August 27th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Minutes of DWHC Planning Meeting 2nd July 2012

1. Present

Caroline Allen, Dave Emmett, Anna Evely, Mick Gilgunn, Anne Gray,
Mike Hart, Jem Lindon, Pam Zinkin

2. Apologies

Steve Cook, Shirley Franklin, Gill George

3. Minutes of last meeting.


4. Local and national campaigns.

JL acknowledged MH’s contact for campaign to save St Helier Hospital.
Agreed to send email messages of support to St Helier and Chase
Farm hospitals, and join Chase Farm Hospital picket at later date
when people are available. Also to show solidarity for four recently
announced London A&E depts threatened with closure.

ACTION: JL to send email messages of support on behalf of DWHC
to ‘Save St Helier’ and ‘Save Chase Farm’ contacts.

5. Cuts and redundancies at the Whittington Hospital.

MG reported on Islington Trade Union Council meeting on 28th June
2012, where representatives from Unison at the Whittington Hospital
and Shirley Franklin, Chair of DWHC, spoke regarding the appointment
of Unipart to make redundancies and cuts of £1.9 million, at a cost
of £1 million over two years. Staff are demoralised and have not
been consulted; strike action has been considered. Thanks to ITUC
for inviting Unison and DWHC, and for the donation of £100 towards
the campaign. It was agreed that this will be used for the printing of
petition and campaign leaflets, and purchasing of the KONP (Keep Our
NHS Public) ‘Patient Pledge’ for distribution.

6. Campaign Strategies.

Agreed to write Open Letter to Andrew Lansley and send to local and
national press, and for this to double as a petition and share with
other local campaigns eg DHHH (Defend Haringey Health Services).
Discussed inviting signatories eg local MP’s and party representatives
and local celebrities. Also agreed to produce a leaflet with simple
points about the impact of the Act and encouragement to people
to report their experiences via Whitt Watch, eg how low priority
treatments may be forcing NHS patients into private healthcare.

ACTION: JL to liaise with SF in writing open letter/petition and leaflet.

7. Patient Pledge.

Discussed KONP’s ‘Patient Pledge’, which notifies GP that do not wish
to receive care from private companies. Agreed to distribute at local
GP surgeries, community centres etc. and encourage patients to send

ACTION: PZ to collect packs of ‘Patient Pledge’ postcards and bring to
next meeting for distribution.

8. Stalls.

Agreed to hold stalls at Nags Head and Whittington hospital to
increase public support for campaign, gather signatories for petition
and distribute literature. MG, JL, CA, PZ, AE may be available at various
times. Also to consider holding stalls at Ecology and Canal Festivals in

9. Social Media.

CA and AE discussed and demonstrated how Twitter could be used
to promote Whitt Watch and DWHC’s aims and reach huge numbers
of people. General agreement that DWHC needs to be utilising social
media such as Twitter. AE is planning to hold a workshop for activists
who would like training on using Twitter effectively.

ACTION: AE to email Jem with details of workshop date, who will
forward to DWHC members.

10. Healthwatch.

DE strongly encouraged membership of new health consumer
watchdog ‘Healthwatch’, as a way of challenging the practice of
the new Health & Social Care Act. MH discussed recent experiences
in ‘Patient Participation Group’ at local GP surgery; encouraged
members to join and challenge practice and policy to make the Act

11. Student Involvement.

AE made members aware of student internet forum ‘The Student
Room’, and invited members to send her information for the forum
to put on site eg UK politics section. AE discussed inviting student
societies to get involved in campaign, including London Met and
Middlesex campuses and student nurses at UCL campus, Archway.

ACTION: AE to approach student societies to raise awareness of

12. Whitt Watch.

JL updated that Whitt Watch, the new reporting facility for cuts
and closures, is now live on the DWHC website. Thanks go to Ian
Shacklock. Website also requires updating.
ACTION: JL to contact Ian Shacklock to request update to website.

13. AOB.

Discussion of pros and cons of forming a new Islington KONP group,
general agreement by members that DWHC already affiliated to KONP
and has same aims, so would duplicate.
Current meeting venue unsatisfactory due to high level of background
noise; enquiries proved this was due to showing of a live football
match on 2nd July, therefore next meeting will be held at same venue –
if further problems occur venue will be revised.

Next meeting Monday 30 July, 7pm, The Florin pub, 563 Holloway
Road N19 4DQ, last meeting before summer break.

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