"You will be interested to hear that, as Leader of Sutton Council and the Health Lead for the 6 South West London boroughs, I have already written to the NHS on behalf of all the boroughs to confirm that we will not be endorsing the STP for our area."
Ruth Dombey, leader of Sutton Council & Health Lead for the boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Sutton, Richmond and Wandsworth (22.10.16)
Ms Dombey's statement is evidence of a growing recognition that England's 44 Sustainability & Transformation plans (STPs) are simply vehicles for cutting NHS services. Hopefully other councils will now follow the lead of Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing councils and refuse to sign up. The Slash, Trash and Plunder plans have been made in response to a huge underfunding of the NHS, a spending gap so serious that it the Parliamentary Health Select Committee chaired by conservative Dr Sarah Wollaston has challenged the government.
Locally Save Our Hospitals has written a detailed response to the NW London STP. Authors Jim & Merril highlight the lack of honesty about finances.
"Despite a huge financial cut being at the centre of the plan, the latest version obtained by SOH has large blocks of yellow print (e-post-its!!) blocking out the financial case for the STP. This has not yet been worked through. Each of the financial pages carries the following health warning: "Finance team continue to work to further develop the financial modelling that underpins the plan and this will be circulated to stakeholders once available." It seems like something from Monty Python when a plan to ‘transform’ health provision based on finance is submitted to NHS England without any financial modelling!
One group really benefiting from an under-funded NHS are private health companies profiteering out of long waits for operations like cataract removals. If it makes you angry that in one of the richest countries in the world we aren't providing basic services free at the point of need to vulnerable people there's plenty you can do.
Support The NHS Bill
The NHS Bill seeks to reverse increasing fragmentation, under-resourcing and privatisation of our NHS. It's possible that the bill will be heard on Nov 4th and therefore Keep Our NHS Public are rallying in support outside Parliament. SOH will be there. If you can't make it you could still sign the petition.
Support The NHS Bill Fri 4th Nov 11 - 1 College Green (paved area opposite public entrance to Houses of Parliament)
Save Our Hospitals Saturday Stall
Leafleting about the STP and threats to Charing Cross Hospital and other local health services - join us if you can.
SOH Stall Sat Nov 3rd 2 - 4 Shepherds Bush Market Uxbridge Rd entrance (by Bush theatre)
H&F Clinical Commissioning Group Board Meeting - Accountable Care Partnerships
H & F CCG Board will be making decisions about the STP at their next board meeting. They'll also be discussing the worrying plan to create a monolithic Accountable Care Partnership (designed to assist the private sector in delivering vast NHS cuts). Eric's newsletter (attached) gives more detail on ACPs as well as local mental health services. The public are allowed to observe and can ask questions at the end. (They ask that questions are sent 24 hours in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.) Despite a sense of deja-vu you may wish to question why local London Ambulance Service response times for the most acutely ill patients are still well below the target of 75% within 8 mins, why LAS handovers are still sub optimal and why there are still widespread delays for patients between getting referred and starting treatments. View papers
Older Peoples Consultative Forum
Thanks to the forum for offering us an enjoyable (and musical) stall SOH last Friday.
Save the date
The findings of the council's review of the STP will be made public at a public meeting in Hammersmith Town Hall from 7pm Tuesday November 29th - Save the date!
H&F Council Public Meeting on STP Tues Nov 29th 7pm Assembly Hall Hammersmith Town Hall