SAVE OUR NHS and LABOUR’S FUTURE public meeting
Very many thanks to everyone who took part and came to the meeting. All five speakers spoke passionately about their fears for the NHS and all were united in believing that the Labour Party must now unite – members, PLP and affiliates – to build the movement behind the leadership’s vision for a kinder and fairer country and to challenge and change voters’ attitudes and apathy, so that we can take the fight to the Tories – starting now.
Unfortunately, Chris York couldn’t be with us on the night. He had a triple heart bypass 2 months ago and was feeling too tired to attend, so I spoke a few words on his behalf about his stay in Papworth Hospital and the excellent care he received, the backing for Jeremy Corbyn from all the staff – porters and cleaners to senior Consultants – and about the marathon he started in September less than 4 weeks after the surgery and completed on 30 September in aid of the British Heart Foundation. This is the link to his fundraising page. https://mymarathonsept.everydayhero.com/uk/ChrisYorkmarathon
Mary Cooke and Margaret Ridley detailed the effects of past innovations, such as PFI, and the problems currently being faced with huge debts and construction inadequacies in those new builds, including Peterborough City Hospital and it’s fire and smoke retarding deficiencies. They also talked about the proposed “collaboration” between Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City Hospital and the threat to Hinchingbrooke that posed by the likely “partnership” with the private sector. The change to medical staff being multiskilled, but lower skilled, has already begun and retired medical staff are now being asked to “volunteer”!
JoAnne Rust spoke at length about the STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Plans), which all CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) have been required to produce since December 2015 and their effect on staff and services. These will lead to the loss of NHS services in order to make “savings” and there will be a movement of care from hospitals into the community, effectively mostly at home. The NHS in England is heading towards catastrophe and the public are generally unaware of the consequences of these most recent demands by the government, if they know about them at all.
It is vital that the Labour Party and Momentum carry on the campaign to raise public awareness of what is happening to OUR NHS before it becomes that catastrophe. We hope that the disintegration and/or loss of NHS services can be slowed or halted by public engagement and protest and with an effective opposition in Parliament.
THE LABOUR PARTY WILL RENATIONALISE THE NHS
The NHS needs you all to come to as many meetings as you can, spread the word amongst family, friends and work colleagues, write letters to your local and national press and come out to campaign when you can. It ALL makes a difference.
The next public meeting is Friday 21 October at the Neale Wade Academy in March starting at 7pm. Steven Barclay MP and Lucy Fraser MP will be on the platform with representatives from the CCG. It has been organised by the Isle of Ely Womens’ Institute. Although ostensibly about the MIUs (Minor Injuries Units), the audience will be able to ask questions!!!!!!!
Chris Williamson, former MP for Derby North, spoke passionately about why the Party must now unite behind it’s leadership and that the PLP must accept the mandate Jeremy Corbyn has been given. The lost Labour voters are not those who vote Tory or UKIP, but who do not vote at all – “there is no difference” was the message from the doorstep in every election since 1997. Now people can see a difference. Now people, who may even declare they vote for other parties, largely “agree” with many of Jeremy’s 10 points, especially if they do not know they are Labour policies. We can make the change together, but we need to work for that change.
Christine Shawcroft, who represents CLPs on the NEC and is a member of Momentum’s Steering Committee, also spoke passionately about the need for unity within the broad church of the Labour Party. She believes that there will be improvements to the democratic processes of the Party and greater involvement of members in decision-making and policy making.