In this article, we are looking at care in pregnancy, delivery and post-natal care. The occasion for this article is the closure of One to One Midwives, a private, for profit company, contracted by the NHS.Continue reading “For fully funded NHS maternity care, publicly provided.”
Breast reduction is one of many operations the NHS is beginning to refuse to do on the basis that it is “of low clinical worth“. We challenge this. We believe this refusal is part of rationing of treatments, especially treatments for conditions where private health sector has been established. Moreover the My Choices scandal saw attempts to charge for these operations within the NHS itself. It is rationing care, funding the private sector and depriving those without funds of treatment that can stop pain and be life changing.Continue reading “Breast reduction is not of low clinical worth”
We are pleased to publish here a letter written by veteran community campaigner, and staunch supporter of Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign, Maria Oreilly
Maria writes to protest the idea of building, on the grass area immediately opposite the hospital and building high flats on this narrow strip of land. Please give Maria and the local community your support
To whom it make concern
Re Parliament Street Planning Consent June 2019
I wish to raise objection to the decision to allow the high rise development on the grass verge, lined with eco-friendly trees, opposite the women’s hospital and on the same side as Princes School the brain injuries unit , which is overlooking the social housing estate of pensioners’ bungalows and multiracial young families social housing homes.
I believe this decision is flying in the face of all the policy development the council is beginning to look at re climate change environmental and clean air, in addition, the council’s responsibilities for the health and well-being of its citizens is compromised by this decision
This is a multiracial area set in a beautiful natural environmental setting which contributes immeasurably to air quality and the impact of air pollution on residents young children young newborn babies at the women’s hospital and disabled children and the brain injury disabled residents
Parliament Street is a busy road which already has pollution from traffic travelling into the city, industrial sites Renshaw’s and Parliament Business Park which adds to traffic accessing the sites it is the main thoroughfare for traffic and busy bus route into the city centre. This street coupled with Georgian residential buildings and tree-lined green space is both attractive and contributes much to the air quality
In 2018 I submitted a report from American environmentalists to the then chair of neighbourhood and communities cabinet member Steve Mumby and Cllr Natalie Nicolas which gave scientific evidence of the damage air pollution caused to the neurological development of children and the negative effects on the elderly and those with chest and heart and lungs problems.
I circulated this document as I was concerned for the children at school on Laurence Road which( besides being open to passersby to converse with the children, which is a safeguarding issue, due to inadequate fencing) has little tree or greenery to combat the constant air pollution caused by traffic which constantly travels within 5/6 foot of the playground
This American report raised serious concerns for the neurological development of children and its findings showed that those areas most affected were areas of deprivation and were predominately those of minority African American and Latino schoolchildren were schooled
I understand Cllr Noakes now has clean air responsibility and in a city with a confirmed health threat already to our lungs and the fact that a baby born today in Liverpool will have thirteen years less good health than a baby born in Richmond we should be concerned
About building on a green space in this location on Parliament Street, removing mature trees and increasing pollution the city council planning permission awarded for this development, despite opposition from residents local councillors and the scientific evidence in the council’s possession. This flies in the face of good governance, and the logic of policy debate on climate change and doesn’t show joined-up thinking across Cabinet. One thing laughing at the other?
I also wonder, as a matter of equal treatment of its citizens, if Liverpool City Council had decided to grant planning permission in Allerton, as an example, for a high rise block to overlook a settled homeownership community, on one of their tree-lined grass verges, destroying trees, overlooking homes, invading privacy, increasing traffic next to a school and a brain injury unit, and opposite a maternity hospital, thus increasing air pollution, would it have sailed through without call in? There would have been protest at that, even without the additional scientific aggravating factors of the effect of air quality and neurological damage on children etc
I doubt you would have even considered it!!!!!
