NHS
  • Publicly owned, publicly delivered
  • Free at the point of need
  • A national service across the whole country.
  • Good pay for staff
  • Health care for all and end to migrant charges and the migrant surcharge
  • Fully funded maternity services and  healthcare for women
  • Mental health care  given greater priority
  • No more hospital closures
  • Good healthcare for children
  • Fully funded public health services

Health care makes a country richer and happier, not poorer. It is an investment which returns financial as well as health benefits to the country, communities, families and communities.

Public service is more efficient than private sector health care in every country.

A national care and independent living service, for our elders  for  disabled people, and all who need support. It should be fully funded free at the point of need but  distinct from the NHS. End the privatised free for all in social care

The NHS was built by cate backgroundtend will be defended by  a mass movement.

Why should a Labour Council cooperate with ending the NHS? The damage will be blamed on local councils. Voters will blame you along with the Conservatives

A public campaign to stop this bill can win to show how the government and their cronies in the private companies are risking our health

The football fans made the government change their mind, so can we

This is the time to say NO

Share this video which explains this well•https://youtu.be/7vjoR7LnDqU

July 3rd 2021

Come and join one of the local rallies, to mark 73 years of the NHS.

Please take all all covid precautions

Take back the NHS

What we want

  •   World class  NHS for all
  •   Funded by the government-
  •   All the treatments we need
  •   Healthcare for all. No one is safe until we all are safe
  •   Access to our GPs and keeping  the GPs as the person who decides if we can be referred to hospital
  •   All NHS money to go  to patient care not to profit.
  •   Well paid staff on national pay and conditions and union recognition #PayNHS15
  •    Independently regulated staff
  •   A national service
  •   No the hospital closures.
  •   Comprehensive mental health services for all
  •   World class maternity antenatal, post-natal and fertility services
  • Heath services that provide well   for women
  •   Data privacy
  •   End outsourcing
  •   A Comprehensive Universal National Care service
  •   Respectful  investigation into the Pandemic
  •   The NHS is the most cost effective and equitable healthcare system in the world.. when it is funded properly

What we want

Stop the  NHS Whitepaper. It won’t get through if people know about it so spread the word.

What the Government is doing.

  • Breaking NHS into 42 different regions.
  • Bringing big corporations onto the local boards
  • Setting up ICS boards
  • Restricting treatments through population funding
  • Reducing the number of hospitals. Giving land to private companies
  • Money going to  private companies not patient care or  staff pay.
  • Damaging  mental healthcare
  • Supporting and funding the private sector
  • Introducing the HSSF; a group of     firms to outsource NHS work
  • Proposing to change regulation of professions
  • Phone appointments and digital access which rules out many people, especially pensioners
  • Breaking the link with GPs
  • Referral organisations, not GPs to  decide if we can be referred to a specialist
  • Reducing the treatments available
  • Leaving many with no dental care
  • Hospital closures
  • Some are already implemented. All of this is in the White Paper

Talk to family friends and workmates, find out more…

Put a poster in your window…

Work with others in your area to spread the campaign…

Join a union…

Pass resolutions in your union branch…

Set up a local stall…

Write to your councillor; councillors can help stop this…

Write to your MP…

Leaflet your street…

Organise at work…

get involved with the campaign; link to it here

link to our camapign here

The implications of the NHS White Paper for staff, which should ring alarm bells for all unions organising in the NHS.

Greg Dropkin, a retired NHS administration worker and long term warrior and researcher for the NHS campaigns spoke at our zoom meeting about the impact of the proposed legisaltion as foreshadowed in the NHS White Paper. These are his notes

Every trade unionist should be interested

“I will be talking about the implications for staff, which should ring alarm bells for all unions organising in the NHS.  But let’s start with the Health Systems Support Framework, an NHS England scheme to accredit companies to support the development of Integrated Care Systems.

The HSSF already involves 200 companies including 30 US firms involved in the health market, providing health insurance or supplying services to insurers. IBM, Optum – owned by UnitedHealth, Cerner, Centene, Palantir. The Bill is expected to allow them onto ICS Boards and Committees, with pivotal roles in setting up digital and data systems. Already in Bristol, Virgin is on the ICS Board. It is accredited for 6 topics under the Framework:

1) Shared or Integrated Care Records (Implementation Support); 2) Development of Service Change and reconfiguration proposals; 3) Transformation project and programme management (expertise and capacity); 4) Organisational redesign, governance, payment and contract reform; 5) Workforce and leadership development; 6) Patient pathway optimisation and care model design

This isn’t about Virgin getting a contract to run a service designed by the NHS, it’s Virgin and other transnationals lined up to tell the NHS how it should redesign and govern itself with new payment systems and contract models, and develop the workforce to deliver new models of care.

