Help plan the next steps in the campaign – come to the next planning meeting Monday 25 March at 7pm, Archway Methodist Hal, N19 3TD
Haringey 38 Degrees campaigners have persuaded Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to take vital steps to protect local NHS services from privatisation. On Thursday last week Haringey CCG made public their draft constitution, it included the 38 Degrees amendments on procurement and commissioning virtually word for word (1). The amendments mean the CCG has to consider whether it is ‘necessary, desirable or appropriate’ to invite competition when purchasing.
The victory comes after a couple of months of persistent pressure and lobbying. We first met as a group in early November last year. The turnout at the meeting was a good indication of the strength of feeling in Haringey, over 30 people turned up despite the limited meeting space so we had to be given a larger room. We learnt that 2252 Haringey residents had signed the 38 Degrees petition. We decided that a group of us would present the petition to the chair of the CCG as soon they would agree to meet us, this turned out to be the first week of January. The meeting went well, the CCG Chair, Chief Officer and Lay Representative attended, they told us that as a membership organisation the CCG needed to consult their members, the local GPs, and consult their lawyers before making any amendments to the constitution. They said they had to comply with EU competition legislation, we were able to tell them that they had been produced by public law lawyers and had already been adopted by Hackney CCG. They said they would let us know what the outcome was by the end of February.
When they wrote to us following the meeting they were a bit vague about consulting with the GPs, it turned out that they had finished the consultation with GPs in December, we felt we had been misled at the meeting. It was difficult to get information out of them so we decided to attend the meeting of CCG board at the end of January and table formal questions about the consultation process. We did a call out to people who attended the initial meeting to support those asking the questions, again the response was fantastic with over 30 people attending, they had to search the building for more chairs as the 6 they had provided clearly wasn’t enough. The meeting wasn’t handled well, we were given written answers to our questions that were then read out aloud, we were not allowed to ask questions to clarify the answers we had just been given, the atmosphere became a little fraught! Those of us there decided we needed to meet again to keep up the pressure on the CCG board. We wrote to the GPs, we contacted the local press, we contacted local counsellors on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, we contacted our local MP, we planned a public meeting.
We were supported in our campaign by Defend Haringey Health Services. They had done a lot of work last year trying to get the CCG to sign up to a pledge to resist the top down imposition of Any Qualified Provider (AQP)(2). They had connections to other local anti-cuts and anti-privatisation groups which helped build support for the amendments.
The constitution is still in draft form and will be formally adopted at the next meeting of the CCG board on the 14th March, the meeting is at the West Green learning Centre at 1.30pm. We’ll be encouraging everybody involved in the campaign to attend to witness the CCG taking this bold step.
We are planning to go ahead with our public meeting, we’ve invited a representative of the CCG to talk about the constitution and their Patient and Public Engagement Strategy. We want to have an impact on the way health services are commissioned and provided in Haringey in the future, the adoption of the 38 Degrees commissioning amendments by the CCG is a good start! The recent news about the coalition trying to sneak through the Section 75 legislations that will force CCGs to put contracts out to tender means that it is necessary to keep campaigning (3).
Our public meeting is on 5th March 2013 at 7.30pm at Wood Green Christian Centre, 4 Lymington Avenue, Wood Green N22 6JR. We have speakers from Keep Our NHS Public, the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and hopefully a representative from Haringey CCG, please come along and show your support for a public NHS.
At a meeting of the management of the Whittington Hospital on the 23rd January it was revealed that they plan to sell off a significant part of the site and make huge cuts to jobs and services. The proposals include
- Buildings north of the service road, by the old entrance to the A and E. All will be demolished except the listed building(s) which will be sold
- Staff accommodation which is now included in the above plan, will be demolished and the land sold off
- 570 staff jobs to go – administrative and nursing
- Reduction of beds from over 300 to 177
- Capping of births to 4,000
- Reduction of specialist treatments at the Hospital
The management say we don’t need hospital care. They say that care in the community is better. We say we need BOTH.
No to the sell-off and no to the cuts!