I believe this needs an environmental health impact assessment given its location and proximity to those with disabilities and young children and this development’s potential impact raises important social and health factors so serious that an equality assessment is needed urgently as it raises a poverty issue, disability and race equality issues
I understand the three councillors for the ward have objected and that Cllr Emily Spurrell planning committee objected along with residents, the issues I raise add to these objections and should be cause to reconsider and rescind this planning decision.
In June 2019, the NHS is in significant danger. In 2015 we started the fight to protect the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. This struggle is and will be inseparable from the overall campaign to defend and improve the NHS locally and nationally.Continue reading “Only with your efforts”
Is press and publicity manipulation aimed at Labour Party Conference a suitable use of NHS money and time?
The local management of the NHS and Liverpool Women’s Hospital want fundamental and unpopular change. They applied for money to rebuild the Hospital on the site of the benighted Royal Liverpool University Hospital. Unsuprisingly they did not get the money.
The team behind these plans includes the local STP, the CCG, and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital Trust. To push these plans they have used the media in many ways. They claim that their media intervention was successful in reducing the imapct of our demonstration to Labour Party Conference in September 2018. “The impact of the demonstration march was perceived to be less than the campaign group’s previous activities”.
The state of the NHS, with under funding, privatisation, reorganisations in favour of big corporations, outsourcing, low pay, cuts in services and rationing of care is profoundly political, but interevening to affect a demonstation to Labour’s Conference is hardly aceptable even in that context. It is a questionale use of NHS resources.
More than our campaign’s entire budget will have been spent on this media offensive. This is taxpayer money that should have been spent on patient care, in a city with really poor health oucomes and where nearly twice as many babies dying before the age of one than the national average.
Our Campaign to Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital has large and widespread public support, and our campaign fundamentally disagrees with this plan. We want to keep a women’s hospital and to keep it on its current low rise and green site. We object to spending more than £100million on the project when women and babies in Liverpool face major health issues.
Our petition has 46,000 signatories, online and many more on paper. Our campaign has gained support from Labour Party branches and even Labour’s conference. Diane Abbott MP, Emily Thornberry MP, and Jonathon Ashworth MP (Labour’s spokesperson on the NHS) have all spoken at our demonstrations. The campaign is now in its 4th year.
We support the work of Liverpool Women’s Hospital. It has remarkable successes and dedicated, hard working staff. Most of Liverpool’s Babies are born at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, and it has many excellent services. We are aware of problems and difficulties, but LWH is well worth protecting.
In the context of the Climate Emergency and major concerns about air quality, putting the birth of the the majority of Liverpool babies in an air polluted traffic islnd and highrise blocks seems frankly ridiculous.
In key documents at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital Board Meeting on 2nd May 2019, this document ‘Strategic Aims and our Corporate Objectives 2018/19’ was presented.
Included in he report were these sections.
“..the need for a move, more decisively, to a multidisciplinary hospital site within 5-10 years.”
Commissioner support retained despite lack of success in STP Capital bid, with plans for a way forward being developed.”
Recent developments of note where these key messages were used occurred during September 2018 in advance of the Labour Party Conference. The Trust referred to the key messages to counter a planned demonstration against the plans for the future by a local campaign group. The Trust’s key messages received significant media, online, social media and public exposure with an overall average reach/audience for TV/radio/printed news of over 410k and an average reach/audience for LWH social media and website posts of almost 40k. The impact of the demonstration march was perceived to be less than the campaign group’s previous activities due to our proactive factual messaging and anecdotally the Trust feels that stakeholder understanding about our future is now more clearly understood as a result.
The board claim that;
“Dialogue is ongoing with NHSE, MPs, councillors and other stakeholders to ensure the case for change is well understood”
So in this context they feel it is acceptable to pay for whole page adverts in free sheets and in the Liverpool Echo? Is it right to be putting forward a whole major media intervention?
When the plan to “move” Liverpool Women’s Hospital was first launched they ran a story about how dangerous it was ro transfer women to other hospitals but now somehow the figures for transfers, the main plank of the earlier media message, have dramatically dropped to just one!
