Saturday, 28 April 2018

first NHS judicial review on ACOs - highlights

Chorley NHS campaigners with others in Leeds
Campaign group '999 Call for the NHS' were in Leeds High Court on 24th April for the hearing of the Judicial Review of NHS England’s contentious Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) contract. The challenge was that the contract’s introduction of a new payment mechanism is unlawful under current NHS and social care legislation and national tariff rules.

A message from 38 degrees

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition to stop the dismantling of the NHS and thank you if you made it to Leeds for the first Judicial Review on Tuesday 24th April [2018].

If you couldn't get there, here are a few highlights.

This Judicial Review marked the first of the legal challenges to the change from a National Health Service, to a Neighbourhood Health Service, (Simon Stevens' words I'm told), where the possibilities for postcode lotteries are magnified hugely and £22bn is being cut from the funding that would otherwise have been allocated by the Treasury by 2020.

Campaign groups from Chorley, Darlington, Dewsbury, Grantham, Huddersfield, Leeds,  Manchester, Slaithwaite,  Stafford, and Oxford, to name but a few, plus concerned individuals, gathered outside the court for the rally and some went into court afterwards. We were all lifted in spirits by the wonderful choir.

The Slaithwaite story was of a success, showing that together we CAN make a difference.
There were more contributions than we can include here and thank you to all who sent stories and messages of support which were read out at the start.
Other stories are in the links...a speaker from where 999 Call for the NHS started, in Darlington, a Consultant from Leeds, and the struggle in Oxford.
Now we wait for the ruling. Find out more about the day in court here.
And please share with this link
This is a huge challenge but together we ARE making a difference. We must fight for the NHS as a comprehensive service for all. Nobody will do it for us.
Checkout the facebook page.
Thanks for your part in this. We couldn't do it without you.
38 degrees

Monday, 16 April 2018

Nottingham NHS sell off to private Circle

Over at Nottingham’s so called ‘health economy’ there's another struggle going on out of National public view.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have contracted a private provider to run The Circle Nottingham Treatment Centre which employs over 150 experienced consultants and performs diagnostics and treats cancer as well as other illnesses.

The new STP arrangements everywhere in England, renamed Integrated Care Organisations and Systems are having to make cuts and Nottingham is no different. So now the CCG wants to procure the contract for less money.

It is on the cards that the private, for-profit company, most famous for handing back the contract for Hinchingbrook Hospital and owned by Toscafund , will sue the CCG.

How can that be fair? What are the odds they’ll win?
This is hot on the heels of the undisclosed sum awarded out of court to Virgin when it challenged NHS England 6 CCGs and the Council, in the Surrey ‘health economy’.
The odds are seemingly, not stacked in NHS hospitals favour, because they are doing more work than they are being paid for. The harsh ‘control totals’ ie permitted spending amount, do not provide enough money to do the job, so they can’t save or ‘increase efficiency’ . Then they are penalised, for not hitting A&E targets for example and previously promised 'Transformation' money withdrawn.

The relentless move to close hospitals goes on. We’ve just found out about South Tyneside’s Save our Hospital campaign, which needs help on crowdjustice.

As Jeremy Hunt says, he wants to re-direct NHS services by suspending tariffs .

It doesn’t really matter what the name is, the plan is the same. STP Integrated Care Systems will mean ‘managed care’ ie less care, fewer services, fewer medics.

We are fighting this with every bit of our strength because it is ideologically driven and completely unnecessary! Stay updated by clicking to recieve updates. You can unsubscribe later.

A final tribute?

At the same time as all the hospitals which haven't yet been closed, were full and some patients were experiencing third world conditions, the Department of Health organised an award ceremony. Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt got one for 'services to patient safety.'

You couldn't make it up!

HELP STOP THE ROT! Click the link and support below...
Article from 38degrees "STOP the New Plans to Dismantle Our NHS"

Saturday, 14 April 2018

NHS Campaigners demand A&E reopen after two years of protesting

Chorley & South Ribble NHS campaigners marched through Chorley town centre today to mark two years since the A&E at Chorley was closed.

Protesters today accompanied by a Samba drum band marched all the way from Chorley & South Ribble district hospital to Chorley town centre.

