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DWHC meeting 6 July 2015 minutes

August 3rd, 2015 No comments

Place:  Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 20.40

 

Chair:  Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman

 

  1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Fifteen people attended. Apologies were received from Catherine West, Tony Marshall.

 

  1. Minutes of the 18th May 2015 and matters arising

The minutes were approved.

There was no progress on our simplified leaflet about the value of the NHS and the impact of the 2012 Care Act, but a similar summary, produced by another group can be found on our website for 2 June 2015. SF reminded people to use the DWHC website – it has a lot of good information and a good place to exchange news.

We still need to find out which Whittington Hospital services are privatised.

 

 

  1. Whittington Hospital Update

SF and VL met with Simon Pleydell CEO of the Whittington Health on 11 June to find out more about forthcoming changes. A summary of the main points was sent out to all on the DWHC mailing list on 18 June 2015. We were informed that savings of £16.9 million have to be found this year (2015/16) and £19 million cut next year. He has told us that he does not intend to reduce health provision for the Whittington Community. The cuts will be met in the main through “efficiencies” in admin (i.e. admin redundancies), wastage etc. Some buildings like the Old Royal Northern might go, but be replaced by more effective cutting edge provision.

GH reported that at the last meeting of the Scrutiny Board the CEO of the Whittington had commented that they could not provide services if they’re not properly paid for them.

 

4.The future of the DWHC

SF described what the DWHC does – including attending meetings of the Board and other related meetings, runs regular stalls, organises demos, does public speaking, and provides solidarity to other campaigns, such as UNITE, closures of other hospitals. This level of activity and any future campaign need more resources and time given to it than are currently on hand. It’s not possible to carry on at the current rate. There was a long discussion about the future of the DWHC. Key points included:

  • clarification that the DWHC is non-party political and needs to ensure that it’s not seen to be backing the Labour Party, though the local MP, Jeremy Corbyn, has always been and continues to be a very strong supporter of the DWHC
  • That we need to be kept informed of changes by the Whittington that might quality and volume of services provided for patients.
  • It was fine for the DWHC to have a figurehead to do public speaking etc.
  • That a body was necessary to keep fighting cuts at the Whittington and oversee what’s going on
  • Questions posed about whether we should and could still run street stalls
  • Would it be helpful to keep momentum going by organising a ‘health event’ to raise awareness etc or did people only become involved and attend meetings when there was a ‘crisis’?
  • Agreed there should be more support from the union. DWHC has been very supportive. Clarification also made that it was not the DWHC’s role to take action against staff cuts – that was the Union’s role.
  • Elections for the chair/secretary posts to draw in more people. Noted that the DWHC held elections at its AGM every December
  • Some argued that it was not sustainable in its current form.

 

The meeting agreed that the DWHC should carry on and for the time being would keep a watching brief on developments at the Whittington, but would be ready to spring into action if it perceived substantive negative changes were being made to front-line services and especially to A&E. GH agreed to act as ‘alert person’ for DWHC, keeping it up to date with significant matters from Islington Scrutiny meetings which he regularly attends. He also agreed to attend the monthly meetings of the Whittington Board and report back.

 

The next meeting of the Whittington Health Board is 2nd September in Room 7, Whittington Education Centre, The Whittington Hospital. Their AGM follows 5.00 pm that same day. Details can be found on Whittington Health website:

http://www.whittington.nhs.uk/default.asp?c=20208

 

  1. AOB

Other campaigns – the meeting was reminded of two major current health/health related campaigns:

  • NHS Reinstatement Bill – the main aim of this is to restore the Secretary of State for Health’s responsibility for, and duty to provide, crucial services including hospitals and community services throughout England. This duty was removed under the 2012 Health and Social Care Act
  • TTIP – [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership] – is a series of trade agreements between the EU and USA TTIP about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business. One of its main aims is to open up Europe’s public health, education and water services to US companies. If it all goes through it could essentially mean the privatisation of the NHS.

 

The next meeting to be arranged as necessary. The AGM will be held as usual in December – date to be agreed.

 

 

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DWHC minutes 18 May 2015

June 2nd, 2015 No comments

 

Place:  Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 20.40

 

Chair:  Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman

 

  1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Fourteen people attended. Apologies were received from Gary Heather, Catherine West, Bruce Kent, Tony Marshall, Phil Richards.

 

  1. Minutes of the 2nd March 2015 and matters arising

The minutes were approved.