There will be a public meeting on the 12th February, 7.30pm, Archway Methodist Hall, Archway Close (in Archway Roundabout)
Local MPs – Jeremy Corbyn, David Lammy, Frank Dobson, Emily Thornberry
Candy Udwin – London Keep Our NHS Public
Catherine West – Leader of Islington council
Owen Jones – Author and Journalist
Speaker from Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign
Shirley Franklin – Chair of DWHC
For more information: http://dwhc.org.uk/
Shirley Franklin will also be speaking at a ‘Unite the Resistance’ Meeting at Park View School, West Green Road N15 3QR on the 26th February. The meeting starts at 7.30pm.
Come and Help us Defend Haringey’s NHS at West Green Learning Centre this Thursday, 24 January 2013, at 1.30pm.
We need your help to convince the Clinical Commissioning Group that they should sign up to better rules on Haringeys health services.
38 degrees with support from Defend Haringey Health Services presented a petition of 2252 Haringey residents calling on local doctors to be more open and listen to the public about their health. It was handed in on 7/1/13 to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the group of mainly GPs who will be running Haringey?s health services from April.
38 Degrees and Defend Haringey Health Services put forward suggested 38 Degree amendments to the Clinical Commissioning Group?s constitution. A constitution sounds dry but it sets out how they propose to run health in Haringey.
These proposed changes aim to maximise consultation with local communities, ensures that health providers are not chosen purely on cost and increases transparency in the decisions the CCG takes about local health services. They have been legally checked as sound by eminent lawyers. They have already been accepted in their constitution by the Hackney CCG.
Haringey CCG say blandly they will consider them, but at a recent meeting Enfield CCG positively embraced them. There is no reason why Haringey can not do the same!
There’s a public meeting of the Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group on 24 January at 1.30 pm at the West Green Learning Centre. Members of Defend Haringey Health Services and 38 Degrees will be seeking the CCG?s commitment to adopting these crucial proposed amendments.
So far we have people from DHHS,38 Degrees, Friends of Belmont School and a pensioners group attending.
Come and have your say about Haringey?s Health Services!
As you may be aware Haringey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be responsible for commissioning health services from 1/4/13 (Commissioning is planning health care and buying services from hospitals and community providers). To be authorised to do this the CCG have to set out a constitution which is approved by the National Commissioning Board (NCB).
Wendy Savage of Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) wrote to the Chairs of all the CCGs in England, including Haringey, on 4/12/12 warning of the risks and potential disasters ahead for Shadow CCGs . KONP and Defend Haringey Health Services believe that government plans will force CCGs to ration patient care and deny treatments opening them up to legal action from patients. And, more worryingly, commissioning will force the CCG to place local NHS contracts with private companies where money that should be spent on patient care will end up as profits for shareholders.
38 Degrees have produced a constitution that they believe offers some protection to a public NHS. Locally 38 Degrees are campaigning separately to persuade them to adopt theirs. They are meeting the CCG to discuss this on 7/1/13.
We decided that we would write to all the CCG members making them aware of the KONP letter. We are urging them to read it and the summary, hold public meetings, and explain and discuss the risks with the public, before making a decision over the constitution that may lead to privatisation of the much loved NHS in Haringey.
We recommended in the letter that they accept either the 38 Degrees model constitution, which is designed to be acceptable to the NCB, or that they submit a constitution that prohibits procurement through competitive markets. If you want to keep Haringey’s health services public ask your GP to support changes to the constitution.
Defend Haringey Health Services – Public Meeting
7.00pm, 9th October 2012
Wood Green Christian Centre, 24 Lymington Avenue, N22 6JA (off Wood Green High Road)
The First Cuts are Happening
The Whittington is being restructured by Unipart (a failed car parts company), and a large part of St Ann’s is to be sold off for housing. This will mean cuts in frontline services and support staff
There needs to be co-ordinated action to ensure we, the residents and patients of Haringey, are properly involved in the discussion, planning, and implementation of any change that will affect the services we receive.
Hear speakers explain the reality of the cuts as they are happening now.
