Sunday, 28 February 2016

VIDEO clips - Mansfield Report meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall 23/02/2016

Vanessa Redgrave supporting Mansfield Report and the Junior Doctors Contract 

"Halt the closure and demolition of Charing Cross Hospital is my no1 priority" Cllr Stephen Cowan 

"We will sue them ...there’s nothing we won’t do to save our hospital.” Stephen Cowan, H&F Council 

" We have a mandate to save Charing Cross Hospital..." Stephen Cowan, H&F Council leader 

Leader of H&F Council, Stephen Cowan promises to fight for Charing Cross Hospital 

"We are opposed to shutting down of Hospitals on a vague promise" Dr John Lister 

"NHS England spent 35 million on management consultants..." - Dr John Lister 

"The vulnerable will have to travel further to access Hospitals" Dr Hirst 

"Doctors nowadays have an intense workload..." Dr Hirst 

"Jeremy Hunt forced us in to another batch of strikes action" - Dr Sean Morris 

"The NHS plans are falling apart...let's keep going!" Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith 

"I don't care about the NHS, I have private insurance" listen to this... 

The private sector is bleeding the NHS - Dr Sandhu

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is gaining from the threat to Charing Cross Hospital 

"Doctors are been put at risk and our lives are been put at risk" Dede, NHA party 

"Is H&F Council asking to see the business case from NHS England?" Merril Hammer, SOH vice Chair 

The crisis in primary care - NHS

"The most important thing we can do now is to support our Junior Doctors" Anne Drinkell , SOH 

We are with Junior Doctors all the way - NHS 

"The Councils must work together to maintain what keeps so many people alive" Jim Grealy, SOH 

"Get involved to Save Our Hospitals" - Patrick Barron, SOH chair

Report Back on Mansfield Public Meeting

Tuesday's meeting in Hammersmith was massive - 200 plus, angry and determined.  Council leader Stephen Cowan committed to challenging the "Shaping a Healthier Future" cuts & closures programme saying "We will sue them and we will JR (judicial review) them. There’s nothing we won’t do to save our hospital.”

Ealing's Dr Sandhu described the clinical risks following the closures of Hammersmith & Central Midd A&Es, urging everyone to fight for Ealing's paediatric unit (March on 12th March) and stop what Mansfield commissioner Dr Hirst described as "the hollowing out" of hospital services in NW London. Fellow commissioner John Lister described the 1000% rise in SAHF predicted costs. Acting icon Vanessa Redgrave spoke out. west-london-news/acting-icon-vanessa-redgrave- On show was the council's new hospital campaign film - let's watch and share widely. SaveCXHospitalyoutube. success

A junior doctor spoke of the anger felt at Jeremy Hunt's plan to impose unsafe contracts on them and the wide support in the profession for the British Medical Association's decision to resist with 3 sets of 48 hour strike action
 (with emergency cover). He received loud applause & a mass solidarity selfie (below). People promised to come to their picket lines on the next strike days - 9th & 10th April. junior-doctors-announce-three-48-hour-strikes 

Patrick Barron, on behalf of SOH made it clear how urgent it is to build on Tuesday's success - we're starting with more Saturday leafleting at two SOH stalls challenging privatisation & supporting the NHS bill, - join us if you can 

SOH Saturday Stalls

Sat 27th Feb 2 - 4pm SOH Stall Lyric Square King St

Sat 27th Feb 2 - 3.30pm SOH Stall  Shepherds Bush 

Market Uxbridge Rd entrance by old library/Bush theatre

Solidarity Selfies for the Junior Doctors

Leading Mayoral Contender Backing

On Monday in another important development mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan publicly backed the Save CX campaign and spent 40 minutes discussing local health issues with campaigners. It's a massive boost to have the high profile labour candidate so publicly on side and engaged.

SOH is not party political and it's important to remember that we had verbal support from all but the conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith at a recent hustings. We're contacting the pro NHS candidates offering a briefing, a photo call and asking for further support. We're also trying to persuade Zac Goldsmith to change his mind given how many of the his constituents in Barnes and Richmond will be hurt by the planned closures. Francis had a letter about this in the Evening Standard (again!) and SOH campaigners will raise the issue at all future hustings.

Sadiq Khan backing CX Hospital
The almost overwhelming pressures on our health service from cost cutting, closures and privatisation are forcing people to step up campaigns to defend services locally and nationally. In March there's some really important  NHS events taking place. Here's an initial timetable, the next enewsletter will give more details. (Please let us know of any we've missed out).

