KONPNE campaign news – photos, videos, updates, media articles – from January 2020 to NOW
(For KONPNE Campaign activity for the ten years 2010 to December 2019, click here)
21st September 2022 – Questions in Northumberland
NHS campaigners in the North East are putting formal questions to seven North East councils to determine their stance on the new “Integrated Care System” – given that the ICSs are under instruction from NHS England, our local Councillors are our representatives regarding this new programme, and we need to ensure that they are accountable in standing up for our NHS.
Scroll down on this page for our contacts with Durham, Sunderland, and Newcastle Councils, and to read about a DISGRACEFUL response from North Tyneside Council.
Today, though, we faced Northumberland County Council in a…. pre-meeting meeting?? Unusually, Public Question Time for Northumberland County Council takes place immediately before the full Council meeting – it is not part of the formal full County Council meeting AND, unlike the full County Council meeting, there is no live stream…. It will be interesting to learn from the Council as to why they have decided to manage public questions in this way as it does appear to minimise the importance of public questions, reduces accessibility and accountability, and may serve to decrease local democracy. We feel that Northumberland County Council would do well to follow the example of the other six city / borough / county Councils in the North East by scheduling questions from the public as an integral part of the full Council meeting.
Moving on to our question at this rather random “pre-meeting meeting”…..Many thanks to KONPNE supporter Ed Bober from Morpeth, who put the following question to the Council:
“What is Northumberland County Council doing to promote local participation and scrutiny of decision-making by Integrated Care Systems and to ensure that the Integrated Care Systems do not permit private sector representatives to participate in decision making on its board, committees, or other bodies with delegated powers?”
Given that it was a pre-meeting meeting, there is no official video record from Northumberland County Council and, unless we have missed it, there appears to be no link to public questions and responses on the Council website….. the record of the proceedings is all….. very… vague. Rest assured that our question did definitely happen!! …and there was definitely a response!! We have asked for a written copy of the Council response, and also details as to where public questions and responses may be viewed. Fortunately, a KONPNE supporter in the public gallery made a video, and this is posted here.
Read our commentary on the Northumberland meeting PLUS…… How does your Council shape up…….? Click here to read about our questions to seven full Council meetings across the region this year….
Ist September 2022 – KONPNE speaks
Our monthly meeting tonight – and much discussed; click here to read the notes from the meeting.
Meetings always take place on the first Thursday of the month at 7pm via Zoom – please join us on 6th October. Everyone is welcome. More information about the meeting and the Zoom link is here.
31st August 2022 – Help with our admin, monitoring and scrutiny
> Research the “North East and North Cumbria ICS” strategy / operational policy / aims
4th August 2022 – Monthly KONPNE meeting
Another lively Campaign discussion and planning meeting this evening – notes from the meeting are here – these are open and available for all to read.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 1st September 2022 – always the first Thursday of the month at 7pm . All are welcome, and more information is here
3rd August 2022 – Email to Chair of Health and Wellbeing Board, North Tyneside Council
Given the three shameful “responses” (if you can call them that) from North Tyneside Council (see 22nd July 2022, below), KONPNE has today emailed Cllr Karen Clark, Chair of North Tyneside Health and Wellbeing Board, regarding our original question which, to date, has remained unanswered. We have also copied in all North Tyneside Councillors, and have provided details about our concerns. We will update all of our supporters when a reply is received.
22nd July 2022 – Three unsatisfactory responses from North Tyneside Council – KONPNE members are following this up
North Tyneside Council, democracy and the NHS – is there anyone at home? Or is it all smoke and mirrors?
On 11th July 2022, KONPNE submitted a question to North Tyneside Council, for their response at the full Council meeting scheduled for 21st July 2022. This followed Council protocols around transparency and accountability. Our question to the Council centred around the new “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System”, which is now responsible for making decisions about treatments and commissioning health services in this geographical area – there are huge concerns about the ICS and the impact on local democracy and the further privatisation of the NHS.
