Wessex Solidarity at Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2018

In addition to our stall at the Black Swan, we are hosting, as a last minute addition to the programme, the following meeting at BASE (formerly  Kebele) from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Defend the NHS and Fight for Socialised Healthcare!

A Dorset anarchist’s experience supporting grassroots campaigns, working with different groups, dealing with different political agendas, and handling the media. He will then suggest a strategy to set up a defensive infrastructure, capable of rapidly reacting to future threats, and uniting groups of healthcare workers with the users of the service. This will then be followed by open discussion.

That’s a long time to talk so bring your own ideas and experiences!

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HOLD ON THE ROAD!

A night of crazy Forest music to raise money for the legal fight against the closure of Lydney and Dilke Hospitals. £5 minimum donation on the door. A Bar and great music from Pure Evil, NFA and The Acronyms. Should be a great night for a good cause! Donate here though whether you can make it or not (but not to be missed!) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/
facebook event

HELP US SAVE OUR HOSPITALS

For anyone who has yet to visit the Forest of Dean, please do – you’re most welcome, it belongs to everyone after all as it’s public property – we last fought and won for it to remain so in 2011. We have a track record of community action going back at least four centuries to force authorities into doing U-turns. There is a very keen sense of public ownership in the Forest, and this extends to its two community hospitals – Lydney and the Dilke Memorial. Miners and other local workers largely built the hospitals during the half-century before the NHS existed, they paid by subscription out of their paltry wages and acquired land in the middle of the woods near the town of Cinderford for the Dilke (named for the Forest’s Victorian-era Radical Whig MP, Charles Dilke) with a covenant that stated the site should always be used for the care of the poor and the sick.

The reason the Forest has and needs two hospitals is a practical geographic reason: there is a big Forest that separates the northern and western side of it from the southern and eastern side – almost all the settlements are in a bracelet around the main eight-by-10-mile block of woodland.

During its propaganda drive when it was “consulting” on closing the two hospitals to be replaced by a cheap one in an undisclosed location, with undisclosed facilities, the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust reduced this widespread acknowledgement that the hospitals belong to us, as they were built and funded by us to us being “sentimental” about them, or according to one of the Trust’s plants at a public meeting, “dinosaurs”.

What you tend to find now in our Forest community of 50,000+ people – and we have been going door-to-door with a petition against the closures – is that more than 90 per cent we meet are rushing to sign, while only very few express support for the single new hospital of undetermined location and size. Everyone else sees it for what it is, a cutting in half of our health services, our Minor Injuries Units, our non-acute hospital beds and the asset-stripping of two valuable pieces of real estate. The NHS Trust has written off the hospitals as not fit for purpose – despite them getting five-star customer satisfaction surveys. It cites “clinical reasons” – the main issues being an antiquated heating system, leaky roof and lack of piped oxygen… and the staff shortages which are endemic throughout the NHS. We say the working environment and the problems could be sorted in both hospitals using the £11 million the Trust has in its pot. The reason these problems exist is due to managed decline, to chronic underinvestment by the Trust. Who pays for the Trust and for the NHS? We do… therefore it is up to us and all other communities fighting similar cuts proposals and asset-stripping across the country to make sure we aren’t robbed by these corporate entities.

This is the third battle we know of save the Dilke Hospital from being closed by a succession of governments and NHS trusts. The first we know of was in 1988, while the last battle was in 2005-6, and our Tory MP Mark Harper was at the forefront of it, in opposition to the New Labour government. He and fellow Tories soon transformed a traditionally Labour, or even Communist, area into a Tory stronghold on the back of this “save our hospitals” campaign.

It’s a different story this time around – all our local councillors of each party are either keeping quiet or trying to smear us campaigners. We have now discovered that since 2015 various politicians from various parties, alongside voluntary group representatives and those from the private/ charitable local healthcare sector all signed non-disclosure agreements to keep secret the plot to shut the two hospitals, until the NHS was ready with its propaganda drive, post-election. This focus group convened by the Gloucestershire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, we are now told, made the decision on behalf of us, the community!

We beg to differ and so we have taken the plunge and got a major public law firm involved and are applying for a Judicial Review. We desperately need to raise £5,000 by April 28 just for the first application stage. The good news is, the legals have found five grounds for challenge and we have raised almost half via the legal crowdfunding platform CrowdJustice (yes they take a percentage for acting as a bridge between us and the money, but none of us were prepared to be saddled with responsibility for loads of cash!). The scary news is, we still have half of it to raise, and if we don’t…

Anyway, please help us out in every you can, a few of us are full-time on this but we need this out everywhere… people pledging donations and sharing around. Also come to our fundraising gig on April 21st, gonna be a blinder!