The Bill will be based on a White Paper which adopted proposals from NHS England.

I’ll talk about 3 issues for staff: national agreements, flexible working, and deregulation.

Agreements

Currently, NHS staff are covered by national agreements on wages, terms and conditions. The agreement covering all healthcare staff apart from doctors and dentists, is called Agenda for Change.

Neither the White Paper, nor the Consultation which NHS England ran over Xmas, nor the Workforce Strategy for Cheshire & Merseyside, mentions Agenda for Change or wages, terms and conditions. If you search for “pay” in the Workforce Strategy, the only thing that comes up is: “…we must improve the experience of our people. At every level we need to pay much greater attention to why many of them leave the NHS” (!)

Breaking up the NHS into 42 separate ICSs each with their own budget, threatens the national agreements, because each ICS will be trying to cut the costs in their own area, and staffing is the biggest item because healthcare is still labour intensive, although of course they want to change that.

Back in 2012, employers in the South West tried to break from Agenda for Change. It was known as the South West Pay Cartel, and all the unions including the RCN fought it off. Here’s what NHS South of England said at the time:

We are aware that some employers are considering working more collaboratively in order to ensure that their pay frameworks represent best value for money… the Strategic Health Authority continues to work with employers and trades unions in applying national terms and conditions where employers do not have the freedom to develop their own.

Now the ICS will give employers that freedom. Before Xmas, an NHS England consultation on reform of the payment system stated:

The blended payment model would involve: •a fixed payment based on the costs of delivering a level of activity conforming to the ICS system plan •The fixed payment would be based on consideration of costs, rather than prices. •The value of the fixed payment would be determined locally. •Fixed payments would be expected to include funding for new ways of delivering services – for example where there are service design changes

Now a locally determined fixed payment based on consideration of costs means that there is no guarantee that staff costs will be tied to a national agreement on wages, terms and conditions.

The latest guidance from NHS England, issued this month, includes a commitment to protect terms and conditions for CCG staff being directly transferred into the ICS body, but says nothing about the other 1 million NHS employees.

Flexibility

The latest NHS England guidance, like the earlier consultation, highlights flexible working.

To support local and national people priorities for the one workforce in the system,

the ICS NHS body should work with organisations across the ICS to:

….

Develop new ways of working and delivering care that optimise staff skills, technology and wider innovation to meet population health needs and to create flexible and rewarding career pathways for those working in the system. This should be enabled by inclusive employment models, workforce sharing arrangements and passporting or accreditation systems.

This will allow continual redeployment as and when deemed necessary.

It will interfere with union organisation, demoralise staff, reduce continuity of care, undermine local knowledge and team working, and require more travelling, which is bad for the environment as well as staff.

Also, inclusive employment could allow redeployment into private sector partners.

Later on in the document, NHS England say NHS bodies are expected to

“adopting a simplified cloud-first infrastructure that provides agility and frictionless cross-site working experience for the workforce.”

This poorly written phrase suggests that as long as the computer system is set up for it, all other problems with continual redeployment are irrelevant.

Deregulation

A) Non-nurses in nursing roles.

On 9 June, the Guardian reported the RCN warning that NHS trusts are recruiting people without the right qualifications to act as registered nurses, despite the risk to patients. One trust advertised for a matron – a managerial role usually filled by a senior nurse – to work in acute medicine but said that a qualification in nursing was not necessary. Another trust sought to recruit a matron who would be responsible for older people’s mental health and learning disability services, but did not specify that the successful applicant had to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which regulates both professions. Another advert for a nursing role stressed that the recruit could be a staff nurse, nursing associate – a new role being expanded to help plug the shortfall of registered nurses – or healthcare assistant.

B) The White Paper would give power to the Secretary of State to remove individual professions from regulation in future. “over time and with changing technology the risk profile of a given profession may change and while regulation may be necessary now to protect the public, this may not be the case in the future.” But technology means taking decisions by algorithms and apps instead of clinical judgement. If the healthworker lacks skills, training and experience, they won’t even be able to tell their manager they think the computer is wrong, either because of a glitch or a badly written programme. This is a risk to patients and also threatens professional development.