March Diary Dates 
Tues 8th March 3pm H&F CCG Board Meeting St Paul's Church

Wed 9th & Thurs 10th March Junior Dr Picket lines from 8am at CX, Hammersmith & St Mary's Hospitals

Fri 11th March 2nd Reading of NHS Bill 9.45am petition Whitehall, 11am Rally outside Parliament

Sat 12th March March to Save Ealing Hospital's Children's Ward Haven Green (opp Ealing Broadway Stn) 

Wed 16th March Neighbourhood Network Health Forum 6.30pm Hamm Town Hall (Hammersmith residents) 

Regards AD

Check the photos of the meeting here:

Renewed appeal to save A&E as usage increases

A SHARP rise in the number of people visiting the accident and emergency department at Charing Cross Hospital has sparked renewed calls to save the unit from closure.
Figures showing a “staggering” 13 per cent increase in ‘type 1’ A&E attendances – the most serious cases – were revealed in a recent report on winter pressures.
Overall more than 60,000 patients used the hospital’s accident and emergency department between April and December last year.
The findings were included in a report presented to local councillors by the Imperial College NHS Trust, which manages the hospital.
The spike in attendances has led to fresh calls for the North West London Clinical Commissioning Group to halt its ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ programme.
A&E units have already been closed at Hammersmith Hospital and Central Middlesex Hospital, and critics fear that Charing Cross could also lose its ‘blue light’ services under the plans.
Councillor Stephen Cowan, the Leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, said: “This new NHS report shows that the situation is actually worse than we thought. The number of people using Charing Cross A&E continues to soar, with ambulance crews increasingly choosing to bring patients to Charing Cross in emergencies, while strains on other emergency and urgent care units are also increasing.
“In this pressure-cooker environment, it would be extraordinary to close the A&E at Charing Cross when it is more in demand than ever.”
The report revealed that the number of major trauma ‘type 1’ attendances rose from 25,925 between April and December 2014 to 29,318 for the same period last year – a jump of 13.1 per cent.
Overall A&E attendances at Charing Cross, including minor injuries, rose by 3.6 per cent from 58,017 to 60,095.
The findings also show that the trust fell short of achieving its target waiting times in eight of the nine months between April and December.
The proportion of patients assessed, treated and discharged within four hours slipped to 88 per cent in December, well below the national standard of 95 per cent.
Jim Grealy, from the Save Our Hospitals campaign, warned that downgrading the A&E unit would create longer travel and waiting times for patients who may be unsure where to go for treatment.
“Asking people without medical training to self-diagnose cannot be good for health. Some will be left wondering: where do I go for help?” he said.
“Basic demands of urgent care are not being met as things stand so if they close any more hospital facilities additional strain will be put on St Mary’s Hospital.
“Closing one will have an immediate impact on all others. They need to keep all the A&E spaces they have got.”
A spokeswoman for the CCG insisted that an A&E department would remain at Charing Cross, although it may be in a “different shape and form”.
She added: “The Shaping a Healthier Future programme has already delivered an additional 59,560 GP appointments a year in the evening and at weekends for the residents of Hammersmith and Fulham.
“Further investment in 2015/16 will see new and improved community care with more services closer to patients’ homes, enabling better management of long-term conditions, keeping people well for longer and preventing unnecessary hospital admissions.”
Hammersmith and Fulham council has written to the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, urging him to step in and scrap the plans.
It follows the publication of a report by the Independent Healthcare Commission, chaired by Michael Mansfield QC, which concluded that the programme was “deeply flawed”.
Monday, 22 February 2016 By Jack Dixon in Local People

Acting icon Vanessa Redgrave hits out at hospital unit closures at meeting

The celebrated actress spoke at a meeting discussing the future of Charing Cross Hospital and NHS plans for North West London.

Watch the video here:

Celebrated actress Vanessa Redgrave spoke out in favour of taking the government to court in a bid to stop controversial changes being made to health care services in north west London.
She addressed a meeting called by Hammersmith and Fulham Council on Tuesday evening (February 23) to discuss the findings and ramifications of the Independent Healthcare Report it commissioned with four other Labour administrations looking at the impact of the NHS ’s Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF).
Her comments came as council leader Stephen Cowan told the meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall that he had started the ball rolling to halt the controversial plans by legal means.
Members of the crowd show their support for Charing Cross Hospitals and junior doctors
Oscar-winner and stage legend Ms Redgrave called a judicial review into the NHS plans “vital” and said the battle could be taken to the European Court of Human Rights.
SaHF aims to provide a better, more joined-up health and social care across North West London, that always puts the patient first.
But it resulted in the closure of the maternity ward at Ealing Hospital in July 2015, with the paediatrics unit shutting this year. SaHF has have also seen A&Es at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals close .

