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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


  • 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/


  • 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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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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Minutes 7 July 2014

July 18th, 2014 No comments

DWHC Minutes 7 July 2014

Place: Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 20.40

Chair: Shirley Franklin Minutes: Valerie Lipman

1. Introductions and apologies
Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting. Ten people attended. Apologies were received from Gary Heather, Mick, Emma Davis, Morag, Andrew and Kate

2. Minutes and matters arising
Previous minutes were approved and signed as a correct record. There were no matters arising that were not already on the agenda.

3. Update on Whittington Health

i) Communication with Simon Pleydell
Shirley reported on Simon Pleydell’s (interim CEO of Whittington Hospital) reply to her letter sent after the June DWHC meeting. The CEO stated that the newspaper report about cuts to cancer and cardiac services were erroneous, he reiterated that he wanted to be open as possible, but a bald statement of bed numbers wasn’t very useful information because of changing circumstances; and that he’d be happy to accept an invitation to a DWHC public meeting or consultation.
ii) UNISON day of action
DWHC attended UNISON’s rally outside the hospital on June 5th, with banner.
iii) Whittington Hospital Board meeting 4th June.
‘Fight Against Racism’, had presented a petition to the Board meeting, signed by 5000 people against cuts the hospital. The Board refused to hold a discussion with those who’d presented the petition and walked out of their own meeting.
iv) Anti-austerity march 21st June
A few members of the DWHC attended. More volunteers are needed to help with carrying the banner
v) Jem
Shirley informed the meeting that sadly Jem has resigned from the DWHC. Jem has been one of the stalwarts of the DWHC since its first and very successful campaign to stop cuts to A&E. She’ll be much missed for the huge amount of work she put into the campaign, for taking the message out onto the streets, being the banner carrier on many marches and demos and for keeping the database going.

4. DWHC proposed Manifesto
Following last month’s meeting, several emails had been received with ideas for the Manifesto. There was a long discussion at the meeting, at which we agreed several manifesto demands, the structure of the manifesto and how we would promote it.

a) Draft Manifesto: the meeting agreed that this will be in petition format, and will open with a statement about the state of the Whittington and the NHS in general, followed by about 10 demands that will reflect local and national concerns. An accompanying leaflet will be produced expanding on each of the demands. The meeting agreed that the following points should be included:
• Publically funded hospital care and services should be publicly managed and publicly run
• Repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012
• Bring management and provision of health services back in-house
• Restore the national duty of care
• People should only be released from hospital care when they are better and are feeling better, and only into circumstances with sufficient community support services
• Retain the Whittington as a local hospital with a fully functioning A&E and sufficient bed capacity for a growing population
• Support hospital workers campaigns for decent wages [Point made: good wages help everyone – if morale is higher, people work better and patients get better treatment]
• No downgrading staff – keep expertise in the hospital
• Include a point about on the capacity of day care provision in mental health [Point made: Islington has the highest rate of psychosis in the country; and one of the highest suicide rates among young men]

Tony read out the main features from the recently produced KONP (Keep our NHS public) Position Statement. Noted the many points of overlap between the DWHC.

b) Process: Valerie, Shirley and Tony will pull together draft manifesto following the meeting. This will be circulated to all those present to comment/add. A revised draft will then be sent to John Yudkin, Jacky Davis and Ron Singer for further comment. A final version will be produced from this, and debated at a consultation event/public meeting 9th October.

c) Promoting the Manifesto – agreed to launch it on 28 September at the showing of ‘This may hurt a bit’ (see Agenda item 5 for more detail). We will work with the local newspapers to get coverage, circulate it to all local NGOs and others working on health (e.g. Healthwatch, Manor Gardens) requesting that they refer to/or include it on their on-line and print newsletters etc. Also agreed to see how we could circulate it on the streets – either through leafletting, having stalls, distributing to other’s who run regular stalls.