C) The Bill will remove the NHS from the scope of the Public Contract Regulations 2015. This is being promoted as an end to privatisation, but it actually means an unregulated market, without the protections in the PCR 2015 under which “contracting authorities may consider incorporating social, ethical and environmental aspects into specifications, contract conditions and award criteria. In addition specific rules have been included for handling abnormally low tenders, and on the exclusion of suppliers who have violated certain social, labour and environmental laws.” Those protections will vanish.

Over the last year, Government spent £37 billion on a Corporate Test & Trace which failed – even as the Delta variant emerged, when case numbers were low and the timing was ideal for it to work. The government threw billions more at private sector crony contracts, like those in the latest revelation from the Good Law project:

*Uniserve Limited* is a logistics firm controlled by Iain Liddell

Prior to the pandemic the firm had no experience in supplying PPE, yet the firm landed a staggering £300m+ in PPE contracts from the DHSC and an eye watering £572m

deal to provide freight services for the supply of PPE. The company shares the same address as Cabinet Minister Julia Lopez MP and is based in her constituency. Here they are together.   https://goodlawproject.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=a04999673229750da830ac1e4&id=0ac74f3919&e=c19d38942c

Now the government have the audacity to claim their response to Covid is the model for redesigning the entire NHS through partnerships with the private sector.

Action:

Leafleting staff: what we’ve done and will do.

Model motion.

Talk to people. MPs. “

Building the NHS campaign with John McDonnell MP, Ian Byrne MP, and Margaret Greenwood MP

(This video starts with some noise distortion but settles quickly)

We have an excellent healthcare system in the NHS. Its battered and bruised but still worth its weight in gold.Our campaign is for a fully funded public service providing all the treatments and to everyone The NHS is not only in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of delivering millions of vaccines and in the midst of major staff shortages, it is also facing a fundamental political reorganisation by this government. This reorganisation is spelled out in the NHS Whitepaper, a reorganisation which will ration services, ramp up profit for private companies. and pay the corporations to cut our services. It has significant implications too for NHS staff. The NHS is being split into 42 very different areas Ours is Merseyside and Cheshire.

As ordinary people we have to do our best to spread the word of what is happenning and give people the chance both to be informed and to take action. We were delighted to be joined in a zoom meeting by two local MPS. Margaret Greenwood MP and Ian Byrne, and by John McDonnell MP

Our June 22nd 2021 meeting started with an introduction to our local campaign. Our campaign is for a fully funded public national health service providing all the treatments for everyone. Nothing less.

Report to public meeting from Cheshire & Merseyside Campaign 22 June 2021

To date, we have written to hundreds of council candidates in Wirral and in West Lancashire before the local elections in May asking if they were prepared to oppose Integrated Care Systems.

In the last 3 weeks, we have written to every councillor in the footprint of the Cheshire & Merseyside ICS, that’s 9 councils comprising 579 councillors from all parties. The headline under which we have written to them is “Not on Your Watch”. We sent them detailed briefings explaining ICS and the implications of the white paper. We have offered to provide more information, to speak at council meetings or party groupings and to work with any council or councillor and any party willing to engage with us.
We have had some replies but not many considering the number of emails sent. The replies we did receive range from automated replies, to replies saying that they are not responsible and directing us to some other councillor, to saying they are planning a meeting to discuss the meaning of ICS, to saying they do not understand, to disclaiming responsibility for waving through this remodelling and claiming they are trying to mitigate the effects, to some who are supporting our campaign and want more information.

In particular the green party group in Wirral council are interested in learning from us and have invited us to meet with them.

Cheshire West had invited Felicity, on behalf of the local trades council, to speak but have now postponed that meeting until the Bill is published when they will have very little time to oppose it if the rumours are true that it will be rushed to a second reading by the end of July.

