Over 80 NHS supporters crammed into the Walton Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre to watch the film SELL OFF and hear our panel of speakers, which included the ex-CEO of Ashford and St Peter's, a Junior Doctor from the Royal Marsden and Dr Bob Gill, who stars in the film. This was one of our best events and we hope that those who attended will have been angered and inspired enough to get active with Save Our Services and help us defend our public services. Pictures below.
As usual, our steering committee was positive and action-focussed.
Confirmed speakers on the panel for our film showing and discussion next Thursday at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre in Walton are Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, a Junior Doctor and Cancer specialist working at the Royal Marsden - see her promoting the sequel to SELL OFF here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab4fyqCKStE
Dr Bob Gill, a GP and health campaigner (who appears throughout the film) and Stephen Fash (ex-Chief Executive of Ashford ad St Peter's Hospital Trust) who is campaigning to save the Blanche Heriot Unit at St Peter's. Matt Clarke (SOSiS Chair, will preside)
Tickets are still available (although half the seats have been sold) at just £5 each at the box office:
Put Tuesday 26th September at 1pm in your diaries. We will be lobbying the SCC Cabinet before presenting our 2,500 signature petition to save Spelthorne's fire services. More nearer the date.
Notes from the meeting
Attendees - Helen Couchman, Paul Couchman, Liz Mansfield, Steve Trafford, Jon Button, Roger Bowen, Fiona Corr, Veena Siva and Karen Lyons.
Apologies from Matt Clarke, Thelma Snelgrove, Ginny Eaton, Iain Raymond and Mick Dawson.
SOSiS have been busy during July. Since our emergency NHS meeting in Staines in June we have attended the national demonstration in London on 1st July called by the People's Assembly Against Austerity. We marched with the Truth About Zane contingent, reaffirming our support for the family's campaign for truth.
We then spent all day Sunday 2nd July at the Staines Fire Station Open Day collecting signatures on the petition to save Spelthorne's fire services from cuts. We now have over 1,200 online and almost 2,000 written signatures to hand in to SCC. Closing date is mid-august so please sign if you haven't already.
On 5th July, we supported Surrey UNISON members collecting signatures on a giant birthday card to the NHS from the TUC and Health Campaigns Together at St Peters Hospital in the morning and then at the NW Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) AGM in Woking in the afternoon.
On 14th July we supported the UNISON lobby of SCC Adults and Health Select Committee over the proposed cuts in health services in Surrey.
Our next meeting will be another public showing of the film 'Sell Off' about the cuts, closures and privatisation of the NHS. A venue is being sought in Spelthorne for a showing at the end of August. Watch this space.
Photos and reports from all the above activities have been posted on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/SOSinSurrey/ and on the Surrey UNISON FB page https://www.facebook.com/SurreyUNISON/.
We will also post a selection here.
Just a brief update from our emergency meeting last night (called in repsonse to threatened cuts to key services within Ashford and St Peters Hospitals.
This was a good meeting, called at short notice. Representatives of the Labour, Green, Socialist and Lib Dem parties were present, along with a representative from Ashford North Residents Association and concerned local residents.
There was a long discussion around proposed local NHS cuts and how they link in to national cuts, closures and privatisation as part of the Susainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) aiming to cut £22billion from health services by 2020.
Under fairly immediate threat are:
* the Blanche Heriot (genito-urinary and sexual health) Unit at St Peters - a petition to save the unit can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/keep-blanche-heriot-unit-at-st-peter-s-hospital-open
* the childrens neurological unit at Ashford Hospital (supporting nearly 2,000 local children with autism, ADHD and other neurological conditions). The service is due to close and be reprovisioned in August.
It was agreed to support two events for now, with the possibility of calling emergency meetings or protests where necessary:
Friday 14 July - UNISON lobby of Surrey County Council public health scrutiny group meeting (Adults and Health Select Committee) at 9.30am (meeting starts at 10am), County Hall, Kingston KT1 2DN.
To Be Arranged - a showing of the film 'Sell Off', produced by concerned NHS professionals warning that the NHS we know and love may not make it to its 70th birthday next year due to cuts, closures and privatisation. You can also view the film on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ultKvnw2h3Q
If you use facebook you can like our FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/SOSinSurrey/
We also have a Spelthorne Residents Against Austerity FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1956682377952141/
Trade Unionists wanting to hear about the growing fightback against austerity can come to the National Shop Stewards Network conference on 1st July: http://shopstewards.net/activate/events/
For those interested - there is also a meeting of the North West Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group where questions can be asked about local services.
NORTH WEST SURREY CLINICAL COMMISSIONING GROUP
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The North West Surrey CCG will hold its Annual General Meeting at the HG Wells Centre, Church Street East, Woking GU21 8EW on Wednesday 5 July 2017 between 12.30 and 3.00 pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend to hear about the work of the CCG, its achievements in 2016-17, the annual accounts and plans for the financial year.
Tea, coffee and light refreshments will be available from 12.30 pm and there will be a wide range of information displays to view in the marketplace.
For more information and to register to attend please phone on 01372 232463 or emailComms@nwsurreyccg.nhs.uk
Secretary, Save Our Services in Surrey
This week could see a remarkable change in society or it may end with a promise of more of the same cuts, closures and privatisation we have seen over the past few years.