NOT ONLY (1) have North Tyneside Council seen fit to disallow, without reason, our question at the July 2022 Council Meeting (see below, scroll to 14th July), AND (2) have totally ignored our subsequent request that this decision be reconsidered (click here – we are still awaiting a reply) …. BUT ALSO (3) they have now followed this up with a totally inadequate and disturbing written response.
Whilst we expected a considered reply to our question about the Integrated Care System (ICS) from a Councillor, one of our elected representatives, instead we have received an anonymous “response” from the NT Council HQ at Silverlink. Forwarded to us by a Personal Assistant to the Director of Children’s and Adult Services, it would be good to know who actually wrote this response, as it does appear to reflect a copy and paste job from the ICS website, coupled with a reluctance to respond to (or attempt to side-step) our actual questions, and ending with what appears to be a very disturbing total disregard for the future of our NHS.
There are only 4 Local Authority representatives on the Integrated Care Board (ICB), despite the ICS covering 14 Local Authorities across North Cumbria and the North East – and 3 of these reps are unelected Council Officers…..so much for democracy? The response received from North Tyneside Council gives the impression that there is absolutely nothing amiss. We believe that representation at this level is important, as the ICB has ultimate authority regarding all future health contracts across the region, and sets the tone and direction of travel. It is also important to note that the ICB comprises people appointed by the Chair (who is, himself, appointed by NHS England) and, so, our one Councillor is the one and only elected representative of 3 million people across North Cumbria and the North East – we hope that s/he factors in some time for sleep at night. Obviously, tokenism springs to mind. We believe that the ICB should include a Councillor from each Local Authority, not just one representative covering all 14 Local Authorities.
And, of course, our fundamental concern is around the ongoing insidious privatisation of our NHS. It is totally unacceptable to read the dismissive statement in the final paragraph from North Tyneside Council that it will “continue to use its influence to ensure that contracts are awarded to providers who will deliver the best services to the residents of the borough”. There is NOTHING in the NT Council response to confirm the Councils commitment to a publicly-funded and publicly provided NHS. The North East and North Cumbria ICS Constitution should include a clear commitment that NHS providers be the default providers of health services, care and treatment and, as contracts with private sector companies come up for renewal, the default position is that they be awarded to NHS providers. We believe that our Councils and Councillors need to be clear in their support for this stance.
Our original questions remain unanswered by North Tyneside Council:
What is North Tyneside Council doing to promote local participation and scrutiny of decision-making by the ICS and to ensure that the ICS does not permit private sector representatives to participate in decision making on its board, committees, or other bodies with delegated powers?
What will North Tyneside Council do to encourage the ICS to end the outsourcing and privatisation of NHS services?
Our original statement and question to North Tyneside Council is here and the North Tyneside Council response is here. We believe that the Councils response is shameful and we are, of course, following this up. We will keep you informed.
More information about “Integrated Care Systems”, private sector involvement, the composition of the Board, our Campaign so far, and about “North East and North Cumbria ICS” in particular is here.
18th July 2022 – Message received – loud and clear
We need the new “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” signed up to the pledge – no private companies on ICS Boards. Members of KONPNE were pleased to join in with the “We Own It” initiative and, in total, a HUGE 1,562 people (1,501 by electronic letter and 61 in writing) across the NE and Cumbria contacted the Chair of the new Board to demand the pledge: NO PRIVATE COMPANIES ON ICS BOARDS.
The message was received loud and clear by Sir Liam Donaldson, Chair of the Board, who recently left a message on their new ICS website – click here
The message makes interesting reading, but no absolute assurance – there is a “let-out clause”….
and scroll to Part 10 to read more about our huge concerns about the composition of the ICS Board, and specifically about the let out clause. This is a fundamental issue, and a principle is at stake – the ICS is now responsible for commissioning all healthcare in our region.
A start has been made. A huge number of people in the North East and Cumbria now know about this issue, hundreds have contacted the ICS about it, and NENC ICS know that we are closely scrutinising their operational structures and decision-making processes. There is absolutely no place for private sector healthcare on ICS Boards and Committees.
14th July 2022 – North Tyneside Councillors in hiding??