The ICS restructuring is made to sound complicated, using misleading vocabulary, ignoring traditional boundaries and local historical arrangements. The chief officer of the Lancs & Sth Cumbria ICS was one of those in Davos with Simon Stevens when McKinsey drew up their plans for the NHS. L&SC was one of the early vanguard ICS and so has been grappling with the restructuring and new ways of thinking for some years. In January 2020, Amanda Doyle also took over as chief officer at West Lancashire CCG (she was already chief officer of two other CCGs) and the tension in the room was palpable. Previously CCG meetings had been fairly relaxed affairs, the former chief officer sat off to the side, was mostly quiet throughout and was softly spoken when he did contribute. However, under the new regime it was clear the boss had entered the room, she sat centre stage and took control. She does the same at ICS level and often reminds committee members that they are straying into the old ways of thinking and they need to forget boundaries and CCGs borders. They talk about getting the “right people around the table” especially from local authorities because they have “difficult decisions to make” – one difficult decision is how to make £300m of cuts across the ICS, £ 200m of it in one year was their original aim. They have spent a fortune on bringing in consultancy firms to re-educate NHS staff and others to think in the ICS way and to persuade the public to change our way of thinking about what the NHS is for and what we should expect from it, e.g., our GP-patient relationships are being broken down. They talk about “winning hearts and minds” and admitted in one meeting that they are “not quite there yet” in persuading clinicians. So, it is no surprise that councillors and the public find the concept difficult to understand. We have access to speakers from our collective campaign and also from other organisations and we will return as many times as necessary to speak to groups until they have grasped the ICS model and its implications. We really want to keep the dialogue open.

Some councillors have claimed they are mitigating the worst excesses of the bill and claim to have reached an agreement in C&M whereby each of the 9 councils will have one councillor on the ICS board. However, the recent government guidance is that there will be one councillor from the ICS footprint and that councillor will not represent their local government sector. Who or how will the 9 councils decide which councillor is the chosen one or is it the ICS chief who can bestow such gifts?

We are not looking for mitigation or amelioration, to quote our very own Dr Alex Scott-Samuel that is just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. What we are calling for from councillors is wholehearted, loud, and vocal, public opposition to ICSs particularly labour councillors just like the uproar we heard from football fans in the 48 hours it took them to turn around the involvement of US corporations and the European Super league. If we do not want US global giants like United Health and Centene running our football, we certainly do not want them running our NHS.

We will be following up our letters to councillors reminding them that this wholesale destruction of the NHS is happening on their watch, and it will go down in the history books as the biggest theft perpetrated against an entire population.

Another campaign action over the last 3 weeks was the distribution of 5000 leaflets to NHS staff at their shift changeover mainly at 7am. Our campaigners were outside The Royal, Aintree, Liverpool Women’s, Arrowe Park, Alder Hey, Southport and also at a picket with striking Biomedical Scientists at Burnley General Hospital. Greg will speak more about the industrial action in Burnley. We handed out the KONP leaflet aimed at NHS staff, and it was very well received by them. We could see them reading it before their shifts, as they came off shift and during their breaks.
For the last month, campaigners have been holding stalls in West Kirby, Wallasey, Ellesmere Port, Crewe and Chester with a good reception and causing merriment by handing out leaflets via fishing nets to ensure social distancing! These stalls will continue, and we are planning stalls across Sefton, Knowsley, South Liverpool and also in Blackburn over the next few weeks. Please get in touch if you can do a stall in your location, the idea is to have them all over the footprint and beyond. We can supply you with leaflets and posters or alternatively let us know if you want to join us on a stall. Everyone is most welcome. Bring your fishing net!
For over a year we have been producing our own artwork for posters, having them printed and laminated and putting them up in prominent locations around the C&M footprint but mainly across Merseyside. For example posters were put on railings in Sefton Park, Otterspool Prom, County Road, Walton Vale, Ellesmere Port and many more places like parks, shopping areas,and in shop and café windows. Members have also encouraged the public to take the posters home and to put them in a window. We have electronic posters in distinctive vivid blue and yellow which we use for social media posts and for banners to create a recognisable colour scheme and message. Our posters are being used by other campaign groups. Let us know if you would like a poster for your window.

Other work we have undertaken is to speak at as many meetings as we can with organisations, campaign groups, political party meetings, union branches, Trades councils, Area Activists meetings, North West health committees and privately with a wide range of union officials and MPs and supporters. This is getting the message out, building the body of people who understand what the whitepaper threatens and who can in turn speak to colleagues at work and at home to spread awareness, and aids us in getting the ICS motion passed and pushed through the layers of parties and unions. Our aim is to bring people on board with our campaign and it has spurred some on to start their own campaigns. We have learned lots of new skills, made new friends and built up relationships and it has to be said we have also ruffled a few feathers which is exactly the aim of our campaign. We need people to feel uncomfortable about what they are waving through. Zoom has enabled us to reach audiences we may never have reached before.
We want all unions and all sectors talking about this attack on the NHS not just health unions and health branches. These plans put patients at risk, risk jobs and leave staff at risk particularly when being expected to work beyond their competencies. We all need the NHS and we need properly trained and properly paid NHS staff.

