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South East

Banbury, Keep The Horton General

After considerable campaigning, in March 2008 the Independent Reconfiguration Panel completely rejected the proposals to downgrade obstetrics, paedeatrics, gynaecology and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Horton. This seems to be the most comprehensive rejection of proposals in the IRP's history.

Campaigners will now sit down with the PCT and the Trust to work out how services can be maintained in the face of the problems caused by the
Modernising Medical Careers project and the European Working Time Directive. See the IRP press release.

Download press releases

Contact: Kate Spencer -


Brighton Keep Our NHS Public

Brighton KONP launched in September 2006. In addition to opposition to a nationwide drive to privatisation of the NHS, there were strong concerns over the new independent sector treatment centre in nearby Haywards Heath, and the impact that might have on health services in Brighton. Major cuts at the Royal Sussex County Hospital are underway.

The group has held public meetings and a demonstration, and made representations to the Oversight and Scrutiny Committee. They have also been active at party conferences held in the area.




Campaign to Save the Community Hospitals

The campaign was formed to protect the community hospitals at Abingdon, Didcot, Henley, Wallingford and Wantage from closure, demanding that they should continue to operate with full services. A letter writing campaign to the PCT and Secretary of State is underway, and many thousands of petition signatures have been collected.

Contact: Abingdon Town Council - Tel. 01235 522642. Cllr Alison Rooke tel. 01235 522508

Website: Abingdon Town Council website


Community Care Protection Group

The Community Care Protection Group was formed in 1995. It is a grassroots campaigning, voluntary group, consisting of carers past and present, users, disabled people, pensioners and medical staff.

CCPG is dedicated to safeguarding the basic rights of all to have CARE AND SUPPORT; based on need; regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin or religion whether that need is within the NHS or within the wider local community. The group aims also to inform and educate others of their basic rights, to increase their understanding and to give them confidence to question decisions made about care (their own or that of a loved one) from social services or the NHS. CCPG is non political, but works with MPs or councillors of all parties when campaigning on local or national issues.

Contact: Maria Goldenberg - Tel. 01689 858870


Concern For Health in East Kent (CHEK)

CHEK was established in 1999 to fight the reconfiguration of the three acute hospitals in East Kent, and the downgrading of the Kent & Canterbury Hospital in particular.

Contact: Peggy Pryer, Secretary - . Tel. 01227 832058



Crawley Keep Our NHS Public

Crawley KONP launched formally in September 2006 following proposals under the "Fit for the Future" review which include Crawley Hospital having "no surgery or general medicine" but retaining "services for urgent treatment, outpatients and care of the elderly". Becky O'Gorman of Crawley KONP has previously taken the campaign to Westminster when she presented a 30,000 name petition to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

Contact: Zena Dodgson -


Dacorum Hospital Action Group

The group was formed in 1975 in order to lobby for the building of a hospital in the Dacorum district, which had been promised but not delivered. Over the years, numerous petitions calling for the protection of NHS services in the Hemel Hempstead area have been credited with helping to build the support necessary to effectively oppose hospital closure. Persistent campaigning was eventually followed by expanded hospital services in Hemel Hempstead and St Albans in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and a St Albans action group linked up with DHCG to better co-ordinate the campaigns. With Hemel Hempstead now faced with losing all its acute services, including the A&E Dept and children's ward, the fight against threatened cuts goes on.

DHAG activities have included holding public meetings, rallies and marches, attending public meetings of Health Authorities, Hospital Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, Patients Forums and Community Health Councils and Overview & Scrutiny Committees. The group has been consistent in responding to each consultation document relating to healthcare provision in West Herts and beyond and in keeping the public informed, with leafleting and through the local press and radio. Additionally, signatures have been collected for petitions to Health Authorities, Department of Health and Parliament via local MPs. Letter writing campaigns to government departments, health authorities and the press have also proved useful.

Contact: Mrs Zena Bullmore - tel. 01442 259437; Mrs E Glatter -, tel. 01442 254447


Hands off the Conquest

Success! The battle to save maternity services at Eastbourne and Hastings was won in September 08 when the Independent Reconfiguration Panel recommended that the services be retained at both the Conquest in Hastings and the Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The campaign group grew out of the Friends of the Conquest Hospital in Hastings, with the aim of opposing SHA proposals to downgrade services at the Conquest. A petition has been circulated, and 40,000 signatures presented to Tony Blair in October 2006.




Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital

Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital have launched an appeal to raise £75,000 to fight the planned closures of Queen Mary's accident and emergency and other vital services by means of a judicial review in the High Court. The group has now received an assurance from the Secretary of State, Alan Johnson, that any referral from the local Overview & Scrutiny Committee will be passed on to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

Donations can be made online at Cheques payable to ITS QMH can be sent to Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital, 1a Holbrook Lane, Chislehurst, BR7 6PE.

Contact: John Hemming-Clark - 020 8468 7945;



Keep Worthing and Southlands Hospitals (KWASH)

The KWASH (Keep Worthing And Southlands Hospitals) campaign after fighting for 18 months during the West Sussex PCT's Fit For the Future consultation proposals to downgrade local hospitals finally handed in a petition of almost 130,000 signatures with thousands of letters having also been sent after dozens of well attended public meetings and marches.

In May 2008 the PCT finally decided that Worthing & Southlands Hospitals should become the major hospital for West Sussex with St Richards Hospital in Chichester losing vital consultant led services. Whilst on the face of it good news for WASH, no downgrading of services at West Sussex hospitals is good for the patients across the county and with the support of the Joint Health & Overview Scrutiny Committee both campaigns supported a referral of the decision to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel and Secretary of State. This was supported by all 7 Conservative MPs in West Sussex who have led the campaigns from the start.

The Reconfiguration Panel upheld the claim to hold a full study into the proposals but before this could proceed the two hospitals announced plans to move to a merger into a joint trust seeking foundation status as a priority. Subsequently the FFF process has been suspended and MPs and hospital campaigners are calling for it to be shelved altogether in order to achieve a strong hospital trust on two main sites with full service development led by clinicians.

Contact: Tim Loughton MP -



Kent Keep Our NHS Public

The Kent Keep Our NHS Public campaign was established at a public meeting at County Hall in Maidstone on 19th July 2006. A rally in the town on 1st July in support of NHS Logistics workers had been the springboard.

On Saturday 2 December 2006 around 2,500 people demonstrated in Maidstone's Mote Park against the proposal to downgrade Maidstone Hospital's A&E Department by removing emergency surgery and emergency orthopaedics to Tunbridge Wells. The rally was organised by the local Save Our Services campaign with the support of local papers, local radio, Maidstone Borough Council and other bodies. Among those attending were members of staff from the hospital, including some nurses who turned up in uniform. Download photo of demo

Contact: Chas Berry -



Oxford Children's Hospital Campaign

The Oxford Children's Hospital Campaign was launched in September 2002, with the target of raising £15 million from fundraising to build the new Children's Hospital, which will be a centre of excellence dedicated to the care of children.

Contact: Alice Gosling - Tel. 01865 743443/743444



Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public

Oxfordshire KONP was launched out of local campaign PFI Alert. Mass leafleting of workplaces, meetings, individual contacts, letter writing and petitions have all been used to get the support of NHS staff, user groups and the public, and help to organise further activity.

Contact: Helen Groom -



Richmond Upon Thames Forum For Older People

The Forum has been very involved in discussions with local NHS bodies such as Richmond PCT resulting in the resolution of particular issues e.g. chiropody patient waiting times. Members also attend meetings of the PPIH Forum.

Contact: Jan Marriott - tel. 020 8941 2878


Save The Royal Surrey

The Royal Surrey County Hospital including St. Luke’s Cancer Centre is under threat of closure by the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority. The hospital is a centre of excellence, with the mortality rate one of the three lowest in the United Kingdom. With the best performing Accident & Emergency Department in the country last year according to government figures, the Royal Surrey breaks even financially.

The campaign was launched in October 2006, with a mass rally to protest against the rumoured closure of the hospital. The rally attracted an estimated 7,000 supporters, joining campaigners from all the major political parties, patients, hospital staff, and representatives of UNISON, the Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College of Midwives. The campaign is writing to 100,000 households in Guildford and SW Surrey to raise awareness and to appeal for funds. A petition has also attracted overwhelming support.