Women’s Health matters.
Liverpool and Merseyside need a Women’s hospital, focussing on improving the lifetime health of women from the womb to the grave. We need a health service that recognizes the needs of women. We must improve the lives and health of women in this city. A well funded hospital with a committment to the health of women could lead the way for other hospitals. This hospital could link up others with the aim of improving women’s health across the nation. Women spend more of their life in ill health than men do.
This is not, in any way, acting against men
“As we come marching, marching, we battle too, for men,
For they are women’s children and we mother them again
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes,
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses”.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Women tend to look after their health more than men do, so the difference is not from risk taking or deliberately unhealthy lives, even if some do take risks. Though women live longer than men do, they live in worse health for more of their lives. Women from poorer areas, like Liverpool, endure 34 years more ill health (You would get less for murder!) than women from more affluent areas. Women from poorer areas have shorter lives, with more illness and this is getting worse. Within Liverpool, life expectancy is 10.2 years lower for men and 8.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Liverpool than in the least deprived areas of the city. That’s just within the city. The differences with wealthy areas of the country is even greater
‘The gap in life expectancy between women living in the most and least deprived areas has also widened, falling for women in the most deprived areas and continuing to rise for those in the least deprived areas.” Professor Danny Dorling
It does not have to be this way, This is a long term Governmental choice to make the poor pay for their policies. Even the UN has described it with horror Each person who speaks out against this impoverishment begins to turn this terrible tide.
In 2015 a World Health Organisation Report showed that Life Expectancy of women in the UK was is the second lowest in western Europe. The UK is ranked 14 out of 15 nations; we need a focus on women’s health.
Healthcare is just one way we can help women’s health. We have also to fight low pay ( especially for mothers ) poverty, expensive and poor quality childcare. bad housing, pollution, stress and abuse. But in this storm what we have, we hold; we will not surrender the benefits earlier genserations have won for us.
There are many aspects of health treatment that are specific to women.
Teenagers still have major problems with periods and acne, some very serious problems. No contraception is perfect and some have side effects.
Mental health is a major health issue for women. The same numbers of women and men experience mental health problems overall, but some problems are more common in women than men, and vice versa. Twice the percentage of women in work suffer (or admit to) mental health issues than men do. Some mental health issues are related to hormones and reproduction, some to poverty
Endometriosis1.5 million women suffer from endometriosis but it takes 7 years on average to get a diagnosis. That’s one in ten women in debilitating pain.
Heart disease is a major killer of women, more so even than the horrible breast cancer that ends the lives of so many of our sisters.
Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke are all diseases with distinct female issues.
We need research and focussed treatment. We need the research done at Liverpool Women’s hospital to be expanded. This hospital would give a great case for significant increases in investemnt if we can win the battle to get a government that respects its people.
We are in a politically driven storm of cuts, privatisation and destruction in the NHS. Full details can be found here. Having established the Internal market the privateers have now decided to privatise the service at the regional level. To garner the greatest profits for the large companies operating at this large scale, the NHS are bringing some services back in-house, so it will be more profitable from the very big US health care companies.
We are short of beds, short of doctors, nurses, midwives, and the myriad of professionals working in the NHS and the devoted ancillary staff. Poverty wages makes women ill, yet outsourced companies pay these wages to women and men who work in the NHS. Let’s hope the ancillary workers keep on fighting for better pay and conditions. They will have healthier lives and use the NHS less.
What we have we hold!
We must defend Liverpool Women’s Hospital and fight for more, much more investment in health. This is the sixth richest country on planet earth. There is wealth aplenty to fund the NHS.
What causes this extended ill health in women?
Poverty plays a part. Drug research based on men not women plays a part, the level of importance given to women’s health and unthinking sexism, also play a part. So do the physical facts of women’s hormones and of childbearing capacity, whether or not we have children.
We have specialist hospitals for many conditions; a hospital for women is deeply needed.
