Health Campaigners want answers – SWKONP, COVKONP, NWKONP Petition hand-over to councillors November 7th 2018

Our local KONP groups (SWKONP, COVKONP and NWKONP) handed in our petition, with 1,425 signatures, to Coventry City and Warwickshire County Council councillors, Cllr. Kamran Caan and Cllr. Les Caborn yesterday. Cllrs. Helen Adkins and John Holland joined us, and Helen produced an instant press release, to which I have added today:

Health Campaigners want answers

Petition hand-over to Cllrs. Caan and Caborn 7th November.

Wednesday November 7th, campaigners ‘Warwickshire and Coventry Keep our NHS Public’, joined by Councillors John Holland and Helen Adkins, handed a petition, signed by 1,425 members of the public, to The Chairs of Coventry City and Warwickshire County Council Health and Wellbeing Boards, Cllrs Kamran Caan and Les Caborn. The petition wants full transparency about plans for local Health and Social Care services, including how the planned ‘savings’ (cuts) announced in 2016 of £267 million from the NHS will be implemented.

Professor Anna Pollert, Chair of South Warwickshire KONP, says:

The public is still being kept in the dark, and wants no more vague jargon and secrecy by the STP planners. The petition says it all: ‘We call on our elected representatives involved in the Coventry and Warwickshire ‘Better Health, Better Care, Better Value’ (formerly ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ – STP) to require Andy Hardy (STP lead) to respond to our petition handed to him on the 11th September 2017 requesting him to publish full details of the financial, workforce and site plans of the STP’.


Autumn Budget 2018 October 29th – Adult social care in England needs at least £1.5 billion more per year (King’s Fund) but only getting £650m; two billion pounds for mental health is part of £20 billion promised and not new money and not enough.

King’s Fund

Responding to today’s Budget, Richard Murray, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The social care system cannot continue to get by on last-minute, piecemeal funding announcements. Adult social care in England needs at least £1.5 billion more per year simply to cope with demand, meaning that the funding announced today – which will also need to cover children’s social care – falls far short. This highlights the need for a long-term plan for how social care will be funded and structured so that it can meet increasing demand. Successive governments have dodged tough decisions on social care and the forthcoming Green Paper must now ensure social care gets the long-term plan it so desperately needs.

‘Two billion pounds for mental health confirms the early signals that this would be a key priority for the forthcoming NHS long-term plan. But years of underfunding have taken their toll and this is no more than a small step on the road to parity of esteem. Mental health services need more than money to meet demand. A chronic shortage of mental health staff means that, despite the new funding, the service won’t improve until the government and the NHS provide a plan to increase the workforce.’


Patients’ Association“A Budget that tells patients nothing”

Responding to today’s Budget, Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said:

“The Chancellor had several key questions to answer at this Budget, so that patients could understand how he would be ensuring the health and care system has the resources it needs. Instead, he has produced a Budget that tells patients nothing.

“We already knew that he had committed to five more years of below-trend growth in the NHS’s funding. But we had not yet heard what the equivalent settlement would be for vital NHS functions outside the so-called ‘front line’ ring fence, such as public health, workforce training and capital investment.

“We also wanted to hear how he would address the ever-deepening crisis in social care. And finally, how would he pay for these essential services?

“Impressively, the Chancellor failed to answer a single one of those questions.

“We now know that essential NHS functions supposedly not part of the ‘front line’ will get no new funding ahead of the 2019 spending review, when the NHS will have to make its case. In the meantime, those budgets will be falling yet again for next year. This will make it much harder to reverse ongoing slippages in the NHS’s service standards.

“There was another emergency cash top-up for social care – £650 million, split between adults’ and children’s services, against an estimated funding gap for adult social care of £1.5 billion. With the green paper finally expected next month, we hope this is the last time we will have to comment on such inadequate, short-termist tinkering in response to such a fundamental long-term challenge. People who are going without the social care they need today will not be able to rely on this injustice being put right as a result of today’s announcement.

“While the sums all add up, the Chancellor again missed an opportunity to be frank with the public about the need to fund essential services properly. If we want high quality health and social care we will have to pay for it, and eventually the Government will have to mobilise a meaningful chunk of our national wealth through taxation, rather than relying on a range of small measures and unexpected tax windfalls, as the Chancellor seems to have done today.”

