Monday, 22 May 2017



April 2017

Dear Supporter,
  • Longer waits to see our GPs
  • Huge cuts to health services
  • Bed shortages
  • Demoralised staff
  • Underfunding
Over the last few weeks the NHS has risen to the top of voters' concerns as people consider how to vote.

Save Our Hospitals is a community-based non-party political campaign group, but we are asking our supporters to think carefully about the future of the NHS before you vote on June 8. It's your vote, so it's your decision ... but please think NHS!

Our NHS is under attack as never before. It is time to call a stop to cuts, closures, downgrading, rationing and privatisation. Our NHS cannot stand 5 more years of these attacks.



See details - venue, time etc - below

  • You could help us at our stalls and with our leaflet distribution - see details in dates for diary
  • You could leaflet in your local streets for the public meeting (30th May)
  • You could leaflet in your local streets after the public meeting with our 'Vote for NHS' leaflet
  • You could put a SAVE CHARING CROSS poster in your window.
If you are able to do any of the above, please contact us at

  • You could ask canvassers or candidates the following questions:
    • Will you publicly support the retention of Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals as full acute hospitals with a Type 1 (blue light) A&E and a full complement of beds and specialist staff?
    • Will you stand up for health and social care, demanding an end to the current freeze on NHS budgets and cuts in social care and a major reinvestment in the NHS as a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable service available to all?
    • Mental health provision has been badly neglected. Will your party commit to significantly increase overall spending on mental health, nationally and in NW London, immediately?
    • In NW London there is a significant shortage of staff because of living costs. Will your party end the cap on NHS pay increases, restore NHS bursaries for nurses and health professionals, and legislate safe staffing levels for healthcare?

  • You could help us at our stalls and with our leaflet distribution - see details in dates for diary
  • You could leaflet in your local streets for the public meeting (30th May)
  • You could leaflet in your local streets after the public meeting with our 'Vote for NHS' leaflet
  • You could put a SAVE CHARING CROSS poster in your window.
If you are able to do any of the above, please contact us at

  • You could ask canvassers or candidates the following questions:
    • Will you publicly support the retention of Charing Cross and Ealing Hospitals as full acute hospitals with a Type 1 (blue light) A&E and a full complement of beds and specialist staff?
    • Will you stand up for health and social care, demanding an end to the current freeze on NHS budgets and cuts in social care and a major reinvestment in the NHS as a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable service available to all?
    • Mental health provision has been badly neglected. Will your party commit to significantly increase overall spending on mental health, nationally and in NW London, immediately?
    • In NW London there is a significant shortage of staff because of living costs. Will your party end the cap on NHS pay increases, restore NHS bursaries for nurses and health professionals, and legislate safe staffing levels for healthcare?
 Save Our Hospitals campaigners, on a cold and windy May day, in Chiswick


Tube Leafleting

Hammersmith Tube exit facing King St/Shepherds Bush Rd Mon 22nd May 8.30 - 9.30am
Barons Court Tube Tues 23rd May 8.30 - 9.30am
Hammersmith Tube exit facing Fulham Palace Rd Wed 24th May 8.30 - 9.30am
East Acton tube Wed 24th May 5 - 6pm
Goldhawk Rd Tube Thurs 25th May 8.30 - 9.30am
Hammersmith Tube Fri 26th May 8.30 - 9.30am

SOH  Stalls
CX Hospital Stall Tues 23rd May 2 - 4pm
Askew Rd Stall Wed 24th May 2 - 4pm outside the Co op, 98 Askew Rd (opposite library)
North End Rd Market, Fulham, Sat 27th May 10.00am - 2.00pm - Lillie Rd end - join us any time

Askew Rd Methodist Church (on corner with Bassein Rd), W12 9RN
7pm - 9pm

Best wishes,
Chair, SOH

Health care blow as UK placed 30th in the world

 The elephants in May's room - cartoon
                               Chris Riddell 21/05/2017
                               The Guardian

Labour Leader of H&F Council, Stephen Cowan, reports on the improvements in the borough

Cllr Greg Smith refuses to support the campaign to SAVE Charing Cross Hospital

NHS care 'among the worst in Europe' due to poor investment

Tories 'won't look again' at social care plans

May's extra £8bn pledge for NHS is far less than it needs, experts say

Reality Check: Why is NHS budget data delayed by purdah?