For all our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, and lovers, we need a women’s hospital!
It’s for the babies too!
For each and every one of our precious babies, we need an excellent world-class maternity hospital In Liverpool. We must defend what we have and insist on improving it.
Liverpool’s infant mortality rate is at its highest level since 2010. ”Some 5.2 infants died per 1,000 live births between 2014 and 2016, significantly higher than the national average of 3.9 deaths per 1,000 births.”
IMR ( Infant Mortality Rate ) is used internationally as an indicator of the comparative wellbeing of nations. It is sensitive both to the socio-economic conditions affecting women of childbearing age and children; and the quality and accessibility of services for families. IMR continues to improve in most rich countries, with recent data showing that in countries such as Japan and Finland the IMR has dipped to only 2 per thousand.(3) In Liverpool, where some of us work, the infant mortality rate is now an unacceptable 6.8 – more than twice as high as London’s average.
In 2017 1 in every 225 births ended in a stillbirth. For every 1,000 babies born, 4.2 were stillborn, according to the Charity Tommy. Other babies die shortly after birth and still more have significant birth injuries.
…mortality for the poorest infants in the UK is rising ( getting worse) every year since 2011. This is despite mortality continuing to improve in all other European countries, which often still benefit from very rapid improvements in health no longer seen in the UK. The most recent rise in premature deaths is now leading to a situation where overall life expectancy could begin to fall for all groups. It is already falling in the poorest areas and for the poorest groups.
The Nuffield trust says “The UK has made less progress in reducing stillbirths and neonatal and infant deaths over the last two decades than many other developed countries”.
Sadly Liverpool Women’s Hospital has made saving on maternity this year despite this death rate “Maternity activity has reduced as anticipated and is expected to have deliveries in the region of 8,200 (2017/18 8,600). The service has reduced costs in terms of pay and non-pay and has also reviewed service income and costs as part of the “right size project” .
Is this the response we want to the news of increased deaths of babies? Surely the extra capacity could support women after birth far more effectively than they are supported now.
The NHS is not a democracy, nor is it socially or communally responsible. The NHS answers to Simon Stephens and to the requirements of their grand plans and privatisation. But camapigning does make some difference.
The big companies involved in the NHS have more and more say. Their purpose is profit.
The future of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital is still unclear.Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital campaigns for a fully funded NHS and for Liverpool Women’s Hospital to be upgraded on the Crown Street site.
The current management still favours a move that would cost at least £100 million. The April Board meeting said they were going to hold a clinical summit on this issue this summer. We call for a community summit too. The wishes of more than 50,000 petitioners cannot be ignored.
Liverpool Women’s hospital is inadequately funded by the NHS, as are many hospitals. Aintree, for example has major financial problems. There are underlying additional problems at Liverpool Women’s.
- The maternity tariff is still inadequate.
- The funding does not reflect the very specialist work that the hospital does. Birmingham CCG does recognize this for their women’s hospital, but not Liverpool.
- The NHS insurance system is difficult for all obstetric providers but Liverpool has a historic (and disgraceful) case, significantly inflating premiums.
- Most of these problems stem not just from inadequate funding, real though that is, but from the “Internal market” imposed on the NHS by wave 2 privatization.
The Liverpool Women’s Hospital makes decisions within the policies of the Merseyside and Cheshire Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). This plan describes extreme reductions in spending.
It is our understanding that the budget of Liverpool Women’s Hospital is kept in balance by a subsidy from Transformation funding,“The control total now assumes receipt of £6.8m Provider Sustainability Funding (PSF) (including a £3.2m of bonus and incentive).” which is dependent on the plan to move. Somehow we are meant to believe that the move will save money.
LWH also has to cope with damaging decisions like the withdrawal of bursaries from midwives and nurses training, and an inadequate number of training places for doctors in the whole country. Staff are consequently overworked and underpaid.
Women in the UK as elsewhere have a right to a long healthy life. But we are going to have to fight for it.