 

Matters arising:

  • Health hustings – approximately 50 people had attended the DWHC hustings. Though the numbers were disappointing it was a good meeting with a vibrant discussion. Representatives from five of the local major political parties across Islington and Haringey were on the platform; plus an empty chair that represented Lynn Featherstone’s absence. We’d run a lot of public stalls up till the meeting distributing our manifesto and getting signatures for our petition.
  • The Whittington maternity charity concert was very poorly attended and Sodexo the private company with the catering contract at the Whittington Hospital provided inadequate refreshments.  We were also concerned over the lack of involvement of the Board at the concert.

 

 

  1. Whittington Hospital Update & General Election

It was reported that Whittington Health is running a deficit. Members of the meeting have had conflicting information about the future of the Whittington’s acute and A&E services. Although a rumour about possible cuts to acute services had been scotched by the CEO concerns were still expressed about the future of the hospital as a fully functioning district hospital. It was also noted that the Whittington Health’s 2015-2020 Strategy nonetheless contained a stated commitment to the retention of its current A&E service. This was reassuring to see. We’ve also heard that staff are leaving in droves from the hospital. The meeting expressed major anxieties about the outcome of the election and the likelihood of increased privatisation of health services. Reports (including from the Chair of the Whittington Health) usually state that 5% of services have been privatised so far.

 

4.Where do we go from here

Concerns were expressed about the 24/7 emergency services and the future of the out of hours/111 service, the possibility that patients are being moved out of hospital too soon to receive community services which are in short supply and being cut; the loss of permanent staff and expertise. It was reported by one member that CCGs would experience difficulties in getting in private companies because the profits would be too small to make it worthwhile for most companies.

There was a discussion on how we could help to ‘control the story’ about what’s happening with the changes in the NHS, to increase people’s understanding of the implications of privatisation and to get them engaged in campaigning when there aren’t obvious cuts being made. SF reported that she’s writing a simplified leaflet, based on our manifesto, to explain some of the key changes in the Care Act and their impact on the NHS. Other suggestions included organising a media launch for the leaflet, aligning with national campaigns, the need to keep up to date on what’s happening locally to run a regular stall and to do stalls at local events, such as the Whittington Community Centre event on 13th June.

 

The meeting agreed that it would adopt a dual ongoing role in keeping an eye on developments within the Whittington and attempt to raise awareness amongst the community of the impact of changes in the NHS on local provision. It was agreed:

  • to regularly attend the monthly meetings of the Whittington Board. The next meeting is 2 -5 3rd June.
  • to find out which services offered by Whittington Health have been privatised so far
  • to arrange a meeting with CEO of the Whittington Health to find out more about forthcoming changes.

 

  1. AOB

Mental Health – an update was given about a ‘new’ service in Islington called ‘Recovery Colleges’, which are supposed to be about enabling people’s chances of getting work after attending a 10 week course at their local day centre. These ‘colleges’ are using mental health patients instead of employing staff to provide the courses. Concern was also expressed about personal budgets in mental health which are being seen as a form of cut.

 

 

Forthcoming events

21 May – London Metropolitan meeting at Highbury Fields. SF speaking

30th May – Rally to institute Cathy Udwin a union representative at the National Gallery

13th June – from 12pm – Whittington Community Centre annual fair. Stall needed

20th June – End Austerity Campaign rally at Bank of England. Meeting agreed to gather at Archway Station at 11.15.

July 4th – 10.30 – 3.30 London-wide anti austerity conference at Islington Town Hall

 

 

Date of next meeting 6 July 2015, 7 – 9 at Archway Methodist Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

VL 28 May 2015

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AGM minutes – 2 March 2015

March 16th, 2015 No comments

Place:  Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 21.00

 

Chair:  Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman

 

  1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting.  Seven people attended the meeting. Apologies were received from Tony Marshall

 

  1. Minutes of the 1st December 2014

These were approved

 

  1. Matters arising from 1st December 2014
  • ‘This May Hurt a Bit’ – the theatre company has been having trouble getting a whole cast together for a performance of the play.   Meeting agreed to put a performance on after the General Election.
  • Administration – email lists have now all been uploaded and gathered into one main list. Thanks to Jem for sorting. There is a total of 2,700 + names. However there are practical difficulties in sending out emails, as our current system can only send out 500 at a time.
  • Jem also thanked for all her work for the DWHC over the last year.

 

  1. Whittington Hospital Update

Whittington Health has adopted a new ‘marketing’ strategy aimed at ‘changing the hearts and minds’ of how the public views the hospital. Whittington Health wants people to stop thinking of it just being hospital beds, but about its wider community-based services. The DWHC argues that acute beds are always necessary and that there are insufficient community services to adequately support people who need help at home after a spell in hospital. Concerns also raised about the quality of help at home being provide unqualified volunteers, as opposed to trained staff. There are is also huge demands on the community provided services as respite care services have also been cut. We confirmed, that even in the face of other cuts in the social care sector, that because of limited resources DWHC’s main campaign is to keep a fully functioning hospital.