Given all the difficulties associated with the “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System”, we submitted a question on 12th July 2022 for the North Tyneside Council meeting scheduled for 21st July – but received an email response from the Council on 13th July 2022, stating that our question was not accepted for the Council meeting and will be referred to Council officers for a response.
“The Chair of Council considered your question for the Council meeting 21 July 2022 and decided that it be referred to officers to respond to you directly. Your question will NOT be considered at the meeting next week”.
Strange…. but true. Of course, we have immediately emailed the Council on 14th July for more information about this decision. We feel that it is our democratic right to put questions to our elected representatives at a full Council meeting, and we await their response. We will keep you updated.
In the interim, click here to read our VERY REASONABLE and APPROPRIATE question to North Tyneside Council, and click here for information about ICSs. BTW, North Tyneside Council please note: Durham, Sunderland and Newcastle Councils have all provided responses to our questions…. scroll down to 6th July and 22nd June.
11th July 2022 – NHS; Rain AND shine
A message to poet Harry Gallagher and musician JohnE Thornton: A person at the “Keep Our NHS Public” rally at the Monument in Newcastle upon Tyne on Sat 2nd July says that you were both superb. Unfortunately she couldn’t shelter in a shop doorway when the heavens opened during the poetry set BUT, out of respect, she just stood there and got soaked. She said when she walked away her clothes were slapping against her. She was meeting her daughter in a café for lunch and, before that, she needed to go and buy £50 worth of new DRY clothes. Fandom can be expensive!!
KONPNE: To the person at the Rally – it is GREAT that you were there…..and stayed!! KEEP IN TOUCH – We need to KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC, rain AND shine….
Harry and JohnE – as always – THANKYOU
FULL REPORT on the Rally?? Scroll down to 2nd July!!
9th July 2022 – Durham Miners Gala
The Durham Miners Gala returned after a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2022 Gala was dedicated to all key workers – carers and bus drivers, delivery workers and nurses, shop staff and teachers, everyone who had risked (and still are risking) their lives to keep society functioning throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Over the past five Gala’s, supporters of KONPNE have distributed KONP leaflets and Health Campaigns Together newspapers across the site and helped at the Health Campaigns Together stall, and this year was no exception. Although it was baking hot in the marquee, one of the happy perks of campaigning by the side of the stall was that it proved to be a focal point for all our NHS friends and supporters – local and from across the country – and also a place to make connections with people who, we know, we will work together with in the future…. here’s to the future….!
Holly Johnston, a nurse and member of the GMB Union, spoke to the Gala crowds. Holly has been a nurse for 18 years and is currently a nursing sister at a cancer hospital. She nursed cancer patients during the pandemic and she, herself, was hospitalised after she contracted Covid. She continues to suffer the effects of long Covid, and is still unable to return to her previous full-time hours. “I am extremely proud of the work all key workers do. It is people like us who have kept the country going, but we are now facing attacks on our conditions. There has never been a more important time to join a trade union. We must use our collective power to force change” – Holly Johnston.
7th July 2022 – KONPNE meeting
Monthly campaign meeting for KONPNE – always the first Thursday of the month @ 7pm….
The notes from this meeting are here – these are open, and available for all to read!!
The next meeting will take place on Thursday 4th August at 7pm – ALL WELCOME!
Further information and Zoom codes are here
6th July 2022 – Formal question at full City Council meeting – Newcastle
Further to our report below (22nd June 2022), NHS campaigner and Newcastle resident Clare Bethell continued KONPNE’s planned sequence of putting formal questions to seven Councils in the North East. The aim is to determine each Councils stance on the new North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (NENC ICS), which is responsible for commissioning all health care in the region, as from 1st July 2022. We have massive concerns about this new system – see our webpage here.
Clare put the following question to Newcastle City Council at tonights full council meeting:
“I speak on behalf of “Keep Our NHS Public North East”.
Further to the deeply flawed Health and Care Act 2022, “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” is responsible for commissioning all healthcare for the City of Newcastle upon Tyne from 1st July this year. There are potentially a number of problematic areas associated with the new Integrated Care System, and some of these difficulties may be addressed and remedied locally through attention to the wording of the Constitution of the new ” North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board”.