Staff keep the NHS going despite the privatisers, and despite the government.
Campaigners are winning some battles.
The strikers at LWH won, well done.
Well done to all who are fighting for the NHS, and especially to the victory in Ealing where plans for major closures have been withdrawn! Let us hope these victories give courage to all who support the NHS and better the pay and working conditions for staff. Let Ealing’s victory give courage to all who fight for our hospitals. Campaign groups for the NHS are growing. Come and join us!
The privatisation model this government and the NHS national administrators are working on is not just of making the sick pay for their individual treatment. That “patient pay system” is is starting in various ways, including charging migrants. Patient pay and refusal to treat without payment will get the biggest backlash. Right now, their kind of privatisation is more diverting the huge taxpayer spend on health into the pockets of big business.
Just one example of the shift from public wealth to private gain was seen in 2017 when NHS plasma supplies were sold off by Tories for £230 million, then sold on to a Chinese company for £820 million. Nearly £500million profit that was yours and mine, but went into private pockets.
The biggest privatisation of the NHS is underway. The break up of the national NHS into 44 STP or accountable care areas is a precurser to the privatisation of the whole system, a step further in the privatisation process than the contracts given out previously, huge though they were. Campaigners and trade unions face their biggest battles ever, Increasingly workers in outsourced companies are taking action against the privatising companies who are not meeting NHS pay levels, (and NHS pay is are low enough already).
The NHS was founded to be
- Free at the point of need
- Funded from taxation
- A national service
- Not for profit
- A service for everyone; a truly universal service
- A comprehensive service, providing the best available treatment for all
This original model of health care is the most cost effective and most
efficient form of healthcare service delivery in the world. It was responsible for dramatically improving women’s lives and reducing infant and maternal mortality. It is much less expensive, and more effective to the nation than the US insurance model. We cannot afford this government and the NHS national administrators who are closely linked to private companies. Out sourcing, PFI and financially unstable outsourcing firms like Interserve, are only good for the international health corporations.
There are real dangers in the cuts in funding that reaches the hospitals and primary health care;
“The UK has also slipped down international league tables for infant mortality and is now 15th out of 19comparable countries”
In a recent study that compared access to and quality of health care in 195 countries by analysing ‘health care-amenable mortality’ – ie, mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal if effective health care is in place – the UK is ranked 30th out of 195 countries – its overall score was similar to Portugal and Malta but lower than comparable countries like Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
We also have fewer doctors per head of population than other comparable EU countries.
The number of beds in the NHS is dangerously low, as many readers will have seen with their own eyes;
“The UK, for example, has 2.7 hospital beds per 1000 population compared to an EU average of 5.2 – far lower than Germany (8.2) and France (6.2) but similar to Ireland (2.6) and Sweden (2.5). Although this might be seen as a sign of efficiency (indeed the declining number of hospital beds in the UK has been partly due to medical advances that have shortened length of stay in hospital and a shift in the model of care that means people with learning disabilities, mental illness and the longer-term care of older people occurs in community settings) there are significant concerns about high levels of bed occupancy in hospitals and the problems this causes.”
Every NHS hospital in the land, and all public and community health services, require major new investment for day-to-day running. Meanwhile much needed money is being squandered on outsourcing, PFI and privatisation.
Please get involved and fight for the NHS, fight against privatisation, for keeping NHS funding for the NHS, not letting it leak out to the private sector.
(This is shared from Defend Our NHS and 999 Call for the NHS).
Dear friend of the NHS
Please urgently help to annul the Dept of Health’s stealth changes to legislation about how GPs work
Please will you help to stop the government from bypassing MPs as it sneaks in big changes to the way GPs work?
All it takes is to ask your MP to support National Health Service Early Day Motion #2103.
Regulatory changes that bypass MPs’ scrutiny and debate
NHS England knows that 999 Call for the NHS has applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against the contentious Integrated Care Provider contract (formerly called the Accountable Care Organisation contract).