The ‘Independent’ (Oct 31 2018) Budget 2018: Extra £650m for social care a sticking plaster that ‘only just staves off collapse’, experts warn

Experts have criticised the government for again failing to tackle reform of care for the elderly with £650m in the Autumn Budget but no explanation of how it will be made sustainable longer term.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the funding for 2019/20 will be available to local authorities to support older people and adults with long term disabilities.

This is the area where underfunding has heaped pressure on the NHS as cuts have made it more likely people will get seriously ill, and harder to send them home after they are in hospital.

Experts said the funding would “only just stave off total collapse” as councils require £2.35bn next year to cope with care for the rise in older people with complex care needs amid shrinking budgets. However the final Budget 2018 report makes clear that only £240m of the new money is earmarked for adults, and councils are free to spend around two-thirds of the funds (£410m) on children’s care services.

Mr Hammond also warned there will be “difficult choices” on reforming social care longer term, but these will not not happen until the next spending review, as a Green Paper promised earlier this year has already been delayed once.

The chancellor said: “We will shortly publish our Green Paper on the future of social care, setting out the choices, some of them difficult – for making our social care system sustainable into the future.

“But I recognise the immediate pressures local authorities face in respect of social care. So today, building on the £240m for social care winter pressures announced earlier this month, I will make available a further £650m of grant funding for English authorities for 2019/20.”

There was also £45m for facilities for people with disabilities, to help them live independently, and £84m for child social care.

The bulk of the health and social care funding announcement was made in the summer when Theresa May pledged a £20bn increase in funding for the NHS over the next five years.  Of this, £2bn will be earmarked to improve young people’s mental health and ensure crisis teams at every A&E, Mr Hammond said.

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said £650m may “prop up the broken social care system”, but “only just staves off total collapse”.

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said it was “positive to see a step in the right direction” and the new money would help older and disabled people – as well as the NHS.

“However,” he added, “this is still far short of the £2.35bn that ADASS identified would be needed for social care to stand still in 2019/20; councils have been struggling with funding shortfalls for years.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the chancellor had delivered a “broken promises budget” which does nothing to address the damage of eight years of austerity. He warned that the country’s deficit had only been brought down at the expense of the NHS and other public services which now routinely report they will not meet their financial or performance targets.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation Niall Dickson said: “Social care remains the Achilles’ heel – it has been consistently underfunded, neglected and unloved by politicians over many years and the extra funding announced today – again welcome –  is clearly inadequate.

“What we needed was support to get the system back on its feet but what we have is yet another sticking plaster.

“This means we will struggle on for another year. We hope that the social care green paper is not further delayed: this has huge implications for both health and social care and most importantly for the people who need these crucial services.”

EMIS surveys 300k GP patients on NHS privatisation and paying to skip queue

PulseToday 8th October 2018

EXCLUSIVE NHS IT system provider EMIS Health has sent out a survey to 300,000 GP patients asking whether they would consider paying to see their GP more quickly.

In a survey that was sent out earlier this week to patients, EMIS also asks whether patients would like to see the NHS privatised.

The survey was sent from Patient Access – EMIS Health’s website that allows patients to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and view their medical records – without the involvement of GP practices.

It also requests patients’ personal information including age, residence and household income.

An email sent alongside the 79-question EMIS survey says its purpose is to ‘understand our users and their attitudes towards healthcare, so we can keep improving the tools and services we provide’.

The email, seen by Pulse, also said EMIS is looking for ‘as many of our users as possible’ to complete the survey.

Meanwhile the survey also asks whether patients have ‘heard of any of the following online healthcare services’, before listing providers including GP at Hand and their direct competitors Evergreen and My GP.

Babylon’s GP at Hand has caused continued concern amoung GPs, with RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard most recently saying the service could create a ‘two-tiered’ health service.

Hampshire GP Dr Neil Bhatia, who runs a website that helps patients to understand data sharing, told Pulse the survey is attempting ‘to maintain [EMIS’s] registered users … and/or to somehow attract people to register with them preferentially’.

He added: ‘If I was answering the survey, I would be very concerned with what Patient Access intend to do with all this information provided by me, and whether this was going to be passed on to a third party.’