Crowdfunding anti STP
Campaigners and lawyers hope to make a legal challenge to a "typical" STP (Sustainability & Transformation Plan) in the hope that it could lead to a national reversal on these cuts & closures projects. Its a joint action between 999Call for the NHS and solicitors Leigh Day. They need crowd funding within next 10 days, if interested details here -

The Truth about the NHS in 2017

June 8th - Think Carefully... and vote for the NHS​

Monday, 15 May 2017

NHS sell-out: Tories sign largest privatisation deal in history worth £780MILLION

The sales to a total of 11 private firms, some with dubious records, are intended to help hospitals tackle the backlog of patients waiting for surgery and tests.

Jeremy Hunt’s claims that the NHS is not for sale lay in tatters last night after he signed the largest privatisation deal in history.
The Health Secretary, who has repeatedly denied health services are being siphoned off to private firms under this Government, faced furious reactions as the £780million deal was revealed.
Heart, joint and a variety of operations will be carried out, as well as scans, X-rays and other diagnostic tests. Under the deal struck by the NHS Supply Chain, many services will be provided in mobile units, rather than hospitals.
The news was met by anger, not least because three of the 11 profit-driven firms have previously been slammed for providing poor quality of care.
Vanguard faces legal action over a series of eye operations carried out in 2014 at Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset. The hospital terminated its contract with Vanguard after just four days as a result of problems.
Circle – which pulled out of running Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire – is in line to share up to £240million for providing imaging services, such as scans and X-rays. It will also provide services within operating theatres.
And Care UK was previously slammed by the CQC for the quality of care at two nursing homes it runs in Suffolk.
Doctors, anti-privatisation campaigners and unions today said they were outraged by the scale of the contract handed to the private firms.
And they warned the move would be “detrimental” to patient care.
Barrie Brown, national officer for health at union Unite, said: “This is further evidence of the helter-skelter rush to privatise the NHS.
“Great swathes of the NHS are being gobbled up by these 11 private companies, hungry for profit. It will further fragment services and be detrimental to patient care.”
Unison head of health, Christina McAnea, added: “There wouldn’t be such a crisis and backlog if ministers had properly invested in the NHS. Instead they’ve starved it of funds and demoralised staff.
“This is a desperate and dangerous attempt by the government to fix its succession of mistakes, and is also a huge betrayal of public trust.
"More worryingly, we now have companies with terrible track records being given money to provide essential services.”
Prof Sue Richards, chair of campaign group Keep Our NHS Public, also said she was angry the contract had been awarded to firms “demonstrated to provide sub-standard care”.
She added: “We have warned against creeping privatisation, but now the pace is quickening to a gallop.
"This case clearly demonstrates the Government is putting its own ideological commitment to the market and to the vested interests of the private health care industry ahead of patients’ needs.
“No wonder the future of the NHS is the top issue in the election.”
The 11 firms stand to pocket up to £780million between now and December 2018.
It beats the previous record NHS privatisation deal, which led to Virgin Care winning a £500million contract to provide community services in Surrey until 2017.
The NHS Business Services Authority, which oversees NHS Supply Chain, said the deal broke down to five contracts with maximum values of £240million, £160million, £240million, £80million and £60million, adding up to £780million.
A NHSBSA spokesman said: “This was introduced to provide a central point from which mobile and strategic clinical services could be procured efficiently.
“NHS organisations can choose to utilise this route to market if needed saving time and resources, by not having to undertake formal public procurement locally.”
But Dr Clive Peedell, a cancer doctor and co-leader of the National Health Action party, which launched its general election campaign today, said: “This government has spent the past four and half years starving the NHS of cash.
All the main political parties have pledged to boost its funding if they are elected in May.
They are promising it for the simple reason that if they don’t, the NHS will cease to exist.
  • 22:30, 12 MAR 2015
  • UPDATED16:41, 10 MAY 2015

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Broken Windows

Hello. My name is Jeremy Hunt, the elected Politician responsible for the good Running of Britain’s National Health Service. It has come to my attention that Criminals have entered a Number of NHS Hospitals through old Windows. This is a Disgrace and an Outrage. It is the Responsibility of Hospital Managers to make sure that their Windows are sound, secure and absolutely proof against Intruders, as well as Draughts. It is the responsibility of Nurses and Doctors, in the long Hours they must have between dealing with Patients, to carefully note down all cracked, broken or out of date Windows they see, and report them to their Supervisors (not to me, obviously, as I am too busy working to make the NHS fit for the Ranks of exciting developing Nations like Ukraine and India which we are about to join post-Brexit).