But the NHS Long Term Plan has announced that the NHS England quango will make the contract available for use in 2019.
To enable this, on 13th February the Department of Health sneakily introduced big changes to the way GPs work, without giving MPs any say in the matter. It did this through Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 248 – The Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019.
Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 248 makes major changes to the existing contractual arrangements for providing GP Primary Care services. These changes are to enable Integrated Care Providers (formerly called Accountable Care Organisations) to run a whole range of hospital, primary care and community health services for their given area and its population.
“That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Amendments Relating to the Provision of Integrated Care Regulations 2019 (S.I., 2019, No. 248), dated 13 February 2019, a copy of which was laid before this House on 13 February 2019, be annulled.”
Please will you call on your MP to support this PRAYER MOTION?
Time is short. The deadline for the Prayer Motion is 24 March. The Statutory Instrument is due to take effect on 1 April.
Please visit this web page to find out more.
The last time a “prayer” was answered was in 2000. If it succeeded then it can succeed again. But it needs us all to push it, so that it has wide support from MPs.
Please get in touch if you need any further help or information.
WHY WE’RE ASKING FOR YOUR HELP
Statutory Instrument 2019 No. 248 makes major changes to the existing contractual arrangements for providing GP Primary Care services.
It would enable new Integrated Care Providers (formerly called Accountable Care Organisations) to directly employ GPs to deliver a model of primary, mental health and community health care that would radically change patients’ (and GPs’) experience of the NHS. This is likely to damage an area’s NHS organisations AND the health needs of the public.
Recent reports by the National Audit Office and the Nuffield Trust say there is no evidence that this new model would meet the intended aims of reducing costs and improving quality of patient care. And the Chair of the BMA has told GP members they‘should not feel pressured into entering an Integrated Care Provider contract as to do so could leave their patients worse off.’
We must take this seriously. We feel strongly that these major changes should not slide through Parliament in secondary legislation without any oversight by MPs.
THERE IS HOPE
Getting this Prayer Motion passed is a long shot. But we hope you’ll agree it’s worth trying. The stakes are high and we should seize any chance of stopping this undemocratic move by the Dept. of Health and NHS England.
If a Prayer Motion succeeded in 2000, then it can succeed again.
The Integrated Care Provider contract aims to “manage demand” for NHS care
This means it could threaten patient safety standards and restrict patients’ access to treatments.
Standards of NHS care are already under pressure, and all of us will have begun to see restricted access to a full range of high quality health care in our local areas.
The Integrated Care Provider contract is set to make this worse.
In and out of the courts, we continue to oppose its introduction.
Thanks and best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS
Women need the NHS, for themselves, for the babies, and for their communities.
Women of the Labour movement fought hard for decades to found a National Health Service. Despite the huge difficulties, and after decades of struggle, in 1948, with the great reforming Labour Government, they succeeded. Some of these women recounted being mocked for demanding health care free at the point of need for all, but they fought on.
Now The NHS is being dismantled before our eyes. Fight like your grandmothers and great grandmothers, fight like hell to win back the NHS. You can make a difference. Get in touch with campaigns or set up one yourself. You will find lots of help.
Profit, not human need, is driving NHS cuts. Some of the wealthiest corporations in the world are involved, invited in by this government.
Building blocks of the NHS
The NHS was founded to be a national service. A national service shares the risks of more than 66.02 million people. It provides a huge base for research, data and professional education.
The NHS was founded to be
- Free at the point of need
- Publicly provided
- Available for everyone
- A comprehensive service
- Funded from general taxation (So the bosses pay too, not just the workers).
Using this model, the NHS became the world leader in health care. We saw nearly 70 years of consistent investment, of professional training and great returns in money invested and women’s lives improved, babies survived.
The NHS was far from perfect, the UK did not and does not top the charts for women’s health or for babies health. Campaigners are realistic about the problems. But, we can afford a decent NHS.