Dr Ron Singer Ex Local GP – Edmonton
Other activists from local campaigns
Help plan the next steps in our campaign
There’s an excellent post on Harringay Online about the current consultation on the redevelopment of the St Ann’s Hospital site, we’ve reposted it below. You can read the original post here. Please respond to the consultation here, you need to get your comments in by 3rd August.
St Ann’s Hospital Con sultation
Consultation is currently taking place over proposals for the future of the St Ann’s Hospital site, which is owned by Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust (BEHMHT). But beware, the consultation document has a lack of detail about the proposals and the questions asked are designed to make the project sound like something no-one could disagree with. Then BEHMHT will use the answers to claim they have public support to sell and develop the site. Instead, we should make sure the site is preserved to meet the healthcare needs of the Haringey’s growing population, especially those in the east of the borough. Once sold, the site is lost forever.
Last year, as part of the consultation process a Community Reference Group (CRG) was set up by BEHMHT. Despite what the consultation document says, there is not ‘broad support’ among local people or of the Community Reference Group (CRG) for the proposals. Residents expressed concern over inadequate provision of healthcare facilities in Tottenham and wanted a range of additional health services to be provided on the site. However, discussions at the CRG were consistently steered in a way that prevented exploration of other options to those preferred by BEHMHT, i.e. this was not genuine consultation but we were used as a tick box exercise. This is despite health inequality across the borough (life expectancy is 9 years less in the east) and the fact that the Primary Care Trust acknowledges that the area is under served for primary care services.
The consultation document suggests a whole lot of benefits for local residents, including increased health services, homes and jobs. But these are not promises, they are extremely vague, have not actually been detailed or costed and are very unlikely to be delivered (this is what happened with the redevelopment of the Hornsey Hospital site a few years ago). Also in recent years health services at St Ann’s have been whittled away, so we are starting from a low base. Despite concerns raised at the last CRG meeting about the leading questions proposed for the consultation document, these questions were not changed. The key purpose of the consultation document is to proclaim public backing for the scheme so the site can be sold off.
The consultation document implies there will be ‘modern and integrated health facilities developed to meet the current and future needs of the local population in Haringey’. Requests were made for data to be provided to the CRG relating to incidence rates of various mental and physical ailments within Haringey, what treatments people receive for these and for information to be provided on where residents had to go to obtain diagnosis and treatment. BEHMHT said they did not have this information, even relating to mental health, yet they repeatedly proclaim that most of the site is ‘surplus to healthcare requirements’.
Despite the high incidence of mental health problems in the east of the borough, BEHMHT planned to completely close the inpatient mental health facilities and transfer them to Chase Farm. This part of the plan has been withdrawn – about the only real change made during the course of the meetings. But despite requests, no information has been provided to the CRG (or in the consultation document) about the extent of the services to be provided and whether these will be sufficient to meet the needs of residents.
The site was originally a general hospital, it was transferred from the NHS to the MHT in 2001, and if it is now surplus to their needs there is no reason why it cannot be transferred back to the NHS. Local residents have repeatedly called for increased health facilities on the site. Despite a population of nearly quarter of a million people, Haringey does not have a general hospital or even a walk in centre or minor injuries unit. Requests by the CRG for a minor injuries unit to be provided on the site have so far been ignored as have requests for other health services. We need to make sure they are included.
Some Councillors have supported the use of much of the site for housing on the basis of helping to meet Haringey’s housing needs. However, the primary shortage of housing in Haringey is of family sized social housing and genuinely affordable housing, and in at least two recent major redevelopment schemes (Spurs and Wards Corner), Haringey ignored their own policies and removed any requirement for social or affordable housing within the development on the say so of the developers who said that to include it would be financially unviable. So called ‘affordable housing’ is in any event way out of the reach of the majority of those in need. Developers are seeking to build all over Haringey on the asserted basis of housing need, then not actually building the sort of housing that is needed. We shouldn’t fall for it here.
Residents repeatedly expressed their desire to preserve the attractive historic buildings and grounds particularly those in the west of the site which are pre 1914 and to refurbish these buildings rather than replace them. Despite this, the plan in the consultation document shows two thirds of the site will be demolished, including all the west side with the exception of the water tower and 3 smaller buildings at the entrance. Please also note that the consultation document does not give the height of proposed new buildings and that at the CRG there was widespread opposition to the proposal that buildings could be up to seven storeys high.
