Posts Tagged ‘Save the NHS’

Butcher Clegg
The People’s Assembly has called a demonstration in support of the NHS outside the Tory Party conference. This is backed by every major trade union

Save The NHS, Stop the Cuts
National Demonstration at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester
Sunday 29th September 2013
11am, Liverpool Road, Manchester, M3 4FPM

More details are national publicity can be found here

There is a special train from central London to the demonstration, it costs £43.70, you can book tickets here.

We hope to have coach transport from Lambeth organised which may well be cheaper. Watch this space for further details

home_dont_keep_calm_get_angry_hospitalThere are a couple of updates on the campaign to save Lewisham A&E, and some dates for your calendar and emails for you to write if you haven’t already! First an excerpt from the email from Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander on the situation now and what they are doing to save the hospital (we encourage all Labour MPs to stand against all the cuts of course):

As many of you will know, at the end of January despite huge public opposition, the Government decided to proceed with the closure of the full A&E and full maternity department at Lewisham Hospital.

They claim they will retain a “smaller A&E” at Lewisham and a mid-wife led birthing unit. Be under no illusions – these changes will lead to a decimation of services at Lewisham.

Whilst the plans will take about 3 years to implement (and all services at Lewisham are set to remain until investment has taken place at other hospitals in order to deal with patients displaced from Lewisham), it is clear that ultimately, all “blue light” ambulances will be sent to other hospitals and up to 9 in 10 babies will have to be born elsewhere.

The sale of two thirds of the land and buildings at Lewisham Hospital is also set to proceed.

In Parliament, the three Lewisham MPs have been united in opposition to these plans, whilst Lewisham Council (under the leadership of Mayor Sir Steve Bullock) have launched a legal challenge.

The council are seeking a judicial review of the Government’s decision in the High Court on the grounds that the Secretary of State didn’t have the power in law to take a decision about services at Lewisham Hospital, based upon the Trust Administration process that had taken place. They have yet to be given a court date but you can read more on their website.

The council has also launched a challenge fund to assist with covering the costs of the legal action. If you are able to make a donation (no matter how small), please click on the link below:

All the money raised will be used to pay for the court case. In the event that the court awards costs in the Council’s favour, or if for any other reason your donation is not needed for the legal action, then the Council will donate your money to local charity, Children First Lewisham.

The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign will also be lobbying Parliament, next Tuesday 26 March. Below is the letter from the Chair of the Campaign with links.

 Dear Save Lewisham Hospital Supporter

I am writing to you to ask you to:

Join the Lobby of Parliament on Tuesday 26th March to say No to Privatisation Of the NHS and to Stop the Section 75 Regulations

Assemble at the Lobby Gate at 12 noon

Called by the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and supported by NHS campaigners all over the country, backed by Unite the Union.


Sign up on FaceBook and join the event

For the last month the Government have been trying to sneak through regulations (the fine details) to the Health and Social Care Act that will mean the privatisation of the NHS. Despite giving repeated assurances they would not do this the drive for profit is greater than their commitment to promises made to us, the electorate. They were caught red-handed and after an amazing groundswell of opposition from all over the country the Government were pushed into re-writing the regulations. A small victory for us, but they are now back with the same wrecking ideas spruced up, cowardly repackaged and due to come in to force on April 1st.

We are calling on all who support the NHS to join the Lobby of Parliament (26 March) to urge the Lords and Commons to reject the regulations and to defend the NHS as a public service.

We also ask you also URGENTLY to write to a Lord. You can help by writing to as many peers in the House of Lords as possible.

The Lords will have a crucial role in scrutinizing and debating the regulations over the next few weeks. We think you should write to peers because any of us are free to do so. We can only write to our own MPs which limits the mass effect we can have. But you can contact friends and family in other areas and ask them to write to their MP too.

We have email lists of key Lords and sample emails/letters See website to find lists of Lords you can click on to urgently write a letter to a Lord.

Louise Irvine

Chair of Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign

Next steps in the NHS Campaign

Posted: March 15, 2013 by blackdaffodil in NHS
Tags: , ,

The fight is still going strong to save it, but more help is always needed! The next meeting of  Lambeth’s Keep Our NHS Public will be next week

Thursday 21st March, 7pm
Duke of Cambridge pub
74, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, SW8 2DR

All are welcome! If you’d like to get in touch or to get more information, you can email

There’s also an important update about our blood service, which is about to be sold off, please read the below, and sign the petition to stop it here:


From: Geoff Dunbar via Campaigns by You
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2013 10:12 AM
Subject: The Government has decided to sell a blood service


The government has decided to sell the Plasma service. No surpirise there then. I have also been fortunate enough to have received a contact from a very ‘socially aware’ journalist and two of her friends, all of whom are really committed to preventing the sale of PRUK.