Issues that need to be clearly stated within the Constitution include
– the ICS commitment to maintain a comprehensive health service, free at the point of need, and accessible to all residing in the area
– the need to exclude representatives from private sector organisations on any ICS board or committee
– a commitment that NHS providers are the default providers of health services
– vigorous scrutiny, transparency and accountability with all new contracts
– a commitment that anyone who needs emergency care while present in Newcastle will receive the necessary treatment, whether or not they are registered with a GP in the area
– a commitment that the Integrated Care Board will include a Councillor from each local authority and representatives from the range of health professionals and patient groups; this will uphold local democracy and transparency
– a commitment to hold all meetings of Boards and Committees in public, making papers available, and welcoming questions from the public
– the requirement for the full assessment of health and care needs, and availability of social supports, prior to a patients discharge from hospital
– the need for all NHS providers within the area to adhere to nationally agreed pay, terms and conditions, as negotiated with NHS staff Unions
I would be grateful if you would please outline what Newcastle City Council is doing to promote these issues when in contact with officers of the Integrated Care System, and please confirm that Newcastle City Council upholds the principle that the NHS must be comprehensive, universal and free at the point of use and based on the clinical needs of patients – not on the new Integrated Care Boards financial considerations.”
Councillor Karen Kilgour, Deputy Leader of the Council, replied on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Councillor Kilgour confirmed that the Council has a role to play regarding the ICS, but no power to set commitments on behalf of the ICS. She confirmed that Newcastle City Council does have some influence as to how the ICS evolves, and have suggested amendments to the Constitution of the new ICS. She confirmed opposition to any privatisation of the NHS and charging of any form, and confirmed that the move to the ICS won’t change peoples right to treatment in the city – people in the city who need emergency treatment will be able to access it, regardless of address. Councillor Kilgour stated how she has raised many issues and concerns regarding the ICS via the Local Government Association, and will continue to do so.
Clare Bethell, KONPNE campaigner, concluded her question with the following statement:
“We are aware that plans from NHS England outline a much-reduced Councillor and public involvement in decision-making regarding our future health services. This is a huge cause of concern as this does, of course, lead to a direct reduction in local democracy. This situation is both appalling and a disgrace. Please know that we, as Newcastle residents, want a publicly-funded and publicly-provided NHS, and that we support and expect our Councillors to stand up, to ask awkward questions, and to fight to protect our NHS. As from yesterday, we have all benefitted from 74 years of public healthcare – and we need our Councillors, now, to play your part in ensuring that the NHS remains for future generations. Thank you.”
KONPNE awaits Councillor Kilgours above response in writing, and will link her response in full here. The meeting was livestreamed, and this may be viewed on Youtube here (go to minute 18.16 in the bottom right hand corner of the Youtube screen). To reiterate: “KONPNE supports and expects our Councillors to stand up, to ask awkward questions, and to fight to protect our NHS.”
2nd July 2022 – Morpeth celebrates and protests
Excellent joint work by KONP / Morpeth and Pegswood Labour Party Branch – a great joint team action, out and about in Morpeth to celebrate 74 years of NHS healthcare – and to protest some of the key features of the new “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” (NENC ICS). This new body is now responsible for all health commissioning in the region and, yes, not many people had heard about it….
There was an excellent response from the Morpeth public – all leaflets went, the NHS birthday card was covered in messages, and many people scanned the poster/board’s QR codes and sent emails on the spot to the Chair of the new NENC ICS. Unsurprisingly, many people were outraged. It’s OUR NHS. It is not, as yet, totally privatised – but this new ICS holds many dangers.
For info about “Integrated Care Systems” – go to our ICS page here
Does your party or group want to get involved / need a speaker at your Zoom / require more information??? Contact KONPNE at firstname.lastname@example.org
2nd July 2022 – The Integrated (?) Care (?) System (?) commences in the North East and Cumbria
Yesterday saw the start of the deeply flawed and curiously named “Integrated Care System” – it is a sad day that we now no longer have a “National Health Service” but, instead, 42 localised and stand-alone “health systems”….. together with their much baggage and many, many problems – see here
North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System is now responsible for commissioning all healthcare across the region – a “development” which is hugely significant but one which is not widely known nor reported on.
