East of England
Norfolk Keep Our NHS Public
Campaign to stop the privatisation of the NHS.
The Cambridge People's Assembly
The Cambridge People's Assembly supports the statement against the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) issued by the recent Health Campaigns Together conference in Birmingham. It is vital that the NHS is sustainable – not least as a matter of justice between generations – but the STPs are designed to make sustainable its underfunding.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org