The demonstration, fronted by the samba drum band 'Sambafriq' comes only a few weeks after protesters marked the 100th week of protests since the A&E was closed in April 2016.

Sambafriq band Chorley town centre

The previous demonstration on March the 10th marked the 100th week of protests since the A&E closed. It also coincided with the anniversary of a rally back in March 1975, when hundreds of people marched to call for a 24/7 casualty service for the district.

Then (1975 B&W) and Now
The demo in March drew bikers from all over the county who came out in force to support A&E campaigners who created a chain of supporters from Preston Road to Euxton Lane entrances.

Rivington Barn Bikers and others from surrounding area
The A&E department was closed in April 2016 with the hospital trust board blaming a shortage of staff but was reopened in January 2017 part-time (8am-8pm) after pressure from campaigners, the local MP and councillors.

Fired by a sense of injustice, campaigners have since gathered outside the hospital on Euxton Lane every Saturday morning from 10am to 11am  to campaign against the closure of the A&E unit.

But campaigners are as adamant as ever to get the A&E reinstated full-time and have vowed to 'remain on the gate' at the hospital until the A&E is reinstated full-time.

Volunteers Needed -  Can You Help?

Our Chorley & South Ribble NHS campaign organisers are currently looking for volunteers to help out with organising events and other activities.

You don't need any special skills, just the will and determination to help out where you can. If you want to help out feel free to join our facebook forum (link below) and leave a message. Alternatively use the Contact form above top left of this page.

Protect Chorley Hospital from Cuts & Privatisation

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Who can we entrust to save our NHS, if not ourselves

An article in 'the Guardian' today exposes the truth about Labour peers supporting STPs and privatisation of the NHS. 

Thu 15 Mar 2018
In todays newspaper, Warner and Oldham said "The NHS England Five Year Forward view [the document all STPs are based on] and related initiatives are important steps in the right direction". Norman Warner and John Oldham

Norman Warner (Lord Warner) served as a Labour health minister from 2003-07 and now sits on the cross benches and Sir John Oldham is the adjunct professor for global health at Imperial College, and is the former chair of the Independent Commission on Whole Person Care.

Labour advisor 'Simon Stevens' the current boss of NHS England devised the Five year forward view, a document all STPs are based on. As with John Oldham's global health operations, Stevens was ex vice president of U.S firm Unitedhealth's Global operations wishing to implement profit making American healthcare models across Europe. Stevens' Five year view is to implement insurance-based Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) here in England.

Labour peer' Lord Carter' also supports the STP models and recently visited Preston county hall in Lancashire meeting with health trusts and civic leaders debating his private care at home model.

Today however, Warner and Oldham suggested something that would shock many traditional  Labour supporters. They suggest the following principles should apply to sourcing new revenue for the NHS and care system.

■ creating an 'extra tax' to be paid by workers on zero hours contracts
increase in taxes for the elderly ensuring they 'pay their fair share'
■  Lifestyles costly to the NHS and care system should exact a premium (this means those with unforeseen circumstance such as being overweight due to medications would pay extra premiums)
REMOVING winter fuel allowance for some pensioners & increasing taxes for pensioners with money above the basic state pension (tax on hard earned savings)

Warner & Oldham claim the above is needed to generate a 'reliable source of income' for the NHS. Paying no attention at all to where money can be saved such as removing bureaucracy and the internal market Warner's party created, they instead plough on with the old chestnut that we all need to pay more and more....
In an attempt to justify these disgraceful attacks on working people, Warner and Oldham in their Guardian news article proceed to scaremonger the public with stories about what 'might' happen if their draconian principles were not implemented.

Ironically, the former Labour health minister Lord Warner, who has 'formed an unholy alliance with the rightwing thinktank Reform' ; supports upfront charges for the NHS. In the case of Reform, this would be a "suggested" £10 NHS "membership fee" per month. 
The article in today's Guardian is reminiscent of how many Labour MPs and Peers support and promote private companies or policies then leave to work for the private sector industry, i.e. the 'revolving door'. Warner is certainly in that category.

New Labour's 'Tony Blair' appointed Carter as a Labour peer in 2004.
Lord Carter co-founded private nursing home company 'Westminster Health Care' in 1985 with Martin Bradford. He's been lobbying for the private care-home sector to take on more patients from over-stretched NHS hospitals ever since Simon Stevens revealed the STP plans for England.

