Minutes of DWHC Meeting 24th May 2010

1. Present

Shirley Franklin, Kim Holt, Candy Udwin (Camden KONP), Sheila Patton (ex-Camden Social Services), Rich Moth, Ian Shacklock, Jan Pollock (UCU & People’s Charter), Tim Lubron (ICHC & Hornsey Rise Tenants), Kieran McGregor (Save Chase Farm), Katy Gold, Alice Kilroy, Ken Miller (NUT)

2. Apologies

Emma Dixon, Zozi Goodman, Emily Fawcus, David Carr, Janet Shapiro, Sarah Mills, Kathleen Greaves, Dave Plummer, Alistair Smith

3. Mins of last Mtg

(10th May). 18 people attended last mtg. Assessed the success of the Day of Action & Rally and the promises made by national politicians. Discussed future role of the coalition. Discussed roles within the coalition.

4. National Policies, etc

Candy provided an update of developments since the General Election, with emphasis on further privatisation and cuts. No top-down casualty closures. Darzi plan dropped, but £6Bn cuts still expected. Around 3% cuts in NHS budget equates to a loss of 130,000 jobs. McKinsey report came out last week, with plans to save £20Bn (6,000 beds; 6,000 admin staff; 1,200 nurses; 600 GPs). In recent years, privatisation has taken hold via ISTCs (Independent Sector Treatment Centres) and community facilities (GP-led health centres, polysystems). Prognosis is further privatisation (e.g. United Health, Virgin Health Care) as GPs strive to provide out of hours care, typically in partnership with private companies.

5. Updates re Whittington and local NHS matters

Shirley met Jacky Drury (Head of Islington Mental Health services) who warned of £5M cuts per annum in Islington mental health provision. · Shirley wrote to Andrew Lansley, seeking assurance that the Whittington in its entirety is safe. A reply is expected within 20 days of her email. · Katy provided a summary of the recent “Right to Work” workshop, which she attended, along with Rich Moth, Anne Longman and Dave Carr. Speakers included John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn. The DWHCcontingent were very positively received · We have had no feedback yet from the many GPs that had been contacted by post. Kathleen Greaves to advise.

6. Treasurer’s Report

Katy explained that we have c.£1,000 in bank. Still have plenty of badges available for sale. UNISON have provided £1,500 to date and have pledged £10,000.

7. News of other campaigns and future events

  • 7th June. Next DWHC meeting.
  • 10th June. Joint meeting between Trades Council & NUT. DHWC has been invited to “sponsor” this event. The meeting agreed to provide up to £50 from DWHC funds.
  • 12th June. KONP AGM. (Keep Our National Health Public) ·
  • 21st June. DWHC meeting. ·
  • 22nd June. Budget Day in Parliament. Day of Protest. The meeting agreed, in principle, to take part (e.g. hold an event outside the Whittington). ·
  • 4th July. DAMAR event in Clissold Park. This is a large Turkish/Kurdish organisation and they have invited the DWHC to hold a stall. ·
  • 11th July. National demo at HinchenBrook, nr Cambridge. The meeting agreed to subsidise the cost of coaches if enough local people are interested in attending.
  • 8. The way forward

    There was discussion on how to keep the momentum of the DWHC now that its primary objective had been met. Meetings will continue every other Monday, but the scope will include other health issues apart from the Whittington, e.g. the Finsbury Health Centre, Mental Health budgets. Typically these are borough-specific, and future meetings will probably focus on Islington issues, since other boroughs are already served by existing campaign groups. The meeting agreed that representatives from other boroughs will always be welcome (and indeed encouraged) to attend Islington-based meetings and that people from different boroughs should continue to exchange ideas. This discussion will continue at the next meeting. It was also agreed to ask the Invite Islington Pensioners Forum to affiliate to the DWHC and to invite Councillor Martin Klute to attend a future meeting.

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