Our efforts are gaining momentum and as we speak to each group, they are horrified to learn what has happened to the NHS and the way it has been restructured without any political mandate nor any statutory authority to do so.
Our campaigners also attend CCG, ICS, Trust Board meetings, council O&S and Health and Wellbeing meetings. We raise Freedom of Information requests and hold them to account where we can.

We are building a movement – anyone who can help with any of these actions, who can write letters, use social media, write articles, use technology etc is urged to get in touch. We need any skills you can bring to the campaign.

Our campaigning against the NHS restructuring did not just start this year, it has been going for years including resisting the closure of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital as part of the ICS restructuring which is an ongoing battle. Two years ago, we mounted a mass campaign over the course of 2 weeks against the MyChoice NHS price list at Warrington Hospital Trust, giving out 5000 leaflets, getting signatures on petitions, lobbying MPs, getting articles in the Daily Mirror and The Echo and forcing Simon Stevens to have to speak about it in a House of Commons committee meeting. We got that pricelist paused but it is part of the restructuring of the NHS so it will come back on the agenda and indeed it was forced through in other parts of the country.
But the point is, we CAN do this if we build enough pressure from the ground up so that those in positions of power cannot ignore us. They have to take notice. Just like people did in the poll tax campaign. It just needs us all to do our bit however small.

Don’t give away your data

We reproduce this from medConfidential.org Get your form in as soon as possible..

We reproduce this from MedConfidential

How to opt out

Choices available to you in the new GP data collection

None of the choices below will affect your medical care, or the data that is available for your care. A longer and different process is required for families with children or other dependents, which we walk you through.

If you live in England and want to stop your GP data leaving your GP practice for purposes other than your direct care, you can do so by filling in and giving or posting the form in step 1 to your GP:

1)  Protect your GP data: fill in and give this ‘Type 1’ form to your GP practice [PDF] [or MS Word] – this form allows you to include details for your children and dependants as well. This is the most urgent step; the deadline to get your form to your GP practice is 23 June 2021according to NHS Digital.

2)  If you want to stop your non-GP data, such as hospital or clinic treatments, being used/sold for purposes other than your direct care (e.g. for “research and planning“) you must use this process:

  • If you have children under 13, you need to fill in this form [PDF] and e-mail or post it back to NHS Digital – this form works for both you and your children.
  • If you have an adult dependant for whom you have legal responsibility, you must use this form [PDF] and send it back to NHS Digital on their behalf.

There is no deadline for step 2, the National Data Opt-out (i.e. your non-GP data), but the sooner you do it, the sooner it takes effect. The National Data Opt-out will not stop your GP data being extracted by the new GP data collection.

N.B. If you opted out of care.data in 2014, then you shouldn’t need to do anything now. As most people did both a ‘Type 1’ opt-out and what is now a National Data Opt-out, you can check your NHS Digital opt-out status online at NHS Digital. Your GP opt-out status will probably match the opt-out status shown there; although if you’re not sure, giving a a ‘Type 1’ form to your GP Practice now doesn’t have any risk.

If you don’t have access to a working printer, you can ask the NHS Digital Contact Centre to post you the forms you need. Their phone number is 0300 303 5678 and they are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Or, if you prefer, you can e-mail printer@medConfidential.org with your postal address and we will post you copies of the paper forms, for free, no questions asked. If you don’t have e-mail, you can text your address to us on 07980 210 746. If you can afford to make a small donation to support us in offering this service to others, we have a donation page. We will, of course, only use your details to send you the forms you want and will delete them as soon as we have done that. (medConfidential is registered with the ICO to process personal data in this way.)

As new information or actions that you can take become available, we inform people via our mailing list:
Join our mailing list
We will not share your details with anyone else.


GP data: As your ‘front door’ to the NHS, your GP holds the lifetime history of your GP care; all of your prescriptions, your diagnoses, your ailments, your tests and referrals – and the context for them all as well. You have the choice whether information from your GP record is copied outside of your GP practice for purposes other than your direct medical care. (This choice was created in 2010, and is between you and your GP only.)  Your GP treats you; other parts of the NHS tend to treat ‘a condition’.