 

Agreed:

  • to attend next Board meeting of the Whittington – 2 -5 4th March. SF to prepare letter to be given to Chair and CEO to read out at meeting. To distribute manifestos and hustings flyers too.
  • to find out what cuts have been made to voluntary sector provided services in Islington and Haringey, in order to demonstrate that community services aren’t present. Suggested that IVAC and Haringey voluntary action are approached for info.

 

  1. Hustings 23 March and petitions

SF invited candidates from the Green Party, Lib Dems, Labour, Conservatives and Trade Union Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to speak at the hustings. Acceptances so far have been received from Labour (Catherine West) and TUSC. SF will send further personal invite to the newly selected Conservative candidates for Islington North and South. SF will chair the meeting. Thanks extended to the GMB for helping host the meeting by enabling us to the Council Chamber. Copies of the manifesto will be put on each seat of the meeting. Collection to be arranged.

Two set of copies of the petitions to be made – one set for presentation to national government, and the other to be presented locally.

Jem to collate the completed petitions received so far. Everyone to continue collecting signatures and to distribute flyers for the hustings.

Next DWHC stall to promote the manifesto will be on 14th March 11.30 – 1.00 outside Selbys on Holloway Road.

 

  1. North London People’s Assembly 14th March

CW and SF are running a session on health, in the afternoon at the People Assembly, Wood Green Cypriot Community Centre

 

  1. Defend London NHS Meeting 10th March

Pre-election meeting will be taking place at Hammersmith Town HallI

 

 

  1. AOB
  • Out of Hours/111 Service – plans are still going ahead by 5 north London boroughs to deliver a joint service. Enfield has the lead on the procurement process for the contract. Islington is in the middle of a consultation (“engagement”) process with Islington residents. The consultation is all about the type of service, not about what kind of organisation the residents would like the service to be provided by e.g. private, not-for-profit, NHS.
  • London Medical Orchestra is doing a fundraiser for the Whittington Maternity Unit on 23 Mach at Brookfield Church, Dartmouth Park Hill. Agreed to try and distribute hustings flyers at the event.

 

  1. Date of next meeting

Agreed to leave open, but to have one soon after the general election.

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DWHC AGM minutes 1 December 2014

December 14th, 2014 No comments

Place:  Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 21.00

 

Chair:  Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman

 

  1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the AGM.  Twelve people attended the meeting. Apologies were received from Jeremy Corbyn, Gary Heather, Phillip Richards

 

  1. Minutes and matters arising of 2013 AGM

These were approved.  There were no matters arising.

 

  1. Chair’s Report for 2013/14

Shirley gave a summary of the year’s activities. Following the success of last year’s vigorous campaign 2013 had been a quieter year but with some solid activities.  At the start of the year members of the DWHC occupied a Board meeting, at which they called for the resignations of the new Chair (Steven Hitchens) and Dr Koh, the CEO. During the year the Whittington Hospital saw its CEO and other members of the Board resign. An interim CEO was appointed, Simon Pleydell, who following an open recruitment process has just taken up the substantive post. The DWHC held two public meetings in the year.  Steven Hitchens attended the first in February, after much havering about whether he would/wouldn’t take part, and stated publically that the Whittington was not a District Hospital, which lent some confusion to the status of the hospital and what constitutes a district hospital. Later in the year, following collaboration at our planning meetings and on email, we developed the DWHC ‘Manifesto for Whittington Hospital’, which we launched at our second public meeting in October, The manifesto sets out a ten point agenda for local and national health care. Simon Pleydell attended the public meeting, giving a summary of the current position of the hospital and seeking the meeting’s views on ways forward.  In addition Shirley noted the ongoing support the DWHC has given to Whittington staff, by joining union pickets, days of action and rallys in support of the NHS.

Shirley thanked everyone for their input over the last year.

 

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Alice Kilroy reported on the DWHC accounts. There was a balance of £1,678.89  in the account as at 28 November 2014 – about half of last year’s monies in the bank.  Income had been very low, with just a small donation and a couple of collections from the two public meetings.  while the greatest expenditure had been on printing leaflets for public meetings and the manifesto.  We are waiting on donations from UNISON who have offered further funds to the DWHC.

The meeting discussed ways of raising more funds, including street collections, stalls, writing to the local unions and trades council.

Alice was thanked for all her work.

 

  1. Elections

There being no further nominations the following positions and post holders were agreed:

Chair: Shirley Franklyn

Treasurer:  Alice Kilroy

Secretary – database and mailings: Jem Lindon

Secretary – minutes – Valerie Lipman

Website: Tony Marshall

 

  1. The Year Ahead

Four areas were discussed: establishing what’s happening about the Whittington A&E service; promoting the Manifesto; raising funds and administrative work related to our mailing lists.