Health care is a great investment. Every pound invested returns £3 to the economy. Poor health care means pain and worry, unfit people, less competent workers, more people giving up work to care for family members who are ill, and lower GDP.
Health care spending at Western European levels would give us a good NHS, we don’t need a money tree.
There are two distinct waves of deliberate disruption, privatization, and marketization of the NHS, and each wave is damaging our health and the service itself. Step one started with Blair legislation but comes now from the Coalition’s Health and Social Care Act, 2012. It is cruel and vicious.
These changes are wrapped in the sugary language of “progress”, “efficiency” “consultation”, and “personalization”. In cold reality, they mean:
- Deliberate shortage of money and resources
- Bad planning of staff training, recruitment, and retention so we are short of doctors, nurses, midwives, and other health professionals
- Cuts in the number of hospital beds
- The internal market and the Hospital Trust system which sets hospitals up to compete, significantly increasing costs and administration
- The Commissioning model, which massively increased private providers moving into the NHS, and is inefficient and wasteful.
- The NHS is no longer for everyone. Many are charged – especially if their skin is not white. (Please see our blog or Docs not Cops for more on migrant charging)
- Not all services are now provided
- Maternity services are inadequate
- Mental health care has been wrecked, especially for children
- The involvement of financial consultants from huge corporations, supporting the involvement of profit-making bodies.
Every human society has to care for its elders. Yet since Thatcher, our elder care has been privatized. Whilst it started as small often family enterprises, they have now been consolidated into big corporations
Privatization, speculation, underinvestment and inflated private profit, from hedge funds and others over many years, has damaged social care for our elders, whilst disabled adults have been the hardest hit in cuts to services supporting independence (see Reclaim Social Care campaign).
Social care is means-tested and badly funded. Staff less well paid, with less professional development than in the NHS. Social care is in deep crisis. None of the NHS changes addresses these issues. Heath and social care working well together is an admirable aim, but the Integrated Care system does not address this at all. It is an accountancy measure.
Maternity faces closures of units and hospitals, as well as half of them, being so full they have turned mothers away, sending them to other units; such is “choice” in this situation. There is a profound and increasing shortage of midwives, shortages of obstetricians and related professionals. Postnatal care is especially hard hit.
In NHS newspeak, every issue is supposedly to do with a mother’s choice, but somehow, not if that choice is to give birth in her own town or city, or the maternity unit she has chosen. No, these cuts and closures, we are told, are essential! Continuity midwife services much vaunted in the propaganda would require at least fifty percent more midwives to implement nationwide One NHS spokesman claimed it was fine to travel for four hours to access obstetric care. It is not just maternity though. All services for women matter. Any improvement in women’s health has halted thanks to austerity and NHS cuts. UK women on average endure 18 years of ill health. The gap in life expectancy between women and men is closing downwards. Austerity is shortening our lives. Liverpool Women’s Hospital is always in peril in this system.
2019 wave of privatization is happening now in every area of England. The NHS and social care are being reorganized. It looks like this
Find out more, spread the word.!
Step 2 looks like this;
Not even all councillors know what is happening, yet councillors can have a say in this through health and well being boards.
Campaigners can alert the public. Councillors can intervene to oppose this at Health and Well-being boards; they can shine a spotlight on the issue and rouse public opposition. Councillors can challenge it. Telford and Wrekin Councillors have done just that. The ICO is slightly different in each area, but is all to the same end.
Hospitals, A and E, Maternity care, GP services, prescribing policies, urgent care, Ambulances mental health, children’s mental health, are all at risk.
Across the country local campaigns are working to thwart these plans, a whole social movement is developing. We need ever-growing campaigns, and to win a Labour government who will return the NHS to its original model.
Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign works with other campaigns across the UK. There are dozens to get involved with, including KNOP, Health Campaigns Together,Defend our NHS https://www.facebook.com/groups/defendournhs/ and Socialist Health. Get a speaker to your branch and get outside your hospitals.