Carter was also previously president of Mckesson enterprise ltd international operations group (business portfolio holder), Mckesson specialise in orthopedic imaging/consultancy private sector work.

In 1985, Lord Carter founded Westminster Health Care which he built into a leading health care provider and subsequently sold in 1999. Carter is now a private investor and director of public and private companies in the fields of insurance, healthcare and information technology.

Previously many Labour politicians have made full use of the 'revolving door' between the private healthcare industry and government. Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt are among the ten previous health ministers who have taken lucrative consultancies with private health care companies.

If this is the view of Labour peers such as Lord Carter and Lord Warner (now a cross-bench peer), then what do Labour MPs think of all this support for changing the NHS into a private insurance-based American model?

Who can we entrust to save our NHS, if not ourselves?

Related Links

Warner & Oldham's Guardian news article

In 2006, Labour Peer Lord Warner supported a secret plan to privatise an entire tier of the NHS in England 

Both Warner and Carter claim NHS hospitals are draining money from elderly care.

NHS users should pay £10 a month, says former Labour health minister Lord Warner

A new report by former Health Minister, Lord Warner, recommends charging people to see their GP, charging people for overnight stays in hospital, or even charging everyone £10 a month for NHS services. 

Revolving door & the cross-party white paper

New Labour's White Paper, was it the blueprint for the STPs five year forward view?

How has it got so far? [Part 1]

How has it got so far? [PART 1] THOSE who should be doing something about defending our NHS are turning a blind eye or partnering with others such as CCGs and privatisers. Some of those who should be defending the NHS are betraying the NHS and selling it off piecemeal (eg GPs on CCG boards). I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say those who could do something aren't, and they are allowing this to happen, and no amount of research or posts or letters I write or shouting I do appears to be getting through. So if all this goes pear shaped, then at least I/we as a group can hold our heads up high saying we did our best and we told you so. Let's not let it get to that stage. You don't know how precious something is until it's gone. That's the NHS, the envy of the world, yet it's being torn apart and handed over bit by bit to the private sector leaving what few NHS services we have left for the poor to fight over as pigeons to crumbs. What evil wishes England to adopt the worst healthcare system in the world (USA) and import it over here, if not for profit? We must never let an injustice pass us by, always question but never leave it alone thinking 'someone else will deal with it', they won't. If not me then who? If not now then when? It's now down to us, and at some stage people will realise just how serious the situation is and wished they'd attended meetings and rallied together to defend our NHS. Today, NHS England have given incentives to all GPs to join a GP federation to increase population list numbers to facilitate a future U.S. business model of an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO). South Cumbria are already rolling out the STPs [1]. Chorley & South Ribble with Preston CCGs are already implementing STP models such as 'care closer to home' by moving services such as audiology, ophthalmology, and ENT out of hospital into private provider clinics. And they have the remit to do this via the Health & Social Care act 2012 which opened up the market to any private provider. The message from the STP team is just 'go ahead and do it' (solutions design team publication 7) Clinical Commissioning Groups are now considering rationing up to 18 more medicines and treatments, taking the total so far to 33. The Lancashire teaching hospital trust propose to create a private subsidiary company, transferring NHS staff and assets to it - nineteen trusts have already done this. How has it got so far? How has it got so far? [1]

Monday, 5 March 2018

Lancashire Health scrutiny councillors asked to support STPs

Health scrutiny councillors in Lancashire are being asked to approve STPS..

The Department of Health & NHS England have paused STPs for a twelve week public consultation as from last Friday 2nd March, yet today, Monday 5th March at county hall Health scrutiny councillors are being asked to approve them..

An email has been sent to councillors on the committee explaining the pause for National public consultation and councillors have been asked to defer any support and agreement until after the consultation...

Dear Health Scrutiny Councillor
Subject: The Department of Health & NHS England have paused STPs for a twelve week public consultation as from last Friday 2nd March, yet on Monday 5th March at county hall you're being asked to approve them....questions need asking (see below)

A letter to the Commons Health Select Committee in February from the health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the details of exactly how Accountable Care Organsations (ACOs) will work, including the contract terms involved, need to be made clear before more work is done [1]. *Sustainability & Transformation Plans are eventually to become ACOs. Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) is the latest name for ACOs used confusingly in Monday's scrutiny agenda item 5. There are also currently two legal challenges to the validity of ACOs via judicial review.