The government is currently seeking a purchaser. Initial information has mentioned a few companies showing an interest. The ones we have heard about are all foreign, Spanish, German and American. I don’t know the name of the Spanish company. The German firm is a ‘plasma company’ by the name of Biotest AG. There is some concern about the track record of Biotest, with the possibility that they lost their license at some time in the past. They also appear to be doing a lot of business with China, where they can get a better price for some of their products. From America there are two companies, Baxter International, which I believe is a company that handles ‘plasma products’ and whose share price seems to be on the up. The other company is Bain Capital, a private equity firm (where presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his millions, and still has shares). I don’t know a lot about private equity firms, but t hey seem to be linked to things like ‘venture capital schemes’ and will be keen to have their share of the profits. The ‘shadier’ side of these companies is connected with ‘asset stripping’. If you google Bain Capital, thee are some worrying articles that emerge, including the sacking of Illinois workers and relocating to China.

There are three immediate courses of action that we can take.

1) One of the people I am now working with has spoken to MPs, and through the offices of Jeremy Corby, Hywel Williams and Frank Dobson has been able to have an ‘Early Day Motion’ (EDM) tabled. You can see it at – including the number of MPs who sign up to support it.You can help by contacting your MP and making them aware of the EDM and asking them to support it.

2) Can we make sure that as many people we know are aware of what is happening and if we can get them to join our campaign that would be great.

3) It would appear that not all health professionals are aware of the government’s plans and that includes haematologists, so if you have the chance to inform interested groups…

Thank you for your support for this campaign.

Geoff Dunbar

[a great email update from Keep our NHS Public – to join their mailing list or find out more, please visit]


Tuesday 05 March 1.30pm 

College Green opposite House of Lords

Bring banners, placards, street theatre and more!

Andy Slaughter MP and Steve Pound MP will join the protest.


On 5th March a Lord’s committee will discuss secondary legislation that will mean virtually all NHS commissioning will have to be done through competitive markets.

On 13th February 2013 the Government published the regulations (SI 257) under Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This Statutory Instrument (SI) will be going to the Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee on 5th March; this Committee will then report to the House and the regulations would become law on 01 April.

Assurances were given by ministers during the passage of the Bill through Parliament that it did not mean the privatisation of the NHS, that local people would have the final say in who provided their NHS.

The regulations just published break these promises by creating requirements for virtually all commissioning done by the National Commissioning Board (NCB) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be carried out through competitive markets, which will have the effect of forcing through privatisation regardless of the will of local people. They contain legal powers for Monitor to enforce the privatisation spontaneously or at the request of private companies that lost bids.

Sign the petition here:
More information including briefings and template letter here:

There is an urgent need to raise the public profile about what this threat represents and organise action against it.

  • Please could you help by publicising the protest and circulating this email.
  • If you could help with press or publicity, placards or in other ways please let us know.
  • Ask your MP to raise the issue and join us at the protest.
  • See below for information about petitions and other action you can take.

More information from

Westminster Bridge joins Parliament with St Thomas’ Hospital. What better place to protest the passage of the NHS privatisation bill (so-called ‘reform’ in the ConDemNewBlueLab newspeak) in Parliament and its upcoming test in the Lords? UK Uncut put out a call to block Westminster Bridge from 1pm on 9 October to tell our rulers: “We won’t take this laying down!”

About 3000 people attended. Many people have memories of being kettled on this very bridge last winter on one of the tuition fees protests. And recently people were kettled, beaten and arrested on Brooklyn Bridge in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests. So perhaps worries over the strategic challenge of occupying a bridge kept some people away.

I brought along lots of layers in my rucksack in case we got kettled, but happily it turned out to be unnecessary. An early morning rain had also subsided into a warm but not hot afternoon, with scattered sun. The weather was fine for a day out.

There were loads of great colourful banners and homemade placards. This was encouraged by a guy who gave out speech bubble placards and marker pens for people to write out their own personal slogans. “Block the Bill” stretched across the southern end and “Save the NHS” suspended between two tripods, occupied by protestors in surgical uniforms. There was a refreshing lack of mass-produced party political placards on the southern end of the bridge!

Adding to a carnival atmosphere similar to Reclaim the Streets actions of the 1990s, people dressed up in hospital scrubs and surgeon’s masks or blood-spattered patients; sound systems serenaded different parts of the bridge and a samba band drummed.

Lambeth Keep the NHS Public also put Andrew Lansley on trial. Patients, health workers and others affected by the destruction of the NHS testified against the health minister. His feeble attempts to justify his policies as ‘improving’ the health service were met with boos from the large public jury, and then overruled by the judge. A death sentence was pronounced on Lansley’s political career, and he would be taken to Tyburn where…ahem… his political career would be put to death. Some felt the sentence should be much more severe, but further action was left to the crowd on the day…below is the trial in pictures for your enjoyment

There was also an assembly for planning ‘Occupy London’ actions. Reports on this were positive, though I missed most of this when I went to get some lunch. The assembly continued with personal contributions with health workers and health services users, plus some more comedy.

Around 4:30pm the banners went down. The crowd moved from the bridge, with one group going down to the Southbank and another with the samba band headed towards the roundabout at the end of Westminster Bridge. Rumour had it they were headed to Parliament Square by way of Lambeth Bridge. I was already near the roundabout so I joined the second group. But this all seemed to break up and I went home.

However, I later read that a group had been kettled on Lambeth Bridge for about an hour and forced to take off their scrubs and other ‘disguises’. For an account of this see