So…to inform and enlighten…health campaigners and community organisations took it upon themselves and were out in force in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, to get across HUGE concerns. Hosted by “Keep Our NHS Public North East”, we thank speakers from a wide range of community organisations – Dr Helen Groom (Patients Not Passports), John Harrison (Disabled People Against Cuts), Sean Fahey (North East Pensioners Association), Angela Robinson (NHS Nurse – retired), Caitlin Southern (North East Peoples Assembly), Dr Gerard Reissmann (Newcastle GP – retired), Jan Shortt (General Secretary, National Pensioners Convention) and Jude Letham (Keep Our NHS Public North East). Watch this space and our social media for quotations and resumes of the speeches. Many thanks, one and all.
North East Poet Harry Gallagher was, of course, greeted very warmly. His book “Northern Lights” is a love letter to the people of the North, a region often buffeted and battered by stormy conditions – this new “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” being no exception. Harry Gallagher, the People’s Poet, engaged the crowd with his dry humour, brutal honesty, and passionate conviction...and, starting and ending the rally, we were also very fortunate to welcome musician JohnE Thornton. JohnE has worked in the NHS for 10 years, and is now well-known on the Newcastle and coastal scene for the music gigs he hosts and plays in. Many, many thanks to both Harry and JohnE.
We mustn’t forget that Tuesday next week marks 74 years of healthcare from our NHS. There is no celebratory gateau this year…we reckon 42 separately baked, cut-price cupcakes would be a more accurate motif….but that menu can be changed. Please sign the petition, email the Chair of the ICS, liaise with your local Councillor, contact your MP, link up with your Healthwatch, get involved in our actions and speak up – we need to fight to reinstate our NHS.
….and, so, it is now over to all people living and working in the NE to get involved with the Campaign and to continue the fight in this region. Click here for details of the Integrated Care System….and please be active – click here to find details about our forthcoming Campaigns.
If you want an NHS, you need to be an NHS activist.
26th June 2022 – HUGE CONCERNS: KONPNE contacts Chair of NE Integrated Care System
There are, of course, HUGE concerns regarding the curiously-named “Integrated Care System” – a misnomer, if ever there was one.
It is a sad day indeed that there is no longer a unified national health service but, rather, a collection of 42 separate health divisions across England, each responsible for making decisions about treatments and commissioning services for their geographical area. “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” (NENC ICS) is now responsible, as from 1st July this year, for the healthcare in the North East.
to read todays email from Jude Letham (KONPNE Co-ordinator) to Sir Liam Donaldson (Chair of NENC ICS), with cc to Sam Allen (Chief Exec, NENC ICS)
for our ICS webpage. It is crucial that we all stand up for the NHS regarding this.
22nd June 2022 – Formal questions to two full Council meetings – Durham and Sunderland
North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (NENC ICS) is responsible for commissioning all health care in the region, from 1st July 2022. We have massive concerns about this new system – see our webpage here.
NHS campaigners in the North East are putting formal questions to seven North East councils to determine each Councils stance on this development – given that the ICSs are under instruction from NHS England, our local Councillors are our representatives regarding this new programme, and we need to ensure that they are accountable in standing up for our NHS.
We started off with Durham County Council this morning, and also Sunderland City Council this afternoon.
KONPNE campaigner Dr Lawrence Welch presented the following to Durham County Council – click here for the Council papers and the link to watch the stream via youtube.
“I speak on behalf of “Keep Our NHS Public North East”.
Further to the Health and Care Act 2022, “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” will be responsible for commissioning all healthcare for County Durham from the beginning of July this year, and I am aware that plans from NHS England outline a much-reduced Councillor and public involvement in decision-making regarding our future health services.
