Tag Archives: NHS

Public need not private greed – Birmingham TUC Conference on NHS Privatisation – 22nd Feb

NHS belongs to the peopleOrganised by the Birmingham Trades Union Council.
Privatisation of our health service will reduce staff, service levels, cost us more for treatments, Concerned?

Following on from the successful TUC protest rally in Manchester in September, this important conference is open to all trade unionists and the public to see what we can ALL do to campaign against this threat to our NHS.

11am – 4:30pm, Saturday, 22nd of February 2014.
Priory meeting rooms, Bull Street, City centre, B4 6AF.

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BTUC Conference On NHS Reforms – Saturday 22nd Feb 2014

"NHS Cuts Costs Patients' Lives" BannerDear Colleagues and Comrades,

Please put Saturday 22nd February 2014 in your diary for the Birmingham Trades Union Council conference on the NHS Reforms, their impact and what we can do about them.

We have secured some national and local speakers from Keep Our NHS Public, Save Our NHS and hospital campaign groups/the Pensioners Convention, etc with further speakers to be booked in the coming months.

The day will also feature practical workshops on responding to and fighting privatisation from campaigners, local and national.

The event will be held at the Priory Rooms, Bull St, Birmingham from 11am to 4pm with refreshments.

There will be no charge for this event, but we hope to have some sponsorship and also donations on the day from conference participants.

Further details and a draft programme will be available before Christmas.

In the meantime, could you please circulate this notice to others who may want to attend and, if you wish to register an initial interest for the event,
please email Ian Scott at i.scott212@btinternet.com

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Erdington Against The Cuts Public Meeting – Keeping Our NHS Public In Birmingham

Erdington NHS meeting image SeptemberBirmingham people will have to get organised for a major fight to keep the NHS alive in the West Midlands. A major NHS funding crisis has been deliberately engineered by the Conservative / Lib-Dem Coalition government, and this is going to erupt between now and 2015.

Wednesday, 25th September 2013 7.30pm

Erdington Methodist Church Centre, Station Road, Erdington 323 GTX
(opposite the train station)
For directions telephone: 07771567496

Speaker: Terry Mandrell (Solihull Keep NHS Public)

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Erdington Against Cuts Meeting On NHS Walk In Centre Closure – Tonight

save our nhs wm square logoErdington Residents against the Cuts are hosting a meeting for two speakers, Patrick Highton and Ken Band, from the Save Our NHS Campaign at 7.30 pm Thursday 21st March Erdington Methodist Church Station Road (next to Erdington Rail station).
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Cutbacks in healthcare – how they affect Birmingham and the whole of the UK

Save The NHS

Save The NHS

Since forming in the aftermath of the 2010 General Election, the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government have presided over massive cuts in many departments. Welfare, education, health – it seems that nothing has been spared from the chop, all in the name of austerity and trying to bring the deficit down. Healthcare and benefits are two areas that have been cut a lot.

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Smethwick Against Cuts Hold Bearwood Stall

Smethwick Against the Cuts today held a stall and leafleting session in Bearwood, focused on the attacks on our NHS by the coalition government. If you live around the Smethwick/Bearwood area and wish to be involved with a local campaigning group, email us at BirminghamAgainstTheCuts@gmail.com and we’ll put you in touch.

smethwick against cuts stall jan 2013 (1)

smethwick against cuts stall jan 2013 (4)

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What Future For The NHS In Solihull – Public Meeting Jan 31st

Solihull NHS meeting janCan you imagine an NHS run like a train company with preferred business users; 1st and 2nd Class services; ever-rising ‘fares’; delays; disruption and paid-for extras? lt is now possible.

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Who owns our NHS? West Midlands Pensioners Convention Public Meeting

The West Midlands Pensioners Convention are holding a public meeting on the NHS:

10th November 2012- 1-15 pm 0nwards.
Carrs Lane Church Centre, Carrs Lane, Birmingham, B4 7SX.

Speakers:
Peter Last WMPC- Chair of the meeting
Joe Morgan- GMB Regional Secretary
Dr Jacky Davis- NHS Consultants Association.
John Partridge- Unite Regional Assistant Secretary
Mary Locke- Unison NEC and Health Worker
Gail Adams- Head of Nursing- Unison- Chair of Mary Seacole Committee- Unison.

At the forefront of the Government’s plans to privatise the NHS will be local Clinical Commissioning Groups comprised of groups of GP’s. There are currently three proposed CCG’s in Birmingham, Birmingham and Solihull Cluster- Cross City, Birmingham South and Central, and Sandwell and West Birmingham. There is a CCG for Coventry and Rugby, one for Walsall, Wolverhampton, North Warwickshire and a CCG for Solihull which even has it’s own website, There are others and most are offering differing forms of consultation, which are either proposed or taking place. Please telephone for further information. The full list can be found on the following website: http://www.westmidlands.nhs.uk/WhatWeDo/ClinicalCommissioningGroups.aspx

The CCG’s will play a major role in commissioning health services and will have a nationwide budget of billions of pounds at their disposal.They are tasked with developing Commissioning Plans and replacing the role of Primary Care Trusts.The CCG’s will have responsibility for commissioning or buying health and care services including non-specialist acute services, community services, and continuing healthcare, Mental Health and other important services.

The big move to privatisation is the requirement upon CCG’s to contract with any qualified provider’.

Influence over the CCG’s is therefore of paramount importance. Perhaps we could make contact through our branches and affiliated bodies to influence policy decisions and avoid privatisation?

The West Midlands Pensioners Convention really could make a difference and help preserve our NHS, but we must act quickly.