Contact: Susie Furniss -



Save The DGH (District General Hospital) Campaign

Success! The battle to save maternity services at Eastbourne and Hastings was won in September 08 when the Independent Reconfiguration Panel recommended that the services be retained at both the Conquest in Hastings and the Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The campaign started in March 2006 in response to Eastbourne District General Hospital's maternity unit being threatened with the transfer of services to Hastings. An early protest march and rally attracted over 5,000 local people and a petition was circulated with many thousands of signatures. There have been various small protests outside (and some presence inside) NHS consultation meetings. The campaign group has been in communication with the local overview and scrutiny committee.

The group is not politically aligned, and all political parties in Eastbourne and District are united in the cause to stop any downgrade of core services at Eastbourne District General Hospital. Save the DGH wants to play a key part in maintaining and even improving the services provided at the local hospital.




Southampton Keep Our NHS Public

Contact: Amy Elliot -


Southend Keep Our NHS Public

Southend KONP was formed in April 2006 following a public meeting organised by the Southend PPIF at which the Primary Care Trusts reported on their current state and their plans for the future. Opposition to Southend Hospital aiming to become a foundation hospital was one of the issues, which was opposed at the meeting and helped kickstart an appeal for the formation of a KONP branch in Southend.

In addition to a proposed superclinic at Temple Sutton Primary School, the SE Essex Primary Care Trust commissioned a new health centre at Leigh on Sea, the Leigh Primary Care Centre, and the Central Canvey Primary Care Centre for Canvey Island, due to open in March 2009. It is also proposing to build a new primary care centre in Shoebury.

With consulting rooms in the Leigh Primary Care Centre remaining empty six months after the centre opened, Southend KONP wrote to the local press questioning why the primary care centre was commissioned without ascertaining the requirements of local GPs in the area for consulting rooms.

The PCT now proposes to close a health centre, Shoebury  House and Thorpedene Clinic and to build a new primary care centre in Gunners Park, Shoebury. This centre would in addition to housing GP surgeries also provide blood taking, midwifery, district nurse and NHS dentistry services. At a public consultation meeting in the area, many of the residents were opposed to the proposed primary care centre as they feared the easy access to their GP surgeries, which they enjoy at present would disappear if GP clinics were all centralised in the new centre. They  felt that ancillary services could be accommodated in a smaller purpose built centre.

Southend KONP distributed leaflets at the meeting, supporting the residents opposed to the primary care centre as proposed by SE Essex PCT.

Contact: Norman Traub -


Support the Princess Royal Hospital

With the local PCT considering the downgrading of the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, the campaign was launched with the support of local MPs to fight against those changes. Many thousands of petition signatures have been collected, and a candle-lit vigil is planned in December 2006 in support of the hospital.




Support St Richard's

The Support St Richard's campaign started in June 2006 after the SHA published the "Fit for the Future" document, explaining the reconfiguration of the NHS in the area and the proposal that local hospitals will lose A&E facilities and services.

The group has organised rallies - 1,200 attended the first and up to 7,000 were at the second. Members of the campaign have spoken at many public meetings - all attended by several hundred people. There are plans to march on London once the options for the future of the hospital are published, and to take part in a candlelit vigil. A petition has been running and over 129,000 signatures have been collected. Campaign publicity has included the distribution of leaflets to 100,000 households, and over 200 roadside signs have been posted in the area. Car stickers and lapel stickers are also used to ensure the campaign maintains maximum general awareness.

The campaign is putting a lot of pressure on the PCT and SHA, and is working closely with the District Council.

Contact: Abigail Rowe -;


Townlands Action Group

Twelve months ago Townlands was faced with imminent closure. Now the campaign group is guardedly optimistic that the hospital will not only be kept open but will also undergo much-needed redevelopment. A consultant’s report has shown that several independent healthcare providers would be very keen to redevelop Townlands. This would provide modern facilities needed by the community, local doctors and the primary care trust. Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital has also shown an interest in a Townlands redevelopment. This could be complementary to working with an independent health provider.

The group's continued aim is to ensure that services at Townlands will continue to be NHS funded and free at the point of delivery. Contact with the newly formed primary care trust continues and town councillors have recently met its chief executive in what has been described as a very positive meeting. Local people should be involved at all stages and the group is looking at the possibilities of Henley community ownership of a part of the Townlands site and involvement in the future administration of the hospital.

Contact: Louise Hastings -