Meeting 12th March 2018
Vince chaired the meeting. Many thanks to Luton Labour Parties for venue and Jim for refreshments.
1. Apologies: Rob Oakley, Jenny Feneley and Adrian Colburn (Bedford). Paul Williams, Gail Hawks, Christina Sosseh, John Pinkerton and Chris Coppock (MK). Markus Keaney and Des Billington (Luton).
Present: Rosie Newbigging, Graham Tranquada and Gary Lloyd (Bedford). Sue Easson (S W Beds). Kevin Vickers, Katelyn Burns, Richard Hillyer, Christine Davies and Anne Williams (MK). Vince Charles, Jim Thakoordin and Geoff Webb (Luton).
2. Latest developments/intelligence sharing:
There is a Joint Health Overview Scrunity Committee on 26 March at 4pm at Luton Town Hall. Please attend if you can.
i) Action: Agreed that those attending from Hands Off should ask the Committee should be asked to hold their meetings in the evenings so that more people can attend.
Takeover of Bedford Hospital by the L&D has been delayed due to financial issues. David Carter will be the CEO of the ‘merged’ trust following a short recruitment process.
Jeremy Hunt came to L&D and Bedford at very short bnotice. Hunt is due to come back again. Agreed we need to be ready to demonstrate at any further visits.
Agreed that we need to contact all Labour councillors on the 4 partner local authorities to establish if they will oppose the STP/Integrated Care System/ACO.
Action: Jim to draft a letter which can be sent to Labour councillors at all authorities asking if they will oppose ICS/ACO/STP and support Hands Off Our NHS – BLMK.
Kevin advised that MK Labour group has agreed to oppose the STP/ICS/ACO.
ii) Action: Vince to research other councils who have opposed or withdrawn from STPs.
3. Campaign updates:
* Public meeting on 22/3 at 7pm at Putnoe Heights Church to oppose closure of Putnoe Walk in centre. Speakers include Cllr Jade Uko (cllr for Goldington where centre is based), Steve Carne from 999 Call for the NHS, hopefully a local GP and Beds Clinical Commissioning Group will be invited. 6,000 have signed the petition opposing the closure and they have been emailed about the meeting. Press release will go out and promotion on social media.
Rosie advised that Crowd Justice had put her in touch with Selman Ansari from Bindmans law firm. Selman advised that a ‘letter before action’ setting out the CCG’s failure to formally consult on the closure, with the evidence base for keeping the centre open, was worth considering. This would cost around £5k at least. One of the objectives of the public meeting will be to test out whether people attending would help with crowd funding.
* MK Peoples’ Assembly Against Austerity: March and rally on 28/4/18 12-2pm with speakers. Kevin will circulate publicity.
* Bedford Trades Council International Workers’ day event on 5/5/18 at 7.30pm at Ent Shed, Gordon Arms, Castle Road, Bedford. Mohammad Yasin MP for Bedford, Julian Vaughan who was Labour PPC for NE Beds and Rosie Newbigging will be speakers. Rob Johnson, singer, will perform.
* 30 June – marches from the 3 local hospitals to respective train stations to then assemble as Hands Off Our NHS – BLMK to join national demo in London. Demo is aiming for 1 million people.
* 5 July – 70th Anniversary of the NHS: Tea party planned at Bedford Hospital with presents for the paediatric wards. Suggestion that L&D and MK campaigners do something similar. Momentum Bedford and County are planning an open air rally for later on in the evening on 5 July.
4) Focus on media and social media:
Vince had submitted Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to see full business case of ‘merger’ of L&D and Bedford. No reply received. Agreed that a press release stating no response had been received should be circulated.
Vince confirmed that he is happy to be one of the media spokespeople.
i) Action: Chris Coppock to prepare press release on failure of L&D to respond to request within 20 working days.
ii) Action: Vince to also submit FOI request to NHS Improvement.
iii) Action: Kevin to arrange photo of supportive councillors on Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee and also make short films of the cllrs talking about their views on the STP/ICS.
5) Actions arising from Feb meeting not already covered/outstanding:
i) Action: Vince to send Jim a model resolution to promote through Trades Council and local Labour Party.
Rosie had contacted James Taylor (secretary of Luton Labour Group) and suggested a motion proposing that ‘This Labour group opposes the STP/ACO/ICS in BLMK and resolves to fully support the aims of Hands Off our NHS – BLMK (with the aims set out in the motion).
ii) Action: Chris C to circulate amended leaflet.
iii) Action: Chris and Jenny to liaise on campaign logo.
iv) Action: Jim to email Chris Coppock contact details for local journalists in Luton.
v) Action: Paul, Graham and Vince (with Jim and Tom Shaw’s help) to compile lists of local community organisations, tenants’ associations and pensioners groups. Rosie advised that she is speaking about the campaign at a regional pensioners’ meeting on 19 March.
vi) Action: Rosie to affiliate Hands Off our NHS – BLMK to the national group – Health Campaigns Together.
Gary is getting bank account set up with Triodos – ethical bank. Agreed that Gary, Sue and Vince would be signatories.
vii) Action: Kevin to see if Christina Sosseh would be prepared to be a media spokesperson as well.
viii) Action: Kevin to contact Mary re filming Mary reading her poetry.
ix) Action: Jenny to put everyone’s contact details on mailchimp for future emails. All to check email addresses on this email and advise Jenny if anyone’s email address needs to be added.
6) Date of next meeting: Thursday 12 April, Wolverton Working Men’s Club: Kevin to book room.
Agreed meetings will be held on the 2nd Thursday of every month.
7) AOB: Vince reported on changes to mental health talking therapies in Luton. From 1/4/18, Turning Point will provide the service but the service will only be for low level intervention and will not be appropriate for people with severe mental health problems/complex needs. 50% of IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) are for people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Also Turning Point have a single union recognition arrangement and only recognise Unite which means that Unison members aren’t recognised.
i) Action: Vince to check the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines on IAPT.
Milton Keynes Trades Council: Kevin has good contacts with a range of local Trade Union activists.
ii) Action: Jim, Graham and Kevin to liaise on launching MK Trades Council