Archive for September, 2014

Manifesto for Whittington hospital

September 25th, 2014 No comments

We have stopped the sell-off at our Whittington Hospital and 3 years ago saved our Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care, Paediatric and Maternity Departments.

The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 has increased privatisation of the NHS. Private shareholders will reap the benefits of our health needs. Further, the NHS is seriously underfunded, with massive unmet PFI debts forcing hospitals and A and E departments to close.

This Manifesto is addressed to the management of the Whittington Hospital and to the Secretary of State for Health. It has been drawn up in consultation with the Whittington Community – staff and patients – and will be launched at a public meeting on 18th October.

  1. We want our hospital to remain a fully-functioning local district hospital, with fully functioning Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care, Paediatrics, Maternity Departments, and other in- and out-patient departments that meet the increasing local need. We do not want departments closed and to be sent to other hospitals, unless this is in their best medical and social interests.
  2. We oppose Government under-funding: there must be no cuts in bed numbers and staffing, and no buildings sold off. We are very concerned that the hospital is running with inadequate numbers of beds for heavy demands and emergencies.
  3. Privatisation generally results in less effective services. Staff are frequently demoted or made redundant in an effort to reduce costs and increase profits for shareholders. We want the hospital to stop paying private companies to run our health services and to employ only NHS staff, and not engage private companies.
  4. The Hospital is committed to an integrated care programme, which involves caring for patients in the community. We are concerned that, since the Whittington catchment area is one of high single occupancy, high numbers of single parents, and increasingly high mental health needs, together with austerity cuts to community and social care, people’s home circumstances may not support a recovery. Patients’ social and mental health situations should be considered in addition to their medical readiness when considering discharge.
  5. The downgrading of hospital staff is of great concern. More experienced, and therefore more expensive staff are being replaced with newly qualified staff who will have very few experienced staff to support them. We support staff in their demands for decent pay because we want to be treated by well-qualified staff, with a high morale.


  1. The 2012 Health and Social Care Act must go. It is destroying our NHS, by enabling privatisation and putting profits first, and wasting much needed resources in restructuring and redundancy costs of up to £10 billion.
  2. We want our NHS to be funded properly from public taxation, we want it managed by the NHS, locally and nationally to meet all our health needs. And we want it free at the point of delivery. We should not be paying for any health services, as stated in the National Health Service Act 1946.
  3. The 2012 Act removed the duty to provide health care from the Secretary of Health. The Government quango NHS England and local councils are now responsible for health provision, but the duty, under which patients can demand their right to NHS care, has gone. We want the Duty of Care restored.
  4. PFI debts are draining NHS budgets and threatening the existence of hospitals. The Government should cancel all PFI arrangements and pay them off.
  1. Mental health needs are increasing with austerity cuts and job losses. beds closed and day care and community provision and support have been slashed. We want a decently funded Mental Health service that properly meets needs and is equal in provision to other NHS services. No health without mental health.
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Minutes 8 September 2014

September 16th, 2014 No comments


DWHC Minutes 8 September 2014


Place: Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 21.00


Chair: Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman


  1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting. Eight people attended. Apologies were received from six people, including Tony, Mark, Tom, Pam.


  1. Minutes and matters arising

Previous minutes were approved. There were no matters arising that were not already on the agenda. Valerie was thanked for minute-taking.


  1. Update

Whittington AGM

Shirley reported on the Whittington Hospital AGM. The Annual Report was only available at the meeting and therefore no time to peruse beforehand. She highlighted a number of points: there was a satisfactory review by the CQC, though the Trust didn’t meet the important standard relating to the care and welfare of people who use services (see p17); a new specialist staff member had been taken onto provide monthly visits to 10 Islington care homes, as part of the Integrated Care team for older people (p14); and staff morale was shockingly low (p40) – scoring only 20% for job satisfaction. This was not reported at the AGM, but raised by Shirley at the AGM. A member of our DWCH meeting commented that at the Whittington Board meeting following the AGM it was reported that less than 10% of staff had responded to a staff satisfaction survey.


Jarrow march

Shirley reported on attendance at Islington Green event for the marchers. Poor turnout from DWHC, but had banner, which Labour party members helped to carry all the way to Trafalgar Square for the final demo!


  1. DWHC proposed Manifesto

A manifesto had been drafted, as agreed at the last meeting, and circulated. Several comments had been received and included. The revised draft was broadly accepted by the meeting, with a few changes. Great discussion held about a number of points. Key changes included inclusion of a point about PFI, and greater emphasis on the point concerning mental health – in order to increase its status with other health services. Any final changes to Valerie by end of the week. Shirley and Valerie will re-draft, and circulate with these minutes. Agreed that the petition and explanatory notes will be on separate sheets of paper. These will be made available on line. Efforts will be made to make access as easy as possible.


  1. ‘This may hurt a bit’

The company is no longer able to do a performance on the 28th September because of varying other commitments. They are still willing to do a show, but later in the year. Meeting agreed to look for other local named actors, and to find a larger venue – Jackson’s Lane was suggested. Still need to clarify what contribution UNISON will make. Shirley and Valerie to meet with producer of the show to look at future possibilities.


  1. Public meeting

Agreed date change from 9th to 14 October. Gary agreed to find venue, with full disabled access – probably return to St Mary’s on Dartmouth Hill, where last public meeting held. Long discussion about the mix of issues and speakers to have at the meeting. Topics/speakers to include: Jacky Davis on NHS changes; Simon Pleydell; Jeremy Corbyn; mental health (speaker to be found); current health campaigns (Candy??). Shirley to present/launch manifesto.


Agreed to discuss at next meeting how to further promote the manifesto and then when to present the petition and to whom.


  1. AOB – there were no additional items


The meeting closed at 9.00


The next meeting will be held 6 October, 7-9pm at Archway Methodist Centre




Note dates of next meetings


October 6th (Monday): DWHC Planning meeting (main item: how to         promote the manifesto)

October 14th (Tuesday): DWHC Public meeting

October 18th (Saturday): National Day of Action

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