Public Minutes of Meeting – Tues 13th February 2018

19.00. Friends Meeting House, 5 Lansdowne Road, Bedford MK40 2BY

Hands off Bedford Hospital has formed an alliance with activists from Milton Keynes and Luton and Dunstable to form an umbrella group called Hands off Our NHS – Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes

These are the minutes from the 1st meeting


Rosie Newbigging (RN) (Chair); Graham Tranquada (GT); Mary Lester (ML); Paul Williams (PW); Richard Hillyer; Jenny Feneley (JF); Vince Charles (VC);

Chris Coppock (CC) (mins.); Christine Davies; Kevin Vickers; Katelyn Burns


Jim Thakoordin; Markus Keaney

Bedford – L&D now an “acquisition” not “merger”.  Most high-risk patients channeled to L&D. There is concern that the full business case is not available even to Scrutiny Committee, only a 36 page summary (read our review here).  Full version has gone to NHSI (NHS Improvement, formerly Monitor). An FOI request for the full Business Case was submitted following the meeting

CC will draft media release on the FoI request.

We will contact friendly Scrutiny Committee councillors: PW for Steve Coventry (MK); VC for David Agbley and Tom Shaw (Luton). GT for Jade Oko (Bedford). PW will contact PPCs Hannah O’Neill (MK South) and Charlynne Pullen (MK North)

RN will contact James Taylor, Sec., Luton Labour Group, to canvass support for campaign and opposition to STP/ACO

Suggestion: a public photo-call of Scrutiny councillors—one from each council—to keep issue live

Putnoe Walk-in Centre has 6-month reprieve—then replaced with Urgent Treatment Centre located at Bedford Hospital + promise of extended GP access.  But parking at BH very limited, and GP practices will substitute lower-qualified staff.

Goldington Liberal Democrats are calling a public meeting/issuing leaflet.  Putnoe WIC is a test-case for consultation on ACO: RN is in touch re possible Judicial Review over lack of consultation.  There are 6,000 addresses from petition (discussion whether these can be used) – following meeting it was found that we cannot access the email addresses but we can contact via the petition, this maybe for a limited time now that petition has closed

Agreed to arrange a public meeting to discuss Putnoe Walk-in Centre, considering engaging other speakers on STP topic

Noted: Info: ACS now called “Integrated Care System”. Concern about continual re-branding—meant to mislead

We will use term “ACS/ICS” where relevant

Group to agree group aims circulated by RN

Campaign name agreed: “Hands Off Our NHS – Bedfordshire, Luton & Milton Keynes”

JF and CC will draft logo designs

Agreed we must “get out the bubble” i.e. mainstream the campaign in public awareness – social media, traditional media

We will support People’s Assembly rally “Jobs, Homes, Health” in MK, Sat 28th April—and take our banner. KV to lead

On day of national NHS demo, Sat 30th June, we will hold marches through local towns to rail stations, combining for photo-call with those leaving for national demo

We will hold a “birthday party” at 17.30 outside Bedford Hospital with cake, balloons, presents for children in pediatrics, etc. ML to lead

CC will look at re-designing the leaflet to increase font-size and if possible slim text

CC reminded we should obtain plenty of mass-produced placards before any public event to ensure a strong visual impact

We will compile a list of groups (incl. community, tenants’, pensioners’, TUs) to contact: PW in MK, GT in Bedford, VC in Luton

PW will investigate a commemorative pillar at MK Rose for the 70th birthday

GC will investigate NHS-theming the Trades Council stall at Bedford River Festival, 14-15 July

Next meeting date 12/03/2018