Other data: The National Data Opt-out is intended to cover your data being copied from all other care providers, and NHS Digital, for purposes beyond your direct care. This choice will in time cover all hospitals, etc. but can at present only be set via NHS Digital, the option to do so via your GP having been withdrawn in 2018. (N.B. The National Data Opt-out does also cover your data leaving bodies such as Public Health England, which used to run the database of every patient who has ever had cancer, as well as other databases.)

Opting out: While in 2014 you could opt out of secondary uses (i.e. non-care uses) of your NHS data with a single form, now you must use at least two different processes – three, if you have children or dependents.


Re-use of your records beyond your direct medical care:
Choices not available to you

Exercising the opt-out choices linked above will protect you from some risks – certainly more risks than if you do not express those choices. Both opt-outs do precisely what the Department of Health claims they do, but they do not protect you as they could.

These choices do not, for example, currently:

As of 2021, some NHS bodies’ actions are still not compliant with the 2018 Data Protection Act, which implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law. And several of the important safeguards promised in 2014 are still entirely missing:

  • The commercial re-use loophole remains open;
  • No ‘single-strike’ penalties are in place;
  • No significant contractual sanctions have been applied, despite serious breaches;
  • No Regulations have been laid to guide the Confidentiality Advisory Group;
  • NHS Digital is still releasing huge volumes of linked, individual-level patient histories rather than using safe settings;
  • The sole independent advisory group on collecting GP data – GPES IAG, the group that first raised concerns about care.data – was abolished without a full replacement.

The best way to have confidence in how your wishes will be respected, and in how your data will be used next month, is to see how your data was used last month. This, for all the reasons we list above, remains impossible.

Our NHS in Danger

(A leaflet from Defend our NHS Wirral given out at their stall this weekend. The details will differ in different areas but the issues are the same.)

Who’s running our NHS? The wrong people. For the wrong reasons.

What do you want from the NHS?

  • Free health care for everyone, everywhere—or being forced to ‘go private’?
  • Seeing your GP — or questions on a screen?
  • Experienced professionals — or an ‘app’? or a call centre?
  • A walk-in centre and hospital services near home—or not even in Wirral?
  • Treatment decisions by medical staff on medical grounds—or an accountant in the USA?

Well, the people below want you to have the second choice in every case. They call it ‘efficiency’. Or ‘patient choice’ . We call it putting profits before people, with lucrative opportunities for the private sector.

What’s happening? Our precious NHS will disappear next April, replaced (here and in 41 other regions) by a so-called ‘integrated care system’ (ICS).

Already in the driving seat (yes, in Wirral as well as nationally) are giant corporations, many of them American. You know the nightmare of American ‘healthcare’; it’s here.

We have to stop the ICS. Why? In each of them:

  • a “single pot” budget will cover all the people in one area (instead of paying for
  •  individual treatments, like now). So waiting lists will lengthen and there will be rationing. Cash-strapped hospitals will depend on treating ever more private patients.
  • there will be two boards, one of which could appoint private companies to sit on it. Companies on boards will be awarding each other contracts, and many of them will be American. Contracts will be handed out without a tendering process (like the cro nyism during the pandemic but on an even bigger scale).
  • NHS staff face an uncertain future. They will be required to work with more “flexibility”. “Cheaper” staff will be expected to take on work without professional qualifications or regulation.

Who’s running our NHS? McKinsey of New York, United Health and Optum of Minneap- olis, Centene and Operose of St Louis, Cerner of Kansas City….

We think we should be running our NHS—for PEOPLE NOT PROFIT. JOIN US TO STOP THE ICS!

EMAIL defendournhswirral@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs https://twitter.com/DefendourNHS

Published by Defend Our NHS and Wirral Trades Union Council

Black Babies’ Lives Matter.

We respond here to the terrible news that babies of black mothers are twice as likely to suffer a stillbirth.

This article represents an immediate response to recent news. We need to find out what the situation is at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and will report back. We do know that the hospital is aware of the issues and has interventions in place.

It would be wrong to scare mums who are pregnant. The figures are still low, it is still a rare occurance, but any preventable baby deaths are too many. The heartbreak lasts forever.