GP Survival chair Dr Alan Woodall added that he is ‘very concerned at the ramifications’ of the survey.

He said: ‘This recent marketing survey ran by EMIS, which mentions services such as Babylon, seems to be a way to determine brand penetration of some online providers.

‘While the data may be anonymised, it will no doubt deep mine their age, geographical location, income and preparedness for exploitation by private online consultation services.

He added: ‘I find that ethically dubious at best, not in the spirit of patient sign up, and hope that NHS IT commissioners and the ICO look carefully at this situation.’

When asked why patients were questioned on NHS privatisation and co-payments, Jason Keane, chief executive of Patient Platform Limited, which runs Patient Access, said: ‘This survey is part of ongoing work by Patient Access to understand more about our users and their attitudes to healthcare, to enable us to better serve them.’

He added: ‘The survey was sent to around 300,000 users of Patient Access who opted in to receive communications including surveys.

‘We have had a high and positive response rate from them. The results are confidential, and the survey was funded by Patient Platform Limited, which operates Patient Access as part of EMIS Group.’

The survey asks patients whether they are ‘in favour of the privatisation of NHS services’, allowing them to explain their answer.

It then asks: ‘Would you be interested in a service that for a small fixed monthly fee (under £10) allows you to avoid long waiting lists for medical consultations, diagnoses and treatments?’

This comes after leading doctors rejected calls for the BMA to consider charging patients for GP appointments in order to fund the NHS at this year’s Annual Representative Meeting.

Read Article

GPs have said the survey is ‘ethically dubious’ in determining patients’ ‘preparedness for exploitation’ by private providers.

NHS staff vacancies rise nearly 10% in three months amid unfolding ‘national emergency’

‘Independent’ 11th September 2018.

Report shows Brexit upheaval and ill-considered immigration policies have contributed to a spiralling vacancy rates.

Staff vacancies in the NHS have increased nearly 10 per cent in just three months, as experts warned of an unfolding “national emergency” with nearly 108,000 jobs unfilled.

Official data from the first three months of 2018/19 released by watchdog NHS Improvement have laid bare the parlous state of the NHS with winter just months away.

Vacancies rose by 9,268, from 98,475 in March 2018 to 107,743 in June, meaning one role in 11 is vacant. This is despite national and international recruitment campaigns to attract key health workers.

Experts said issues have been made worse by a “botched Brexit” and government immigration policies which mean health workers have no certainty over visas and UK-trained doctors have had their careers put in jeopardy.

Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at the King’s Fund think tank, said the figures show the NHS is heading for another “tough winter”, adding: “Widespread and growing nursing shortages now risk becoming a national emergency and are symptomatic of a long-term failure in workforce planning, which has been exacerbated by the impact of Brexit and short-sighted immigration policies.”

There were 11,576 vacant doctors posts and 41,722 unfilled nursing jobs in English trusts – with the biggest nursing gaps (14.8 per cent of posts) in London where cost of living makes recruitment even harder.

The number of nursing vacancies rose by 5,928 (17 per cent) in three months and the Royal College of Nursing said the government should immediately investigate the sudden rise.

Read more

NHS hospitals warn of lack of preparation for winter as figures reveal next year will be ‘tougher than ever’

‘Independent’ October 12th 2018

Healthcare bosses say funding intended to add capacity has already been spent dealing with record summer demand.

The NHS is set to face an “even tougher winter” than the record-breaking crisis it weathered less than 10 months ago, as hospital bosses warn of staff and funding shortages.

Despite the government claiming the health service was “better prepared than ever” last year, ambulance queues tripled, there were fewer beds available and doctors wrote to Theresa May warning of patients “dying prematurely” in corridors.

Hospital leaders said the major issues of workforce, funding and social care remain unresolved, and figures released on Thursday show how an unprecedented summer heatwave has left no time to tackle the significant backlog in operations.

Theresa May has pledged an extra £20bn for the NHS by 2023 but this will not start to plug gaps until April 2019.

Meanwhile, hospital heads told The Independent funds usually held in reserve to add capacity in winter were already used up, or useless because there was no one to work.

