Minutes of DWHC Planning Meeting 6th September 2011
Dave Emmett, Steve Cook, Rosie McCargan, Shirley Franklin, Katy Gold, Jem Lindon, Pam Zinkin
Mick Gilgunn, Elizabeth Jones, Jan Pollock, Ian Shacklock, Angela Sinclair, Annette Thomas,
3. Mins of last Meeting
4. General Update
SF reported from recent KONP (Keep Our NHS Public) meeting, well chaired very positive organising meeting; ‘Pause’ has clearly changed nothing, ‘Any Qualified Provider’ remains and GP’s will be controlled by commissioning board. Hospitals are already closing eg St Mary’s and possibly Charing Cross due to ‘overspends’.
- SF reported that DWHC organised a protest of more than 30 people outside the venue of IBUG’s (Islington Borough User Group) service user meeting, resulting in the meeting being cancelled. IBUG is supporting Camden and Islington NHS Trust cuts to mental health services, including the closure of 100 beds. SC reported that staff had been intimidated and told not to speak to protestors or the media. SF has invited IBUG to join DWHC’s campaign against the cuts. SF to check if Peter Jones, Chair of IBUG, is on DWHC’s email list.
SF has been elected as a Governor of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation trust, on a platform of opposing the cuts.
SC reported that he is the DWHC Rep at IHOOPS (Islington Hands Off Our Public Services meetings, and has been elected Health Co-ordinator. SC will be organising a health workshop at Islington People’s Assembly, on Saturday 17th September, and invited DWHC members to attend.
SF reported that NCL (North Central London) is consulting on the use of private providers for health – this is a pilot ahead of the NHS Bill. The Bill introduces 16 quangos, despite the fact that the current government claims they are against quangos as they are more expensive to run.
DE reported that LINK were invited to sit on the board of the Whittington Hospital Trust meeting, but have now been told by the directors they will not be invited in future, and can only put questions, thus demoting public engagement.
SF reported that MP’s and the BMA are re-evaluating their views on the NHS Bill as voting day for the Bill approaches. Encouragement to attend NHS Vigil, St Thomas’s Hospital 7th September, 6.30pm, which will include Right to Work, Unite, KONP. The DWHC banner and placards will be there. SC and JL reported that members leafleted at the Whittington Hospital last week to build for the Vigil, and held a stall on Saturday at Nags Head on Holloway Road.
SF noted that to build a strong campaign against the NHS Bill we need to bring in other people. If the Bill is passed it will then go to the Lords and back to the House of Commons for the 3rd reading. Urgent campaign for people to ‘Adopt a Lord’ eg Lord Patten and Chris Smith, PZ reported she is busy writing to her chosen Lord.
Concern noted that Haringey MP Lynne Featherstone has been very quiet about her voting intentions re: the Bill, despite previous claims to have ‘saved’ the Whittington A&E from closure.
Dave Carr, Unite rep, has informed DWHC that he will have an organising role within the Whittington Hospital, which will enable him to mobilise union members to become more visible and active in campaigning against cuts to services within the hospital.
Noted that the DWHC website needs updating and reflecting of current events.
5. Future Events
- ‘Save Our NHS’ Vigil, 17th September, 6.30pm, St Thomas’s Hospital, march to House of Commons followed by rally.
If Bill is passed, very important that people write to a Lord, can do this via the TUC email.
- A public meeting on cuts to mental health services in Islington is being considered. Plan to invite Wendy Wallace from the NHS Trust, IBUG and service users to speak eg Jason Roberts, SF to speak in Governor role; SC stated would not be involved if a ‘celebrity’ speaker was chosen. General agreement Chief Executive of SANE Marjorie Wallace; possible slogans of meeting ‘Don’t mess with our mental health’.
Next DWHC meeting will be 3rd October 2011, 7pm.