DWHC Minutes 2 September 2013
Place: Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 20.45
Chair: Shirley Franklin Minutes: Valerie Lipman
1. Introductions and apologies
Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed huge thanks for the campaign’s victory.
Apologies were received from Michael Paschale, Alice Kilroy, Jeremy Corbyn and Mike Hart.
2. Minutes and matters arising
Previous minutes were approved and signed as a correct record. There were no matters arising.
3. Update on Whittington
Shirley opened the update. She described the process from the press announcement (8th
July 2013) by Whittington Health of the turnaround in their strategy, to the two meetings held with members of the Board to learn more about the details of the changes and to raise DWHC’s concerns. In summary two of four buildings proposed for closure would close, there would be no bed losses, maternity numbers are to increase and, as far as possible, all permanent jobs would be maintained. There would be reductions in agency staff. The proposed clinical strategy to increase hospital patient throughput would go ahead as planned. The overall plan was now one of growth. Members of the DWHC were interviewed by local ITV and BBC news outside the hospital’s following the press briefing. Acknowledging the successes of the campaign Shirley was invited to meet a few members of the Board a couple of days later. At this meeting between members of the Board (Robert Aitkin -Vice-Chair, Martin Kuper – medical director and Caroline Thomsett, Communications Manager) and DHWC (Shirley, Jem, Valerie) we began on the long list of questions put together by the DWHC. They admitted that the original strategy was a mistake. Martin Kuper had to leave after 30 mins, so a second meeting was set up to go through the details of staffing and bed numbers and explore the impact of the clinical strategy on vulnerable groups. Second meeting attended by Martin, Caroline and Carol Gillen, head of the Integrated Care strategy. There was still an absence of definitive information about bed numbers and staffing, though they said the nursing/patient ratio would remain the same. They agreed to send us written answers to our questions. These had not arrived by this DWHC meeting.
Tricia expressed concern that the DWHC had attended the meeting with Board members without discussing it further with the group. She noted before leaving the meeting that she had been responsible for the article in the Tribune concerning the background of the new Chief Operation Officer at the Whittington. Jan commented on the integration strategy, saying her recent experience of being ‘thrown out’ of the system at the hospital had left very distressed and lacking in trust in the new system.
4. DWHC Public Meeting – 19th September 2013
All those present agreed to distribute leaflets. Other members of those present agreed to take on the following specific tasks:
a) Petition – agreed to use the national Save the NHS. Shirley to print off copies. Mick will sort at the meeting.
b) Collection – Jem & Valerie
c) Ticket sales for 29th demo – SF to ask Alistair Smith
d) Stall – Shirley to ask Jacky Davis to bring copies of her book.
e) Disabled access – Jem to check stairlift will be working. Note to go on the website saying the event will not be completely wheelchair accessible.
5. National Demo in Manchester – 29th September
Five members of the meeting confirmed they would be attending the march. Tony and Steve agreed to hold the banner.
6. DWHC – next steps and democracy within the DWHC.
Local and national issues were discussed.
i) Local action – agreed to keep a watching brief on the Trust application process, which now doesn’t have to be submitted until December 2014. Agreed that the group would:
meet monthly from now on, on the first Monday of each month
continue to attend hospital Board meetings, and that those attending should report back. Next Board meetings are 25th Sept and 23rd October
attend the Board EGM(2.00) and AGM (6.30) on 18th Sept if possible
Valerie and Pam agreed to attend the public CCG meeting on 4th September.
ii) National issues and action
to hold a discussion meeting about CCGs, to increase our understanding of the issues
to produce a leaflet that highlights the key facts about the impending impact of the changes in the NHS. Everyone to forward relevant information to Shirley, for example Kate offered to forward information from the Federation of Medical Students Conference that is happening in the next couple of weeks.
In the absence of those who had asked for a discussion about democracy to be put on the agenda nobody still present commented on the subject.
Jem suggested DWHC write a letter to the local papers thanking everyone – shopkeepers, local businesses etc – for their support. Steve agreed to do this.
The meeting closed at 8.45
The next meeting will be on October 7th at Archway Methodist Centre.