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NEW! Health Campaigns Together newspaper No. 14 - download now!

Issue 14 of our quarterly tabloid newspaper, 12 pages filled with news, analysis and comment, is available to download free NOW, with printed copies for campaigning available from April 4.

Top stories include * Victory in North West London; * fighting PET scanner privatisation in Oxfordshire; * fighting RATIONING and CHARGES for NHS treatment; * updates to many campaigns; * social care; * mental health; and * the threat to scrap A&E and elective performance targets. Plus a column from Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour's shadow Health Secretary.

Every issue is FREE to read online. For campaigning, order bundles ONLINE NOW.

Download back issues of the newspaper here

Reclaim Social Care campaign

The campaign that has been built from our successful conference in Birmingham last November is now developing an independent existence as a campaign affiliated to Health Campaigns Together.

Reclaim Social Care is now itself seeking affiliates and supporters, and organising discussions and activities. An organising meeting is taking place in Birmingham on the afternoon of May 2: for details of this, or to join the online discussion send email to reclaimsocialcare@googlegroups.com

Conference reports, background facts, figures, etc available HERE.

New Website and news bulletin - The Lowdown

Here is the second of a FREE access fortnightly NHS news analysis for health union activists and campaigners, including: * Analysis as public mood over privatisation hardens; * Hancock's half-baked data and the groups who supply it; * Health Tourism - serious problem or tabloid creation? * NHS crisis of under-staffing; * Will Long Term Plan really end long waits? -- and more.
Sign up to receive each issue by email

Back issues in pdf format

CALENDAR of events

Saturday 29th June 2019

Health Campaigns Together Northern Conference
Health and Social Care
for People not for Profit

St. George’s Centre,
LS1 3DL,
(next to Leeds General Infirmary)

This will be the first joint health & social care HCT Conference.
Join us to share ideas on how we can fight back on all fronts and maximise our impact
Speakers include
Sally Ruane, Director of Health Policy Research Unit, Leicester University,
GP Jackie Grunsell, from Hands of Huddersfield RI,
Gordon Peters, ex (Director of Social Care Hackney) currently campaigning against cuts, closures and outsourcing in Haringey,
Unison speaker, and more.
More info later.
Meanwhile contact leedskonp@yahoo.co.uk or 07419 295754

Saturday 28th September 2019

Mental Health Crisis Summit

Royal Free Hospital School Of Medicine
Rowland Hill Street
London NW3 2PF

A one-day conference on the crisis in mental health and what must be done to stop it
There is a crisis in mental health services in the UK. It's time to act
Almost 7000 mental health nurses were lost from 2009 to 2018. Meanwhile, the number of doctors in specialist psychiatric training fell by 20%, and beds available for patients with serious mental health issues fell by over 8000.
That's why we're holding a one-day conference in September this year to take a closer look at the mental health crisis - what's driving it, how government decisions have let it worsen over time, and what action we can take to set things right.

Hosted by Health Campaigns Together, Keep Our NHS Public and Mental Health Time For Action

Tickets: Unwaged/Low Pension: £5.00 Standard: £10.00 Solidarity: £20.00
If you’re having difficulty paying and would still like to attend, please contact us at nationaladmin@keepournhspublic.com and we can sort out a free ticket

SEE and SHARE our VIDEO on Infolinks (below) or at https://vimeo.com/334772787

Check out the facebook event here


Princess Alexandra Hospital cleaners 99% vote for action to halt outsourcing from the NHS

Cleaners at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow have overwhelmingly voted to strike against plans to privatise cleaning services, and have appealed to campaigners in London, Hertfordshire and Essex to support their campaign as they prepare for action ...