5. ‘This may hurt a bit’
Shirley has an agreement from Max Stafford-Clark that he will put on a performance of his play ‘This may hurt a bit’ on Sunday 28th September. The company has also agreed to a Q&A afterward. Performance time yet to be confirmed. Likely venue is Lauderdale House in Waterlow Park, Highgate. Lauderdale is fully accessible, and has a bus stop right outside. There will be costs, which will be meet through existing funds, ticket sales and a collection on the night.

6. AOB – there were no additional items

The meeting closed at 8.40

The next meeting will be held 8 September, 7-9pm at Archway Methodist Centre


Note dates of next meetings

September 8th (Monday): DWHC Planning meeting (main item: how to promote the manifesto)
September 28th (Sunday): ‘This May Hurt a Bit’
October 9th (Thursday): DWHC Public meeting
October 18th (Saturday): National Day of Action

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Minutes 2 June

June 24th, 2014 No comments

DWHC Minutes 2nd June 2014


Place: Archway Methodist Church 19.00 – 20.50


Chair: Shirley Franklin   Minutes: Valerie Lipman


1. Introductions and apologies

Shirley welcomed everyone to the meeting. Fourteen people attended. Apologies received from Jem.


2. Minutes and matters arising

Previous minutes were approved and signed as a correct record. There were no matters arising that were not already on the agenda.


3. Update on Whittington Health

i) Report back on meeting with interim CEO of the Whittington Hospital.

Tony and Valerie. reported back on the meeting (held 8 May) with Simon Pleydell, interim CEO and Caroline Thomsett Director of Communications Shirley had been unable to attend. Major point was about building trust between the hospital and the community and the best way to do this, following the fiasco of the Board’s 2013 strategy for cuts and its total lack of consultation with the community. The CEO stated he wished to be as open as possible, said there were no plans to change the revised strategy that had been agreed summer 2013, there was no risk of merger with another London hospital (especially because of the length of time it takes to work).


One of the people present at this Planning meeting said she’d read in the local paper of possible cuts to the Whittington’s cancer and cardiac services, with their removal to other hospitals with those specialisms. Others talked of growing privatisation at the hospital and the union’s fight to protect TUPE staff.


The meeting agreed that it would develop a manifesto with the community under a banner of ‘no cuts, no privatisation’. The meeting agreed that it would not take part in discussions about how to consult with the community until it had some cast iron information from the Board about staffing levels. This was to demonstrate that the Board was willing to share real information with the DWHC in the spirit of openness and building trust with the DWHC. Members at the meeting expressed the view that they didn’t want to be party to just helping the Board ‘s application for Foundation status, by being seen to have been consulted.


Agreed actions

  • DWHC will run consultation with the community to find out what it wants from the Whittington Hospital to incorporate into a manifesto, culminating in public meeting in September
  • Shirley to kick-start consultation by sending email to all on DWHC mailing list
  • Inform Tom Foot about the consultation and manifesto, to encourage input
  • Arrange article for the Ham & High
  • Shirley to write to Simon Pleydell informing him of Planning group decisions
  • DWHC members to write to Tribune to get it to improve its circulation


ii) Agreed to organised a performance of Max Stafford-Clark’s play ‘This may hurt a bit’ about the Whittington Hospital, which the Chair of the Whittington had prevented from being performed in the hospital, on grounds of it being political. Kate agreed to contact Max Stafford to find possible dates and cost.


iii) Integrated care – Valerie has just joined the Integrated Care Planning Board as the community representative. This is an advisory not a decision-making body. Views and comments about integrated care can be fed to Valerie to feed into the Board. Next meeting is 18 July.


4. Future Activities/other campaigns

  • DWHC agreed to join UNISON’s rally outside the hospital on June 5 in support of Unison’s Day of Action against wage cuts. Take banner along.
  • Whittington Hospital Board meeting on 4th June 2-5.
  • A list of activities was attached to the agenda
  • Anti-austerity march 21st June. Organised by the People’s Assembly. DWHC will organise a group with banner to join the march
  • Demonstration on 5th June against closure of St Anns Hospital


5. Occupy Resolution

Held over till next meeting, when a representative from Occupy can put the motion to the meeting.


6. AOB


The meeting closed at 8.50


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

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