It was against this backdrop that we held our 2017 AGM and showed the film 'SELL OFF' on 30 May about the wholesale destruction and sell off of our beloved health services. This was a well attended, lively and optimistic meeting which ended by pledging to redouble our efforts to protect the public services we need and cherish.
Please see attached brief notes from the meeting.
Next date for your diary (apart from voting on Thursday): 14th July at 9.30am - the Public Sector trade union UNISON have called for a Lobby of the Surrey County Council Adults and Public Health Select Committee at County Hall in Kingston over proposed cuts to public health services and social care through the STP programme. More details soon.
The petition to save the Blanche Heriot Unit at St Peter's Hospital can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/keep-blanche-heriot-unit-at-st-peter-s-hospital-open
If you have not signed the petition against cuts in Spelthorne Fire and Rescue Service please do so here by 4 July. This will be discussed at the SCC Cabinet on 18th July: https://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/SaveFireService/
A report from this meeting will appear here soon.
Tuesday 30th May
7.30pm at the Maybury Centre, Board School Road, Woking.
1) Apologies for absence
2) Minutes from the last AGM - to agree and discuss any matters arising
3) Showing of the film - SELL OFF
Your NHS has been quietly transformed into a business ready for corporate takeover and conversion to the American private insurance model. 'Sell-Off' exposes the two decade covert privatisation which has occurred without public mandate and against the public interest
4) Dr Bob Gill (who appears in the film) will answer questions
5) Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and consideration over supporting a UNISON lobby of Surrey County Council Health Scrutiny Board on 14th July
6) Reports and updates from SOSIS officers and any updates from trade unions/community groups
8) Any Other Business
Blanche Heriot Unit at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey has been serving the people of North Surrey for 25 years but is now threatened with closure. The Unit provides services in sexual health, HIV and other areas of genito-urinary medicine with some 15,000 attendances in 2016. These include patients with other health issues such as vulva/genital dermatology, cancer and pre-cancer and chronic pelvic pain. In addition to the clinics held at the Blanche Heriot Unit itself, clinics are held every week in 5 local prisons and at Royal Holloway, University of London. The Blanche Heriot Unit also provides inpatient HIV services at St Peter’s and works closely with the neonatal unit.
The Blanche Heriot Unit is currently run by Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust but is now caught up in a contract jointly commissioned by Surrey County Council and NHS England for sexual health and HIV services in Surrey. There was only one bidder for this contract - Central & North West London NHS Trust (CNWL). CNWL have committed to run the Surrey contract at a saving of £2million per annum over 3 years. CNWL have indicated that they will not be retaining services at the Blanche Heriot Unit but have given no indication as to how these services will be provided elsewhere to the same high standard and level of accessibility. The contract was due to start on 1 April 2017 but CNWL have already run into problems in the “mobilisation” stage causing Surrey County Council to extend the existing services at the Blanche Heriot Unit by six months.
However this is only a temporary reprieve. The Unit, and the services it provides, remain under threat. The decision makers in this process have not engaged with, or consulted, the patients who depend on the Blanche Heriot Unit.
This is your opportunity to ensure that the patient voice is heard. Sign & share the petition. Write to your MP. Make the case for the Blanche Heriot Unit and its dedicated, expert staff to continue to serve the people of North Surrey.
If you would like to get more involved with the campaign contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support.
Click here to sign their petition
Just a brief update on activities and an appeal to all candidates in the forthcoming County Council elections.
We will be holding another street stall on Saturday 22 April in Staines from 11am till 1pm. We will be campaigning against fire service cuts and in defence of the NHS.
We have affiliated to Health Campaigns Together (HCT) and will be looking at coordinating local activities with their national campaigns. Saturday July 1st is a date to put in your diaries as a national day of action in support of Our NHS. You can find out more about HCT here: http://www.healthcampaignstogether.com - including how you can get your union branch or tenants association to affiliate.
Given the recent announcement regarding Shepperton Health Centre, we may decide to arrange a meeting or protest around this issue too. See more here: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/shepperton-health-centre-at-risk-12801474
We have made contact with the Keep Our St Helier Hospital campaign and may well arrange some joint activities with them: https://koshh.org
Last but not least, Dr Bob Gill (high profile doctor campaigning against cuts and privatisation in the NHS) will be coming to our AGM in Woking on the evening of 30th May to talk about his film "Sell Off", which we will be showing at the event. We would really like a large turnout for this so please put 30th May in your diaries, tell your friends and colleagues - particularly those who work in, or who care passionately about, the NHS.
I have a copy of the DVD and I am happy to come and show it at trade union branches, clubs, tenants associations etc. It is only an hour long and is a real eye opener. Just let me know.
County Council election Candidates - please have a look at our election charter - http://www.sosis.org.uk/our-charter.html. If you agree with the 10 points listed and promise not to support any cuts to jobs, services, pay or terms and conditions of staff if elected, please let me know and I will add your name as a signatory. Please include your full name, the party for whom you are standing and the electoral district you are standing in.
SOSiS are planning to be active throughout the election period (we have a number of activists who are candidates for a range of parties - Labour, Greens and TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) but we campaign together against the cuts.
This is where we will try to publish anti-cuts news we receive