Frequent reference was made by members of the CRG to the value of the trees and gardens on the site for health and well being, and in particular their importance to patients in aiding recovery and that modern hospital development often excludes this important factor. Residents and service users expressed a desire for trees to be preserved, the gardens to be retained and to have allotments and food growing on the site.
We are repeatedly told that we have to be realistic, and that there are not funds available to provide the services people need. This is designed to get us to set our sights low. We pay taxes and NI for public services such as the NHS. In the past few years billions have been given away to banks and the private sector and it is clear there is money available, but choices are being made not to give it to the services people need. We need to make sure this changes, public money should be used for public benefit.
Also BEHMHT have said that the hospital in its current run down state costs too much to run and is unsustainable, but during the CRG meetings they admitted that it would cost more to run the proposed new facilities. Billions have been wasted on shiny new buildings through PFI and other schemes, are we facing the same thing happening again with St Ann’s. Detailed costings of various options were not provided to the CRG. The family silver will be sold off and then we’ll pay for it over and over again for years to come.
We need to stop this from happening by objecting to the proposals and calling for the site to be preserved for healthcare and related facilities. Our opposition now will make it more likely that generations to come will have local healthcare services meeting the needs of local residents, and that the attractive historic buildings and gardens will survive.
At a public meeting, held at Lordship Lane Health Center on the 12th June, Haringey GPs said they would consider the ‘Pledge’ circulated by Defend Haringey Health Services. The Pledge asks the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to protect local health services, to resist the imposition of private sector providers and to remain accountable to local people by holding meetings in public and not entering into contracts that cannot be scrutinised. The doctors organisation, the BMA, has also produced a ‘fair commissioning charter’. We have written to the Chair of Haringey CCG, Dr Helen Pelendrides, to clarify exactly how the CCG will consult on the Pledge or the charter and if all Haringey GPs will involved.
The meeting was the second hosted by the CCG to explore patient and public participation in the work of the commissioning group, over 30 people attended as well as local GPs including Dr Pelendrides, Dr John Rohan, Dr Sherry Tang and Dr Gino Amato. We were told that in 2010 Haringey was running a deficit of £28 million and that over £10 million of ‘savings’ had been made to date, we were not told what services had been cut or where the next £17 million of savings would come from. During the questions session many people in the audience expressed concern at the possibility that the CCG would privatise health services. Dr Rohan said that he would prefer just to commission services from our local hospitals, The Whittington and the North Middlesex, and Dr Amato said that the introduction of the market in healthcare was a ‘disaster’. However when we asked them if they would adopt the Pledge we were told that they needed to choose their battles, it was not until we pointed out that they were expressing personal opinions that they agreed to consider it.
How you can help
Talk, or write, to your local GP, ask them to support the adoption of the pledge or the charter and to let the CCG know they support it. Download a sample letter here: Pledge Letter to GPs
Write in support of the Pledge to the CCG Chair, Dr Helen Pelendrides, Haringey CCG, 4th Floor, River Park House, London N22 8HQ.
Write to the local papers, let them know you don’t want your local health services privatised and that the Pledge should be adopted.
Get involved, come to the next meeting of DHHS, 25th June, 7.30 pm, upstairs at the Three Compasses, Hornsey, N8 7NX.
You can download a copy of the BMA charter here: fair commissioning charter
Lordship Lane Health Centre
7pm 12th June
At last the much promised meeting for residents in East Haringey organised by Haringey CCG
Try and get along . They promise an introduction to changes in the organistion of health services in Haringey. Also they will discuss Public Participation. This is very important as they will decide from these meetings how the public are represented locally via Patient Panels or as Patient Reps .The Panels have been problematic, not representative enough, and the current Patient Reps were “appointed onto” the CCG.
Come along to get information BUT also to say how you WANT to be represented. It is after all entitled “Starting a Conversation”
Buses 123 and 243