I understand a number of slovenly Jobsworths in the NHS have complained that they cannot afford to fix the Windows in their Hospitals, because they do not have enough Money to treat their Patients. I have even heard Hospital Managers say they cannot actually reach the Windows in their Corridors in Winter, when the Weather is at its chilliest, because these same Corridors are blocked by sick old Patients on Trolleys. Might I suggest that if these same Managers took care to fix their Windows in Summer, when Windows may comfortably be left open without Fear of any elderly Person catching a Cold, they would not be troubled by so many Pensioners coughing and sneezing come January?

Money is not the Answer to the Question of broken Windows in Hospitals. If Money were the Answer, I would, of course, have come up with a different Question. The Answer is to shift Resources from unnecessary Parts of a Hospital’s Spending to Front Line Services. As we who would almost certainly have fought in the War know, the Front Line is the only Line actually involved in Fighting Battles, and all other Lines, such as so-called ‘Supply Lines’, carrying ‘Ammunition’ and ‘Food’ to the Troops, are nothing more than a Scam to rip Taxpayers off. Fancy modern high-tech Windows with all their Bells and Whistles, like working Locks and complete Glass, are a luxury Taxpayers cannot afford. Answer me this: if they are forced to fund, through their Taxes, a universal Health Service free at the point of Delivery, how are Hard-working People expected to cope when a serious Family Crisis like Illness comes along?

During the Industrial Revolution, the Factory Owners, Imperial Adventurers and Landlords who made Britain great did not let Details like broken or even missing Windows obstruct their Drive for Enrichment. Hard-working People and the Subjects of our Dominions improvised. I have heard it said that Patches for the Windows used by the NHS are no longer available. Come on! Has nobody in the NHS heard of Cardboard?

James Meek 13 May 2017

Cast your vote wisely if you wish our public health service to have any kind of future, writes JOHN LISTER