Infant Mortality: These countries are better than UK in delivering live babies. Japan,1.9 deaths per 1,000 births Sweden, Finland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, France. We have 3.9 baby deaths per 1000 live births. Sadly for our US sisters, we are much better than the USA who have 5.8. In both US and UK, black babies are more likely to die.

Our midwives are not to blame for this. The staffing levels for midwifery are not good enough, even when hospitals meet them. We need more midwives, more antenatal visits, more post-natal care. Our babies are worth it.

Train more midwives and obstetricians. Treat them well. Stop burnout. Stop maternal Poverty. Improve ante natal care. For all our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, and lovers and for our precious babies. #SaveOurNHS #NHSResistance Source Lancet and LSE COMMISSION on the NHS

Our provisional data show that the number of stillbirths continued a long-term downward trend in 2020. There were 1,835 stillbirths in the first three quarters (Jan to Sept) of 2020, 130 fewer than in the first three quarters of 2019. As a result, the stillbirth rate declined from 4.0 stillbirths per 1,000 total births in 2019 to 3.9 in 2020 so far.

The Nuffield Department of Population Health reported

As in earlier reports ethnic origin continues to have a significant impact on mortality rates:

  • Stillbirth rates for Black and Black British babies were over twice those for White babies, whilst neonatal death rates were 45% higher.
  • For babies of Asian and Asian British ethnicity, stillbirth and neonatal death rates were both around 60% higher than for babies of White ethnicity.
  • The stillbirth rate was 1 in 295 for White babies; 1 in 188 for Asian babies and 1 in 136 for Black babies.

‘These results suggest that a more targeted approach may be required to benefit the Black and Black British and Asian populations’ says Professor Draper. ‘In the New Year we will be starting an MBRRACE-UK confidential enquiry into the deaths of babies born to Black and Black British mothers to investigate the quality of care provided for these mothers to identify whether there are any particular issues.’  

The results continue to show that women living in the most deprived areas had an 80% higher risk of stillbirth and neonatal death compared to women living in the least deprived areas. The rate of stillbirth was 1 in 383 for women living in the least deprived areas, compared with 1 in 214 for women living in the most deprived areas.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital is in a deprived area, serves a deprived city and a multi-racial population, so this very much matters to us.

Our response is that we will campaign. This campaign will include pressure on the government and on MPs and NHS England to:

Drive out racism, in all its forms. Every baby counts.

Mourn the babies and commit to reduce Still Births.

Make the UK the best in the world for all our babies. (This is what we have written previously).

Significantly Increase Funding for Midwifery Services and Obstetrics.

Increase Funding for Hospitals and Universities for Midwife training; training midwives requires sufficent staff in the universities and in the labour wards and maternity services to provide excellent education for students. The NHS needs an effective plan to train many more midwives to world-class standards.

No reduction in professional standards, no subsitution of less well qualified staff, no asking staff to act up beyond their qualifiications.

Maternity needs a more humane, cooperative, and respectful management structure. It needs improved relationships between obstetricians and midwives right from the first training, and all maternity units require 24 hour consultant cover.

Reduce workload and where it can’t be reduced, provide real staff welfare. Good food on site, including some to take home if people are too tired to cook when they get home, free parking, excellent admin support and of course better pay. Support #NHSPay15. See this to help NHSPAY 15.

The pace of work in maternity units must be more humane, and that means more staff, which means changing the recommended staffing ratios. Better working conditions will improve staff retention.

By improving outcomes for Black babies we improve them for all because this will take interventions and improvements that cannot help but improve them for all.

Stop migrant charges. Full stop! These charges are fundamentally wrong and affect black and asian women most of all. The law must change. The charges deter women from seeking timely maternity care and this has caused deaths.

Increase antenatal checks; research has shown that additional antenatal checkups save babies.

Listen to the mums, heed their concerns. Midwives and obstetricans of course spend their lives listening to pregnant women and women in labour but we must find ways to improve that communication. Maternity needs to heed to the mothers, during pregnancy and in labour. Health education needs to to offer much better school and popular education about pregnancy and childbirth.

The NHS must consult the midwives and obstetricians and the communities, openly and democratically, on how to improve the experience of BAME Mums.

Have working parties of BAME staff to research how to drive down the numbers where the cause is medical rather than social.