An A&E 'in name only'

The meeting, held in the packed out Small Hall, was chaired by H&F’s head of health Vivienne Luckey. On the panel joining her and Cllr Cowan were report commissioners Dr Stephen Hirst and Dr John Lister, and Save Our Hospitals chairman Patrick Barron.
The Independent Healthcare Report was commissioned by H&F, Ealing, Hounslow, Harrow and Brent Councils and chaired by Michael Mansfield QC. When published in December it called SaHF “deeply flawed” and said closures must be reversed. It also recommended legal action to stop the plans if necessary.
Actress Vanessa Redgrave spoke at the meeting, and is seen here with her son Carlo Nero, a screenwriter and film director and former chairman of the Save our Hospitals campaign
Cllr Cowan said NHS plans would see large chunks of the hospital in Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith closed, with a replacement medical facility just 13% of its size.
He said an A&E, which the NHS has insisted will remain at the hospital, will be in name only and actually be an Urgent Care Clinic.
He spoke of the escalating costs of SaHF , and told a cheering crowd, numbering around 140 and including Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter , that he had met with a QC to discuss taking legal measures.
He branded Jeremy Hunt “possibly the worst public health secretary in my lifetime” and warned: “We will do everything we can to save our hospital, and if that means taking our government to court that is exactly what we will do.
“We will sue them and we will JR (judicial review) them. There’s nothing we won’t do to save our hospital.”
Tories 'not the bad guys'

Dr Hirst warned of the tactic of “hollowing out” where institutions are told they could be closed, leading to fewer people applying to work there and standards dropping. “In this way you are precipitating the closure,” he said.
Dr Lister said the NHS had failed to provide a business plan despite several requests, and the closure of units without adequate replacement had placed huge pressure on other hospitals.
He also disputed NHS claims the changes were “clinically led”, which was backed by a junior doctor who believed “the majority are wholeheartedly opposed to it”.

Dr Stephen Hirst addresses the meeting on the future of Charing Cross Hsopital. On the panel are (l-r) Patrick Barron, chairman of the Save Our Hospitals , council leader Stephen Cowan, H&F head of health Vivienne Luckey and report commissioner Dr John Lister
Attending the meeting was opposition spokesman for health Andrew Brown . He said the commission’s report raised important and valid points, and there was huge respect for the campaign to protect health services. But he felt the Labour group was wrong to paint the Conservatives as the bad guys.
He said: “While many individuals and the vast majority are here on an apolitical basis to protect our hospital, there is clearly an undercurrent behind the behaviour of the leadership. The focus of their opposition is the government when really the decision makers in this process is the NHS.
And rightly so, I would rather that the future decisions are taken by the NHS in corroboration with the public.
“Cllr Cowan has said that there is nothing he wouldn’t do to defend Charing Cross but not once has he come to us to work with us to try to influence the NHS.”

Maternity review 'nothing more than a pretext for privatisation'

The proposal to shift maternity funding into 'personal budgets' for pregnant women, is a formula for chaos and destablising core maternity services, warn campaigners.

The so-called “independent” review of maternity services chaired by Tory peer Baroness Cumberlege - which reports today - has predictably shown itself to be nothing more than a pretext for privatisation.
Its proposals would fragment an already over-stretched midwifery workforce, take vital funding away from mainstream maternity services, and potentially force more NHS maternity services to close or centralise, bringing more anguish to women who would have to travel further to give birth.
The proposal to fragment maternity services by giving pregnant women a £3,000 ‘personal budget’ to spend as they wish is indeed a formula for chaos and destabilising core maternity services. The obvious danger is that as women are given funding to spend as they wish on “one-to-one midwifery”, more and more midwives will be encouraged opt out of high-pressure work on busy maternity wards, and opt instead to offer services privately.
Baroness Cumberlege is one of a number of peers with financial interests in the chaotic privatising ‘reforms’ forced through under Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Now she is advocating a policy that will effectively encourage small scale private provision of services for women with uncomplicated pregnancies, at the expense of the NHS provision for those with more complex needs.
It is bizarre to see that the Royal College of Midwives, which only four months ago was complaining that overstretched and under-staffed maternity units across the country were closing their doors for lack of staff, has for some reason welcomed these latest proposals. In the current climate of frozen and inadequate NHS funding, these plans can only make matters worse.
RCM chief Executive Cathy Warwick said she was ‘delighted’ with the plans, but went on to warn that more midwives would be needed – despite the fact that there would be no extra money in the pot to pay for any additional staff.
The proposal has all the disadvantages of other “personal budget” and “NHS voucher” schemes – in that it opens the way to individual “top-up” payments, widespread full-scale charging for health care, and private health insurance.
Like personal budgets it would take money from core budgets for services, without evidence or systems to ensure it will be spent appropriately – and leaving an under-resourced service to deal with all the more demanding cases – and those that develop later complications.
The NHS England statement explicitly says that any woman needing urgent care because of complications would get it regardless of whether their personal budget had been spent.
This policy is as illogical and unrealistic as the government claims that  an NHS that is already billions in deficit, and facing cuts to balance the books, can implement 7-day working with no extra staff or funding.
In this case the main beneficiary is likely to be a newly created private sector midwifery service, run by NHS-trained midwives who might otherwise be delivering NHS care in NHS units or in the community, free of charge at point of use.
JOHN LISTER 23 February 2016

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