HEALTH Campaigns Together, the biggest and most recent attempt to unite and mobilise a movement strong enough to challenge successive governments’ underfunding and undermining of England’s NHS since 2010, is a non-party initiative.
We have set out to work with health trade unions, local and national campaigns and with local communities and people of any party or none who are prepared to fight back in defence of proper funding of the NHS, against privatisation and fragmentation, and for properly funded, publicly provided social care.
Our huge demonstration through London on March 4, estimated by police and the media at upwards of 200,000-strong, was backed by over a dozen national trade unions.
It also brought along large contingents of people from rural areas and other parts of the country where the Tories have just strengthened their political grip in local elections — Devon, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire and many more.
We have insisted that the ambition of our campaign is to reach out even wider into local communities, building neighbourhood campaigns, linking them up and forging a movement that no government can ignore.
To strengthen this we campaign on facts, not ideology. We collect, organise and publish the hard truth of what governments have done to our NHS since 2010 — most notably the seven years so far of near-frozen real-terms funding that aim to follow Labour’s decade of growth with a decade of unprecedented decline in spending as a share of GDP.
Current plans would drop British health spending back to bottom of the league of comparable countries.
The cuts in real-terms spending while the population and cost pressures increase have already led to cuts of 9,000 acute hospital beds (treating emergencies and waiting list patients) and 20 per cent of mental health beds since 2010.
The shortage of beds plus brutal outright cuts in social care spending were key factors in last winter’s meltdown that hit the headlines in even the staunchest Tory media — with thousands of patients left waiting hours on trolleys for emergency admissions, a collapse against performance targets for waiting times in A&E, cancer treatment, and a leap in numbers waiting more than 18 weeks for operations.
Now even the loyal Tory Daily Telegraph has flagged up leaked official NHS figures warning of a huge increase in the numbers waiting for treatment — from the current record 3.7 million to 5.5m by 2019 — with numbers waiting over 18 weeks expected to double to 800,000 unless extra resources are released.
The Royal College of Surgeons says the growing waiting times are “unacceptably high” and warns that major brain and heart operations are among those likely to be affected by this worsening performance.
But it’s set to get worse still. The mainstream media has eventually noticed that many of the 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) signed off by NHS England seek to downgrade hospitals or A&E units, cut bed numbers and reduce numbers of patients treated — as each of them seeks drastic “savings” to bridge an expected £22 billion gap between resources and needs by 2020.
In many rural areas the planned “reconfiguration” of hospital care could mean journeys of up to 50 miles to access “local” hospital care.
All of these hard facts are potential dynamite for Theresa May, since many of the people most seriously affected by the NHS and social care cutbacks will inevitably be Tory voters.
But there’s more: the hidden Tory agenda since 2010 has been kept out of the public eye because it is divisive among their own ranks: most Tories value and use their local NHS services, and are angered by suggestions that local A&E units should close.
Nonetheless if they vote for May’s “strong and stable” government, it will be taken as a green light to press ahead with even more controversial cuts and closures.
Most Tories are against privatisation of the NHS. But they had as little say as the rest of the country over Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act, which was not in the manifesto, and only unveiled after David Cameron fought the election pledging no more top-down reorganisation of the NHS.
The Act has brought even more fragmentation, bureaucracy and chaos to the NHS and was designed to open up more possibilities of handing contracts to private-sector providers.
Indeed even during the pre-election “purdah” period, management at the Royal Liverpool Hospital have been emailing consultants to announce plans to increase the income from private patients and inviting consultants to help this along: this will not be a unique example.
Behind the scenes, while ministers proclaim their love of the NHS, the private sector has been growing on the strength of public funds.
The proportion of NHS spending on clinical care from private providers has risen steadily since 2010, while the finances of the NHS providers have been undermined.
Across England on average £1 in every £8 of local commissioners’ budgets is now spent on care provided by non-NHS organisations, and almost half of the additional £2bn of funding for the NHS commissioning budget in England in 2015-16 was spent on care provided by non-NHS providers.
Private hospital chains have been the big winners from this, coining in increased profits from treating NHS patients for whom there is no longer enough bed space as hospitals are reduced to an emergencies and chronic care service, allowing the private sector to cherry-pick the potentially profitable contracts for the least complex elective care.
As delays in treatment increase and the waiting list lengthens, more impatient patients can also be expected to dig into savings or borrow money to pay for quicker private treatment, while cash-saving plans in many clinical commissioning groups now look to restricting the range of treatments that are available as elective care — forcing more people to go private or go without.
So how have things got so bad with so little overt opposition?
How have Cameron and May been able to keep the real NHS policy so well concealed behind a bland rhetoric and cynical assurances?
Labour from 2010 has to take much of the blame — for lacklustre, belated and limited opposition to the spending freeze and even the Health and Social Care Act under the coalition from 2010, partly because of a refusal of the Blairite wing of the party to allow a critical view of the party’s own record in government.
It was after all Blair’s government which chose to waste billions of the extra funding it pumped in to the NHS on deepening what Blair himself had called the “costly and wasteful” purchaser-provider split of Margaret Thatcher’s “internal market” and making it a real market by opening up contracts for clinical services to private providers for the first time.
It was Blair’s government which signed the first extravagant and increasingly unaffordable PFI contracts to finance new hospitals through annually increasing payments over 30 years, pumping a growing profit stream into the coffers of banks and finance houses, many of them now offshore.
The grim legacy of these historic blunders is now visible in many areas: and even after Jeremy Corbyn took over from Ed Miliband in the autumn of 2015 it has taken too long for Labour to get to grips with these issues and develop a more credible policy.
But at last there are signs that it is being done. In a landmark speech to Unison health conference, shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth made an important series of commitments that give those wanting to stop the Tory assault something positive to vote for rather than just an anti-Tory vote.
Ashworth assured delegates: “Labour will defend the NHS and axe the health and social care legislation that allows the NHS to be fragmented and sold off. Privatisation of the NHS will come to an end. … We will reinstate the secretary of state’s responsibilities and reinstate the NHS — publicly funded, publicly administered and, yes, publicly provided.”
He went on to commit to invest in the NHS to hit A&E targets, to “deliver long overdue improvements to underfunded, understaffed” mental health services.
Labour is also now pledged to remove the cap limiting NHS pay increases, reinstate NHS bursaries, guarantee the security of EU and other staff working in the NHS after Brexit, and to bring in a new law to enforce safe staffing levels.
In separate statements on funding, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has made clear that Labour would increase investment in the NHS, although the party has yet to commit calls from NHS Providers for an extra £25bn by 2020 (£15bn over three years in revenue plus £10bn capital) or the Institute of Healthcare Management’s call for three years of £8bn increases.
There’s plenty of room still for improvement but at last the Labour leadership has established a clear alternative and set themselves out as the only party committed to bold moves to repair and improve our damaged NHS.
Theresa May has made clear she does not want the NHS to be central to debates running up to the election: but her whole stance since becoming Prime Minister makes clear that a vote for “strong and stable” leadership would be taken as endorsement for five more years of cuts, closures and privatisation — regardless of local views.
The polls look grim: but if Labour can keep on the pressure, this still could be an election where people wake up to the need to vote for the NHS.
Don’t take any chances with your health: #voteNHS. This might be the last chance to stop the rot before our NHS declines into persistent crisis and chaos, with the private sector waiting in the wings.
  • Health Campaigns Together ( has published a fact-filled election special broadsheet that backs no party, but makes clear the view that voters should only support candidates committed to fighting on after June 8 to defend local access to services, against cuts and privatisation

Election Special

Support SW London

SW London Keep Our NHS Public Group have invite SOH to have a stall at their public meeting "How can we save the NHS?" Let us know if you're coming.

