We are very sad to report the death of Jolyon Jones, who has been an activist in Birmingham Against the Cuts for many years. Under the by-line of Fearless Jones he contributed analyses of Council and Government policies, particularly on children’s and adults’ social care, that got to the heart of the issues. They were informed by Jolyon’s background as a senior social worker and an activist in NUPE and later Unison.
Jolyon was also active in campaigns in the city on, among others, the NHS and the library service, always present, when his health allowed, on protests called by Keep Our NHS Public and Friends of the Libraries of Birmingham.
(Jolyon on left)
Jolyon was widely liked, admired and respected and he will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.
Below we reprint an extract from one of the last pieces Jolyon wrote for BATC, published in September, on the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan. This is the theme of a conference in Birmingham, on 20 May at Carrs Lane, taking forward one of the campaigns that Jolyon will be remembered for. (See our 13 April post for full details.)
Health campaigners slam NHS plan secrecy
Health campaigners have criticised the decision to withhold the Sustainability and Transformation plan on the future of the local NHS from the Health, Wellbeing and the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee to prevent it from being available to the public.
KONP is concerned that the plans will be used to make major cuts to the NHS as health funding significantly lags behind the growing health needs of the population.
The previous Coalition and present Tory Government have and are deliberately underfunding the NHS. A growing resource crisis is developing within the NHS as there is insufficient investment in health to meet the needs of the population. The STP plans are a way to shrink the overall NHS footprint and the plans will involve cuts and major changes to the way the NHS is organised. It is imperative that the public know what these plans propose and have a right to be properly consulted.