Saturday, March 05, 2011

Lewisham Keep Our NHS Public - meeting this Thursday

A new group has been formed locally to campaign against changes to the National Health Service:

'We recently formed Lewisham Keep Our NHS Public as a local branch of the national campaign (see ). KONP is a broad based, non party aligned campaigning organisation that seeks to defend the NHS as a publicly owned and publicly provided service that stays true to the founding principles of the NHS as a service that is equitable, comprehensive and free. The NHS is under threat, as never before , from Andrew Lansley's Health and Social Care Bill which aims to transform the NHS into a competitive market where "any willing provider" can bid against NHS organisations to provide health services, allowing the for-profit private sector to take over large swathes of our health service'.

They are having a public meeting this Thursday, March 10 (7:30pm - 9:30pm) at the Saville Centre, 436 Lewisham High St, SE13 with speakers including John Lister of London Health Emergency; Dr Jackie Davis, co-chair NHS Consultants@ federation and Doris Smith, chair of Lewisham Pensioner's Forum. The aim of the meeting is both to inform people about the threat to the NHS and to plan actions as part of the growing campaign against the bill.

1 comment:

Tamsin said...

Hope this is not too political for this site, but it does follow on from the event publicised here.

It was a good and inspiring meeting. Two of the advertised speakers could not attend due to illness (you can't address a public meeting with laryngitis) but their place was ably taken by Professor Wendy Savage who is one of the people who started KONP over five years ago. She went through a methodical presentation of all that is wrong with the Bill.

To summarise points on the next steps of action to be taken:

1) Sign Petitions
2) Write to one’s MP – there are letters formulated for those of each party, pulling them up on earlier statements and manifesto pledges.
3) E-mail the Scrutiny committee by no later than the end of the month as the Bill goes through Committee stage.
4) Use your contacts – spread the word to friends and relatives using the modern media. Opposition can snowball in this way.
5) Attend the Lobby of the BMA Special Representatives’ Meeting at 9.15 on Tuesday 15th March in the Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street. They need to come out in opposition to the bill at national level (the London Region, I gather, has voted against it but that is not enough).
6) Attend the meeting called by SOSLewishamHealth in the Ladywell Leisure Centre on the evening of 17th March to make your views very clearly known to our MPs
7) Sign up to Lewisham KONP (as well as the Forum “Save our NHS” group that you are already with otherwise you wouldn’t be getting this e-mail) to strengthen their hand and be kept directly informed of what action is being taken. That can be done by e-mailing

Part of what was discussed has already happened in that saving the NHS is the next issue taken up by the website 38 degrees. Again, this is something that can be spread to friends and relatives throughout the country as it is a National issue that is in question here.

There is also a local nhs issue currently out to consultation - whether UHL goes for Foundation Trust Status. There is a meeting in the Saville Centre (SE13 6LJ) tomorrow afternoon (1.30 to 3pm) called by the long-established "Save Our NHS" group of Lewisham Pensioners Forum which Joy Ellery and Tim Higginson, Director of Knowledge and Communications and CEO respectively, will be attending to give a presentation on this step and take comments and questions.

(Time to lobby the BMA and then come back to Lewisham for this!)