That hasn't however stopped those pursuing STPs at local level from trying to get agreement from other partners such as scrutiny councillors like yourselves.

Based on the above, please read page 43 of the Agenda item five titled "Current Lancashire and South Cumbria (STP) Level activity" and  ask the following questions at Monday's Health scrutiny committee then call for deferral until after the public consultation on ACOs which started last Friday 2nd March and ends in May 2018...

QUESTION 1: The public consultation about Accountable Care Organisations (ACO's) started at the parliamentary Health select committee only last Friday 2nd March and lasts twelve weeks, yet bullet points (a) and (d) on agenda item 5 is asking us to 'support' action that enables rollout of STPs across Lancashire & South Cumbria, including five ACOs (now called Integrated Care Partnerships or 'ICP' for short). Why are we today being asked to support and hence approve these ACOs/ICPs when public consultation on them has only just started?

QUESTION 2: Agenda item 5: The item on STPs appears to have been included as bullet points under the banner of health inequalities and life expectancy. Whilst this area is generally supported, worryingly, bullet point (f) states that due to declining funds and resources "short term demand management initiatives are likely to be prioritised over strategies to address inequalities".

What exactly does 'demand management' mean? Does this not indicate that 'demand management' - which many see as rationing of healthcare and medicines - will take precedence over strategies that deal with healthcare inequalities and how funds are distributed across communities classed as deprived areas?

QUESTION 3: Do other members not agree, that if we as scrutiny councillors support Agenda item 5 we will be agreeing to something the public and MPs do not understand and have as yet not commented on. Yet bullet points (a) and (d)are  asking us to make a judgement on these ACOs without knowing all the facts. Are we expected to do that whilst consultation has only just started?

MOVE: Consultation about what Integrated Care Partnerships/STPs/ ACOs has only just started. To make a decision to support them as in Agenda item 5 at today's meeting would pre-empt the outcome of the ongoing consultation. I/we move that a decision on supporting agenda item 5 titled "Current Lancashire and South Cumbria (STP) Level activity" be deferred until NHS England and the department of health have completed their public consultation to enable us to make a better informed judgement on what exactly we are supporting.

-- Ends --

ACOs Paused for consultation

Health Scrutiny Agenda for Monday 5th March


Agenda item 5 also finishes stating: "These actions will also address the priorities set by the Health and Wellbeing Board".

What are these 'priorities' of the Health and Wellbeing Board? How do these 'priorities' affect the public? and are the Health & Wellbeing Board aware of the pause for consultation before going ahead with STPs/ACOs?

attached: Agenda reports pack (see page 43 onwards)

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Virgin deal would undermine other NHS services, says judge

Virgin deal would undermine other NHS services, says judge

Lancashire county council’s award of a £104m contract to Virgin Care would “significantly” undermine the incumbent NHS trusts’ ability to maintain other services, a judge has said. HSJ brief header... We've been saying this all along, and its no different to when a hospital trust loses one its services to the private sector - for example the urgent care and other contracts. ■ A hospital trust losing a service to a non-NHS provider significantly undermines the trusts’ ability to maintain its other services (such as A&E). So based on the judges opinion of the social care children's contract, each time the CCG award an NHS contract to a non-NHS provider the NHS sinks deeper and deeper into debt. This begs the question of WHY Lancashire Teaching hospitals NHS foundation Trust aren't opposing the STP plans to close many of its services and transfer them out-of-hospital into to the community where they will be taken over by the private sector. The trust cannot afford to continue running these services in-house and at the same time attempting to make efficiency savings so they'll be relieved to hand over our NHS to "any qualified provider" as per the H&SC act 2012. This is why the Hospital Trusts in-house services for maintenance, buildings etc are proposed to be handed to a subsidiary company wholly owned by the trust as shareholders. It's not looking good is it? It needs resistance from every public sector worker and everyone in the community to stop this rot before our NHS is ripped out of our grasp before our very eyes.