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East of England

Bartlet Bequest Action Group

BBAG was formed to campaign to keep open the Bartlet Convalescent Home, which Suffolk Primary Care Trust is selling off with the agreement of the Health Secretary Patricia Hewit. The Bartlet was originally founded with a bequest from John Henry Bartlet. The Convalescent Home was intended to be kept in perpetuity for the good of the people, belonging to the people living in the area covered by the 1934 East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital Region.




Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public

Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public has been active in defence of continuing care and long-term rehabilitation facilities at the city's Brookfields Hospital. These have been under threat as part of Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust's efforts to reduce a £50 million funding deficit. In 2007 it looked likely that Brookfields would close altogether, but after a vociferous campaign involving marches, demonstrations, postcards and lobbies of PCT meetings, the PCT is keeping some facilities at the hospital, while putting others out into the 'community'.

Cambridge KONP, which organised many of these activities and submitted a detailed response to the PCT's consultation, welcomes the climb-down by the PCT but is still very concerned about the very small number of hospital-based long-term care options in the Cambridge area. It is continuing to campaign on this vital issue.

Keep Our NHS Public has been leading a campaign against the threatened privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, which if it proceeds will be the first time an NHS District General Hospital has been handed over to a private organisation to run.

On Saturday 4 October 2008 a spirited demonstration was held through the town, led by the Cambridge KONP banner, and with strong support from UNISON as well as other local unions. Supporters came from as far away as Great Yarmouth to back the campaign. Many hundreds of signatures have been collected on a petition opposing privatisation, with people queuing up to sign at high-street stalls.

Hinchingbrooke has been running high deficits for several years, which KONP says is because of the unsatisfactory funding mechanisms for health facilities in rural areas with fast-growing populations. Although it has a very good clinical reputation, the Strategic Health Authority says that Hinchingbrooke must be 'franchised out' because of its financial position, and is seriously considering handing the franchise over to a private sector provider.

A new report by UNISON on Hinchingbrooke called 'Up for Grabs', by Dr John Lister of Health Emergency, exposes the history of mismanagement and underfunding at the hospital, and calls for it to be run as part of an integrated plan for county-wide services.

Contact: Martin Booth -


Save Bedford Hospital

Save Bedford Hospital has been registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission. Their prospective parliamentary candidate for the Bedford constituency is Dr Barry Monk, and the party campaigns against the cuts threatened by the current NHS reforms.



Save Our Hospitals Action Group, Felixstowe

SOHAG began in 2006 in response to the threatened closure of the Bartlet Hospital in Felixstowe. The group has promoted the campaign with stalls at community events, public meetings and participation in an extraordinary meeting of Felixstowe Town Council

Contact: Mike Ninnmey tel. 01394 277658; Roy Gray 01394 285827



Welwyn Hatfield Keep Our NHS Public

The campaign started up in February 2007 in protest at the proposed closure of the QEII hospital. Campaign stalls at local festivals and other events, and regular campaign meetings have been building the protests against planned closures.

Download summer 2007 newsletter

Contact: Barry Cross -, 01707 272827