  • A&E  – there had been a report that the Isis Ward in A&E (which is ‘holding’ ward until people have been found a bed) may be closed as part of cost savings by the hospital.  Consultants and other hospital staff have expressed concern about the future of the A&E. It was agreed the planning group needed to find out more, and members will attend the next Whittington Board meeting on the 3rd December, and report back at next DWHC meeting. Shirley would also approach all media contacts, if it seen that the closure of Isis is an indication of further cuts to A&E.
  • Manifesto – agreed that this needs to be promoted and circulated more.  Members to circulate as widely as possible, and return completed petitions to the Whittington Community Centre on Yerbury Road.  An aim is to use the petition as the basis of hustings leading up to the May 2015 national election.  The petition will also be put on line.
  • Fundraising – The meeting agreed to hold a stall along the Holloway Road (near Selby’s) on 13th December 11.30 – 1.00, at which we will have our manifestos and petitions to sign, as well as collection jars.  As many people as possible to help out at the stall. Another date is also to be found to put on the play ‘This May Hurt a Bit’, which was postponed from October because of the actors other commitments.  Shirley to pursue.
  • Administration – there have difficulties in transferring names and addresses from one list to our main database on the computer.  Jem and Ben agreed to sort.

 

  1. AOB
  2. a) There was a discussion about whether meetings should continue to be held monthly or not.  Given the forthcoming election and the possible cuts to A&E it was agreed that planning meetings would continue on a monthly basis
  3. b) that we would hold hustings during the election period
  4. c) Shirley, Valerie and all involved in keeping the campaign going, were warmly thanked for their work over the year.

 

 

  1. Close of AGM 7.45pm.

The next ordinary meeting of the DWHC Planning group will be 5th January 2015 at Archway Methodist Centre

 

 

 

VL/ 9 Dec 201

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DWHC planning meeting minutes 6 October 2014

November 2nd, 2014 No comments

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Place: Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 20.30

 

Chair: Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman

 

  1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting. Eleven people attended. Apologies were received from two people.

 

  1. Minutes and matters arising

Previous minutes were approved. There were no matters arising that were not already on the agenda.

 

  1. Update

Whittington

  • Noted that the Tribune contained short article about recruitment for new CEO, with aim of having someone in place by December
  • Some uncertainty expressed about the current status of the Whittington’s application to become a Foundation Trust.       VL agreed to check board meeting minutes on line.
  • It was reported that the last Whittington Board meeting had discussed their forthcoming public consultation programme with their stakeholders – this included Islington Pensioners forum, who were still waiting to hear.

13th October – National strike by health unions for better wages – UNISON, GMB, UNITE and RCM, supported by TUC all on strike 7 – 11 a.m. Picket taking place outside A&E at Whittington between 8 – 9am. DWHC and other groups to meet outside hospital. DWHC to have stall with flyers for public meeting, copies of manifesto and badges. Jeremy Corbyn speaking at picket.

 

  1. DWHC Manifesto & public meeting 14th October

Copies of the manifesto and petition and flyer for the public meeting were circulated.

 

Agreed speakers include: Simon Pleydell, George Durack (Islington Pensioners Forum) and Candy Unwin. Shirley to present/launch manifesto. Natalie Bennett was no longer able to make it. Still waiting to confirm from Jeremy Corbyn, David Lammy and David King (St Anns Hospital Campaign). Simon to be allocated 15 mins plus questions/discussion time. Shirley to launch the manifesto/

Agreed:

  • To try to raise money from the meeting – Shirley to bring buckets, Alice to be asked to do short appeal mid-way through the meeting
  • To give small donation to St Mellitus’s Church – for giving the hall for free
  • That Gary would look after the table with leaflets etc
  • To check room has sound system/roving mic
  • To leaflet at Kentish Town, Tufnell Park stations and Nags Head.

 

  1. TUC Day of Action 18th October

Local group, Trades Council etc will be meeting at Angel tube at 11.00. DWHC still has problems finding people to hold their banner.

Tony will be taking photos.

 

AOB – there were no additional items

111/Out of hours service – concerns were raised that now that the CCGs in five boroughs in north London have agreed to tender collectively for an organisation to take on these services, that only a private company will have sufficient resources to make an acceptable bid. The CCGs must be urged to consider consortia of local GPs, even this results in some additional costs. Public meeting being held about this issue at Camden Town Hall, Monday evening 6-7 pm

 

The meeting closed at 8.30

The next meeting will be held on 1st December7-9pm at Archway Methodist Centre

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