We have the knowledge, experience and the negotiating skills.

Meetings need to be convened to involve local people in campaigning to pressure their CCG’s to make changes to their constitutions. In Birmingham and the West Midlands- plus area, campaign groups need to meet and to make contact with their appropriate local CCG. A first step could be to obtain copies of their draft constitutions.They have a legal responsibility to consult. In some areas we may need to combine with other groups.

An important priority for the campaign as outlined to our Regional Council, is to explain to the public what is happening to their NHS and to get them involved in discussions with their CCG. Please discuss these issues in the relevant branches.

Perhaps we can trigger a debate at our important meeting on Saturday 10th November-1-15pm onwards at Carr’s Lane Church Centre. Birmingham. Who Owns the NHS? Full details can be found on our website.

Further details also included on the CENTRO/WMPC meeting arranged by CENTRO for 1.30pm to 3.00pm held on Thursday 1st November 2012 for consultation of pensioners problems on the Bus and Rail services within the West Midlands.

Many other issues and up to date news on our website including news from Wolverhampton, the NPC lobby and much more. New articles and photos soon.

http://www.westmidlandspensioners.org.uk

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Clinical Commissioning Groups: the Motors of Health Service Privatisation

Driving the Government’s plans to privatise the NHS will be local Clinical Commissioning Groups comprised of groups of GP’s. There are currently three proposed CCG’s in Birmingham, Cross City, Birmingham South and Central, and Sandwell and West Birmingham. It is understood that the Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG is in the first wave of CCG’s awaiting authorisation from the NHS Commissioning Board.

The CCG’s will play a key role in commissioning health services and will have a nationwide budget of £64bn at their disposal. They are charged with developing Commissioning Plans and replace the role of Primary Care Trusts. The CCG’s will have responsibility for commissioning or buying health and care services including non-specialist acute services, community services, Mental health, and continuing healthcare among others.

The big move to privatisation is the requirement upon CCG’s to contract with ‘Any qualified provider’. Once registered as a qualified provider with Monitor private sector companies will be free to seek contracts with CCG’s anywhere in the country.

CCG’s in London have already signed contracts worth £7m with consultancies including KPMG McKinsey, and Price Waterhouse for ‘intensive organisational support’. Some of these consultancies were active in influencing Government health policy from the outside, actively lobbying for Health and Social Care Act, and will they will now profit from and influence the development of CCG’s from the inside.

Influence over the CCG’s is a potentially important battle ground and 38 degrees, an online campaigning community, has launched a petition demanding that CCG’s amend their constitutions to protect NHS services and to ensure proper consultation with patients.

Through 38 Degrees, meetings are being convened to involve local people in campaigning to pressure their CCG’s to make changes to their constitutions. In Birmingham a campaign group has started to meet and has plans to make contact with the three local CCG’s and will be seeking copies of their draft constitutions. An important priority for the campaign is to explain to the public what is happening to their NHS and to get them involved in lobbying their CCG.

If you would like to get involved

1. Sign the 38 Degrees petition

2. Join in with the street petitioning activity in Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre on Saturday 10th November from 11am.

3. Updates on the campaign can be found on the West Midlands Save our NHS webpage

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Solidarity With Two Sets of Strikers Today

Unison members on Strike at the University of Birmingham

Unison Members on strike at the University

Birmingham Against the Cuts extends messages of solidarity to two sets of striking workers today – doctors (GPs and hospital doctors) are on strike over cuts to pensions, and at the University of Birmingham, support staff are on strike over pay cuts.

Doctors are facing the same pension cuts as other public sector workers – pay more and work longer to get less. This attack serves two purposes – it allows them to cut pay, without having to say they are cutting pay and it softens the NHS (and other public services) up for privatisation. The money saved will not go into the pension pots, despite the language the government uses about how pensions are unsustainable and we have to work longer, but will go to paying off the deficit caused by the bankers.

Hospitals will still have skeleton staff to deal with emergencies – in fact there will be more doctors on duty today then there were over the Jubilee weekend or on a normal nightshift. Doctors and other NHS workers do not go on strike lightly, nor would they do so if they thought they were endangering patient’s health. This is the first doctors strike for 37 years.

Being a doctor is a difficult job, because medical research advances so quickly, with new techniques and medicines being developed all the time, and thousands of medical trials conducted every year. This is a particular issue for GPs who need to keep a shallow but general knowledge of all areas of medicine. As we get older, we find it harder to incorporate new ideas and practices into our lives, and get used to the ways we have done things. Making doctors work later to get their pensions could have serious knock on effects on patient care.

Meanwhile, at the University of Birmingham, support staff are on a two-day strike, over a derisory pay offer, which has seen just 77 of over 2,000 staff offered a £250 / 1.9% pay rise, whilst removing shift allowances for evening and weekend work which leaves many people facing a pay cut. Even those who will get a rise will see their wages fall in real terms as inflation which has fallen below 3% for the first time in a few years.
This comes in the context of the university increasing its surplus from £22.3m to £27m per year, and is in a healthy financial position, despite cuts to teaching budgets from central government funds which are being used as cover for reducing the living standards of some of the lowest paid staff at the university, whilst the Vice-Chancellor, David Eastwood enjoys huge pay rises and a salary of over £400,000.
You can support the University strikers by signing this petition.

Both these groups are taking action today against the government austerity program which threatens to send many more people below the breadline, with real wages being reduced further, the continuing threat of workfare and the abuse of apprenticeships to undercut minimum wage legislation.
We extend our solidarity to those workers on strike today, and encourage all other workers who are facing cuts to pay or conditions to push their union to take strike action.

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