The removal of bursaries shut out recruitment from many less well off and mature students. Bring back full bursaries. No-one should pay to train as a midwife. There is currently no shortage of people wanting to be midwives. We just have to find the werewithal to train them initally and to provide ongoing professional education, and to persuade those in service to stay.

The maternity service needs full funding.

AUSTERITY KILLS

Austerity was a policy introduced after the financial crash, a decade ago.It not only cut the money spent on healthcare in real terms, it was accompanied by a rise in racism and in racist rhetoric becoming normalised. This rhetoric seeps into people’s thinking unconsciously and has to be challenged. Austerity resulted in contempt and disregard for poor communities.

The Kings Fund reports that “During the period of austerity that followed the 2008 economic crash, the Department of Health and Social Care budget continued to grow but at a slower pace than in previous years. Budgets rose by 1.4 per cent each year on average (adjusting for inflation) in the 10 years between 2009/10 to 2018/19, compared to the 3.7 per cent average rises since the NHS was established.

However during this funding drought the services the NHS was required to deliver increased. In the current White paper the Government said

NHS activity has grown every year since records began (at an average of 3.3% a year) (This while funding increased by 1.4% Our comment)

Most countries have been reducing still birth, but the rate of improvemnt in the UK is grindingly slow.

Maternity Units have been closed in numbers only equalled by the closures in A and E. Staffing numbers were not protected. Our lives did not matter to the government

Poverty as well as race increases the liklihood of still birth. Some still births are to women not living in stress and poverty and we mourn with them too.

In this Austerity time poverty for women grew, Women’s poverty passes on to babies and children. We all need to shout from the rooftops that poverty is bad for mums, bad for babies. The wages and welfare systems have to provide for all. Child Poverty Action group described how families are falling deeper and deeper into poverty.

The latest annual report by the Social Metrics Commission found that nearly half of Black African Caribbean households were in poverty, compared with just under one in five white families, while BAME families as a whole were between two and three times as likely to be in persistent poverty than white households.

Whilst our communities grew poor the rich became much richer.”Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, the 1% has only grown richer while the rest find life increasingly tough. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has turned into a chasm. While the rich have found new ways of protecting their wealth, everyone else has suffered the penalties of austerity.

A huge chunk of our kids live in poverty. This is not personal misfortune, or bad management, it’s policy and it must change. This is a very wealthy country. The UK are part of the G7 group of wealthiest nations. Poverty is bad policy.

We also ask, did the years of focusing on natural childbirth affect the training of midwives? Our campaign supports women in choosing their style of birth but the dangers seem to occur in the most complex cases. We have seen the Ockendon, report into baby deaths in Shropshire and Morecombe Bay, and other scandals. Responding with Continuity of Carer as the answer is contradicted by a shortage of midwives. Although maternity providers across the UK are striving towards providing full CoC to women, this level of continuity can be hard to maintain in a system with staff shortages and an often depleting workforce, combined with the need to be on-call for births.

The Continuity of Carer system could work if we had excellent staffing, but we do not.

Do we need greater medical emphasis in training?

Do we need to ensure that doctors in training all do obstetrics early in their training? Do we need to look at the professional and working relationships between obstetricians and midwives?

We cannot accept the concept of population funding as described in the White Paper in the context of far too many still births and maternal deaths in childbirth, There has to be flexibility of funding to respond quickly. Health care on the cheap is not health care at all. maternity needs funding and that responsibility rests squarely with the government. The US companies to whom this government is turning to run our NHS has nothing at all to teach us about reducing Still Births. Indeed they are a danger to us.

From 1994 onwards, the United States has consistently had the highest rate, with 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016. In contrast, Finland had the lowest rate of 1.9. In 2016, the UK had the fourth highest infant mortality rate of the comparator countries, but the highest of comparable European countries.

Chase the US companies out of our NHS, demand full NHS funding with an increase year on year of 5%

Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign will be one of the sponsors of a national meeting in the autumn on defending and improving maternity.

Good health care pays for itself.

We support Tommy’s charity

Please do get in touch to tell us your views as a mum, a family member, or a midwife

All of this shows how we need a fully funded universal health care publicly provided, and an absolute end to austerity. That is why we are joining in the Cheshire and Merseyside camapign for a fully funded NHS and to say no the white paper.

https://saveliverpoolwomenshospital.com/2021/05/24/fight-for-the-nhs-oppose-the-white-paper/

For all our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, and lovers and for the precious babies