SW London KONP Tues 16th May 7.30pm 222 Upper Tooting Rd, SW17 7EW

H & F Council AGM

SOH has been invited to have a stall prior to the council's Annual General Meeting. We want to show support to H&F, one of the first councils to oppose the cuts & closures plans known as Sustainability & Transformation plans (STPs).

SOH Stall prior to H & F Council AGM Wed 17th May 6pm stall 7pm start of council meeting Hammersmith Town Hall

Scrap the STPs Lobby
Join London health campaigners in lobbying this conference designed to promote the STPs.
Scrap The STP Lobby Thurs 18th May 8 - 9am The Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way WC1H 0DG

Chiswick Questions

Chiswick is organising online interviews with the Chiswick parliamentary candidates. Seems a good opportunity to check their views about the planned hospital closures at CX and Ealing and NHS funding crisis. Do You Have A Question For Your Election Candidates?

Health Campaigns Together Election Special
Attached is an online election special newspaper from Health Campaigns Together. It's a must read: an excellent briefing on the NHS Crisis. If you'd like a batch of hard copies let us know.

Parties Opposed to STPs

Since last week's report on the very welcome news that the Labour Party nationally has come out against STPs and called for a moratorium on planned hospital closures
http:///uk/politics/election-2017-labour-stop-hospital-closures-nhs-conservative-cuts-tories-a7714581.html Louise emailed saying that the NHS Action Party was " the first to find out about and publicise the STPs, and definitely oppose them!" and Martin quotes the Green Party's Spokesperson describing the rationale for the STP as cuts. "Closing wards and hospitals will save money, but this cannot be done without huge damage. There is no excess provision. Already, most hospitals frequently have too many patients."

K & C Care Homes -- Patchy Quality

Newspaper reports have highlighted patchy quality of care homes in Kensington & Chelsea - despite the borough being the wealthiest in Britain. According to the charity Independent Age who reviewed Care Quality Commission reports "In January, 5 out of 10 care homes in Kensington and Chelsea were poorly rated." - though some have since been upgraded.

Anne Drinkell (SOH secretary)

A&E patients suffer worst ever winter for hospital admissions and more news..

Hospital waiting lists 'will rise above 5 million' as targets slide

Watch an angry health campaigner from Keep Our St Helier Hospital (KOSHH) confront Jeremy Hunt during hospital visit

Jeremy Hunt admits he ‘can’t deliver’ £350m a week promised for NHS by Brexit campaigners

Jeremy Hunt offers no assurances on NHS spending

​Liberal Democrats pledge to raise income tax by 1p to raise £6bn for NHS

Delia Smith: I'm backing Labour to save the NHS because it can't be treated like a supermarket
She warns that another Tory government would be a “recipe for disaster” for the health service

Can we afford to close any more A&E departments? Evidence from North West London.

Closing A&E departments has led to a deterioration in the performance of those that remain in North West London. This analysis warns of the risk to patients if further A&Es are closed. 

Across England NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are proposing the closure or ‘downgrade’ of up to 24 emergency departments.

This analysis shows how A&E performance has suffered across North West London following the closure of two emergency departments in 2014.

Performance against the 95% 4-hour wait target dropped to as low as 60% shortly after the closures, meaning that up to 40% of patients requiring serious treatment had to wait over 4 hours to be assessed and admitted to an appropriate bed. Since then the performance of North West London hospitals has been some of the worst in the country, sometimes managing to treat fewer than half of the patients within four hours. For time-sensitive conditions such as sepsis or respiratory failure such delays are life-threatening.

In addition, since the A&E closures in 2014 the bed occupancy rate in all hospital trusts in North West London has been above 85%, compromising clinical safety through overcrowding.

This paper also points out that the closures aggravate health inequalities, hitting the most deprived boroughs in the region.

The full paper by Dr Gurjinder Singh Sandhu can be found 


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