Please share this link / or pledge a donation to it (not taken out of accounts until April 28 if we raise the target) https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/holdourhospitals/

Councillor Bill Pipe, resign!

From the Keep Kingfisher and Maternity at DCH a 24/7 Consultant Led Unit Team DCH Facebook page:

“Councillor Bill Pipe, new Chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee, which has the power to challenge the bed closures, hospital closures and removal of services in the clinical services review says the committee reversed its decision to refer the plans to the secretary of state for health because it did not have evidence of public support.

This is not the case. 27,000 signatures were collected in the petition to save Kingfisher ward and nearly 37,000 to save Poole Hospital. Campaigners wrote letters and attended meetings to express their concerns and even the watchdog Healthwatch challenged the decisions.

Cllr Pipe also pressurised members of the committee by holding a special pre meeting in which they were asked to individually state their voting intentions and also by giving a 5 minute speech before the vote urging the committee to support the changes.‎ Such actions amount to bullying and are unprecedented and unacceptable in a committee which should remain independent.

He has also misled the committee about the numbers voting for the referral at the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee in December and by not telling them that the week before, he had proposed that Purbeck District Council oppose the CCG’s plans – which they did with a unanimous vote.

We believe that Cllr Pipe has brought the Health Scrutiny Committee and Dorset County Council into disrepute, that he is unfit to chair the committee and that he should resign.

If you would like to write to Leader of the Council, Rebecca Knox and ask her to replace him as chair with someone who has the confidence of the public then please message us and we’ll advise you how to do it.”

On yer bike, Pipe!

magpiebillpipe@freeuk.com

Report on the Sustainability & Transformation Partnership consultation – 8th February

From the Save Southend NHS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SaveSouthendNHS//

#SaveSouthendNHS have been emailed this by a member of the public who was not allowed entry to the STP discussion event on Thursday 8th February.

We are posting this word for word.

I went along to Cliffs Pavilion on Thursday to attend the consultation meeting regarding plans for local hospitals I knew tickets had all been allocated for the evening but as they were free I knew from experience that not everyone would turn up so went along bearing in mind originally they said turn up on night. I arrived at venue where there was police presence and four bouncers! There was only about 4 or 5 people waiting outside doors to get in when I got there and was told there was no room. When I looked through I could see a few people standing and room behind them I mentioned this to one of the security guys and said as there were only 4 of us could they let us in as I was happy to stand He replied we were not allowed to stand. When I questioned the fact that there were people standing he said they were speakers and public were not allowed to stand I have been to music events there where the room is rammed and everyone stands. Bearing in mind the organisers knew this event was oversubscribed I question why they didn’t change the layout of room and not had the round tables I learnt later from friends that there were even a couple of spare seats.

Yet another demonstration of how badly run the whole public consultation has been.

You can sign our petition here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-mid-south-essex-stp-downgrading-southend-hospital

The South Essex Stirrer - Archive

From the Save Southend NHS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SaveSouthendNHS/

The Mid & South Essex Sustainability & Transformation Partnership (STP) refused to change to a larger venue or rearrange seating to accommodate more people at the original venue, Maritime Rooms at the Cliffs Pavilions, in spite of tickets to last night’s consultation event ‘selling out’ two weeks ago. Instead they decided to employ a firm of security guards to prevent entry of many non-ticket holders to the event, originally billed as ‘just turn up’.

#SaveSouthendNHS had a presence of thirty or so supporters outside the venue to distribute leaflets illustrating the real effects the STP is likely to have on local NHS services, and talk to attendees as they arrived.

Around 200 people were admitted to the 300 capacity venue to hear the standard spiel touted by the STP and its advocates. Their basic line is that with an ageing population and…

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RISE UP AGAINST N.H.S. CUTS IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE 25th January 2018

Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are meeting tomorrow (25th January 2018) to decide whether or not to close two Community Hospitals, The Dilke and Lydney Hospital in the Forest of Dean, and replace them with a single, smaller hospital containing significantly fewer inpatient beds and unknown services.

We demand that these decision makers respect the views of the majority of respondents to the public consultation, who DID NOT SUPPORT these proposed hospital closures. THINK AGAIN!

It’s time we turned the tide! The NHS is in crisis nationally already… and it’s time we demanded our rights as National Insurance payers for a properly financed and equipped public health service with decent pay and conditions for staff. This starts by demanding the Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group respect and heed the majority of people’s views and keep our 2 hospitals open and invest in them for the future!

facebook event

Petition

CARILLION COLLAPSE – WHAT NEXT?