“All the money for winter has been spent managing this summer,” one trust director from the northwest of England, who did not wish to be identified, told The Independent.

“The demand is basically constant all year round now, if you look at the figures, so there are no ‘extra’ beds because they’ve all been kept open.”

Another director, from a hospital in Greater Manchester, said that although they had around 70 beds on wards they could use to boost capacity, they would have no one to safely staff them because of more than 100 vacant nursing roles.

“The reality on the ground is that we are seeing huge workforce gaps,” Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health service trusts, told The Independent.

“The gap has gotten bigger [in the past year] but whether it’s growing or shrinking is immaterial because the gaps are there and demand is only going one way”

Read more

ACOs (Accountable Care Organisations) – now ‘Integrated Care Providers’ Contract. What all this new jargon is about and how to oppose it.

ACOs (Accountable Care Organisations) – now ‘Integrated Care Providers’ Contract.

What all this new jargon is about and how to oppose it.

Integrated Care Providers

The Government likes to bury its plans to defund, break-up and privatise the NHS in jargon. KONP are producing a series of videos to help you understand what’s going on…

NHS England is consulting on the contract for a new model of health and social care provision that threatens the break-up of the NHS into units run by less accountable ‘Integrated Care Providers’ – or ‘ICPs’. Each of these ‘business units’ would control spend and rationing of healthcare for populations of up to 500,000. These huge contracts will be eminently open to the private sector to compete for.

The ICPs will deliver the dangerous new restructuring plans of government which could see fragments of the NHS managed by non-NHS, non-statutory and therefore less accountable bodies. They are the embodiment of government plans to disperse the NHS and its staff, drive down public funding, promote private contracts and put cost limits and profit before patient safety.

Integrated Care Provider contracts:

·       Dis-integrate the NHS

·       Give control to non-NHS bodies potentially beyond scrutiny

·       Threaten public accountability

·       Hand over control to these non-NHS bodies for 10-15 years

·       Manage multi-billion-pound contracts for blocks of 500,000 population

·       Open the door to private companies winning these contracts.

Please watch the video above and share on social media to help spread the word about the Government’s deliberate and insidious privatisation plans.
You can also visit our website and our Facebook Page for more information, videos and links.
For a written explanation of ICPs and what the represent for the NHS please read and share thisbriefing by HCT co-chair and KONP campaigner Louise Irvine.

How can you help?

Along with our friends at We Own It and Health Campaigns Together we have created a petition calling on the Government to;

a) Abandon the Integrated Care Provider contract model.

b) Guarantee that any Integrated Care Provider organisations will be statutory organisations i.e. NHS bodies, not private providers.

c) Focus health improvement efforts on pressing the government for:

o   Sufficient funding and staffing for health and social care.

o   Social care to be brought into public provision, free at point of use o   Legislation to end the failed NHS contracting system and to renationalise the NHS: the only sound basis for service integration.


NHS England have launched a 12 week consultation on contracting arrangements for Integrated Care Providers.

You can read the full consultation document here
Please let them know what you think by submitting a response before the consultation closes on the 26 October. You can do this online. 
HCT have created a document of a sample response in case you wish to take some guidance from KONP and HCTs position.
You can also see a comprehensive written response to the proposed changes from the JR4NHS team who, along with the late Stephen Hawking, took Jeremy Hunt and ACOs to Judicial Review this year.

Share the KONP video, HCT and KONP briefing and the JR4NHS response to the NHSE consultation around your networks and on social media.

Please help spread the word about what these ‘Integrated Care Providers’ really represent; A new model of health and social care provision that could see multi billion pound contracts handed over to the private sector.

We have also written a post for the KONP website detailing some more steps you may want to take in joining the campaign to stop ICPs.


Say No to Sell-Off of Mental Health Premises


We’ll be holding our Saturday Stall outside Leamington Town Hall, Saturday October 6th, 11am – 1pm, leafleting to:


While holding the SWKONP stall, we’ll also demonstrate outside Leamington Town Hall.

We need as many people as possible between 11am and 1pm, and especially at 12.30pm – for a big group show of strength (and photo). Please bring placards. Everyone welcome.


Please sign the Change Org. petition to Chief Executive, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust. Please circulate to friends, family and colleagues, post to Facebook, Twitter etc.