Read the full item, and other breaking news

Info links

Links to important new information on other websites
  • NHS breaking recruitment rules with one in four new doctors coming from 'banned' developing countries Telegraph report on a worrying development linked to the gathering NHS workforce crisis begins:
    "The NHS is breaking recruitment rules, with one in four new medics now coming from developing countries which are supposed to be protected by ethical codes, an investigation reveals.
    "The Telegraph has uncovered evidence that the health service is targeting medics from such countries - despite strict rules which are supposed to protect the poorest parts of the world.
    "The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for International Development identifies 97 countries which “should not be actively recruited from” because they are in receipt of aid, and often suffering from shortages of medics.
    "They include Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
    "But NHS trusts have used agencies to recruit doctors from such countries, the investigation reveals."

  • Revealed: Why one county saw a third of all 12-hour A&E breaches (£) HSJ report on crisis of under-resourced mental health care and its impact in Lancashire:
    "Two reviews have uncovered a catalogue of problems with Lancashire’s mental health services, which have led to patients being unlawfully detained in seclusion rooms and a crisis situation developing in the county’s emergency departments.
    "HSJ has learned the reviews raise major concerns about Lancashire Care Foundation Trust’s underresourced community services, a lack of crucial bed capacity, inadequate support for patients in crisis, and overstretched accident and emergency liaison psychiatry teams.
    "The multiple shortcomings have stranded mental health patients in hospital emergency departments with a lack of appropriate support. Lancashire had more than 1,000 cases of patients waiting over 12 hours for admission to a ward in 2018-19, according to statistics published by NHS England, which was a third of all 12-hour breaches nationally. The bulk of these cases were mental health patients."

  • Cancer patient scans cancelled over equipment problems BBC report notes that "Hundreds of cancer patients at West Midlands hospitals have had scans cancelled due to equipment problems.
    "Alliance Medical, a company contracted to supply isotopes needed to perform the scans, has admitted production problems has led to a shortage.
    "They need radioactive isotopes, the commonest of which is fludeoxyglucose (FDG), which has a short life and must be used within hours.
    "Hospitals with scanners in Birmingham, Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent have reported a 10-month shortage of FDG and about 10% of tests have been cancelled since August 2018.
    "Meanwhile, prostate cancer patients in Birmingham have seen appointments cancelled from a lack of FEC, another isotope."

  • The Price of Care: Are private care providers putting young people at risk? Sky News report on scale and poor quality of privately provided Child and Adolescent Mental Health services:
    "The most unwell are sent to mental health units commissioned and paid for by NHS England, but they are often run by private companies like The Huntercombe Group.
    "Most recent figures show there are 1,282 under-18s, most of them girls, who have been admitted to mental health units across England.
    "In 2017-18 the NHS paid private providers £156.5m for beds or specialist care such as eating disorder services.
    "The figure is almost half of the total CAMHS specialist budget."

  • The case of Circle vs. the NHS – why NHS and private providers do not compete on a level playing field CHPI blog by Vivek Kotecha underlines the differences between NHS trusts and private clinical providers. He notes that:
    "Circle Nottingham made a profit before tax of £2.9m in 2017, a 5.3% margin on £55m of revenue, and has been running the centre for eleven years."
    However he does not point out that Circle as a whole has never made a profit: its private hospitals lose money and are heavily dependent on NHS-funded patients.
    Vivek goes on to correctly argue that:
    "the financial performance of an NHS hospital trust cannot be usefully compared with that of a private provider because they are very different organisations. Competition and tendering rules may call for measuring the financial strength of different bidders, but ignore important differences between them."
    One important error in an otherwise useful article is to claim Virgin "successfully sued" CCGs in Surrey, while in fact the company secured a £2m out of court settlement as the CCGs caved in.

  • Big tobacco, the new politics, and the threat to public health With several Tory leadership contenders sympathetic to its ideology, the Institute of Economic Affairs is closer to power than it has been for decades. In an exclusive investigation in the BMJ, freelance journalist Jonathan Gornall reveals how the organisation is funded by British American Tobacco and has links with senior conservative ministers, and warns:
    "After orchestrating a series of attacks on public health initiatives, the IEA may now hold the key to No 10."

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