Please outline what Durham County Council is doing to promote local participation and scrutiny regarding decision-making, and please confirm that Durham County Council upholds the principle that the NHS must be comprehensive, universal and free at the point of use and based on the clinical needs of patients – not on the new Integrated Care Boards financial considerations”.
The audio quality on the IT livestream was very poor (on our laptop, at least), so we wait until receipt of the Council minutes to see the exact response…but we were able to make out that the Council claims that they are working towards enabling as much commissioning and resources as possible at the County Durham level, were engaged with the Integrated Care System at a County level, and were also involved in an Integrated Care Plan with South Tyneside, Sunderland and the ICS. The person speaking on behalf of Durham County Council concluded that they are “engaged positively with the ICS”.
Laura Murrell, Secretary of Sunderland and District KONP submitted the following question to Sunderland City Council – click here for the Council papers and here for the link to to the live stream
“The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” (NENC ICS) will be responsible for commissioning all healthcare for Sunderland from the 1st July 2022.
I believe it will result in a much-reduced involvement by councillors and the public in decision-making regarding our future health services. However, private companies can be members of the ICS Board and its other bodies, so they will be able to participate in decisions about how the ICS budget is spent and what services will be delivered to whom and by whom, increasing their influence and making it more likely that they will provide NHS services.
Please could you explain what Sunderland City Council is doing to promote local participation and scrutiny regarding decision-making by the ICS; to ensure that the ICS does not permit private sector representatives to participate in decision making on its board, committees or other bodies with delegated powers; and what it can do to encourage the ICS to end the outsourcing and privatisation of NHS services.”
A response was made by Councillor Kelly Chequer, on behalf of Sunderland City Council. Councillor Chequer confirmed that there will be no private sector representation on the Integrated Care System Board in this region and that there are, indeed, seats for four local government representatives. Involvement in local decision-making and health scrutiny are in place, as is involvement with the regional Integrated Care Partnership with Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham. Councillor Chequer confirmed that she has written to Sam Allen (CEO of North East and North Cumbria ICS) to confirm the need for a genuine involvement in healthcare planning.
….. so, there is much for Councillors (and Campaigners) to follow up on. We await the verbatim responses from the two Councillors, and will report on these and link these here. There are, of course, huge outstanding issues and concerns regarding the new “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” – see here – and it is crucial that Durham, Sunderland and all North East Councils engage with the ICS and fight to retain the NHS.
Great work by KONPNE campaigner and Durham resident Dr Lawrence Welch, and by NHS campaigner Laura Murrell, Secretary of Sunderland and District KONP.
>> Next up is KONPNE campaigner and Newcastle resident Clare Bethell who plans to present a question to Newcastle City Council on Wednesday 6th July at 6pm – Clare and the KONPNE team are in the process of formulating the question and will let you know when this has been accepted. Watch this space.
18th June 2022 – Who’s NHS? OUR NHS
KONPNE and thousands make it clear to Johnson et al… It’s OUR NHS and we NEED to keep it PUBLIC. Proud to support the TUC Demo in London yesterday
The Guardian (18th June 2022) Thousands march in London over cost of living crisis
The Guardian (18th June 2022) ‘It’s awful actually’: voices from the cost of living protest in London
Royal College of Midwives (17th June 2022) Midwives rally to the cause and demand better for workers in mass London protest
11th June 2022 – Campaigning by Metro
PROUD TO STAND UP FOR THE NHS on the WE OWN IT day of action on Saturday. IT IS OUR NHS – not big business / American corporations / multinationals with shareholders….. Tyneside campaigners travelled the Metro with stops at Whitley Bay, North Shields and Byker….and gaining many more signatures for the email to the Chair of “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” (the body now responsible for health contracts in the NE). We need to keep private corporations away from NHS Boards.
HAVE YOU SIGNED?????? NOT TOO LATE – CLICK ON OUR “INTEGRATED CARE SYSTEM” PAGE HERE AND SCROLL TO ACTION 2 ….. IT WILL TAKE YOU 2 MINUTES!!!!
6th June 2022 – Demanding Better; Join the Fightback
Many thanks to Peoples Assembly North East for inviting KONPNE to speak at the public meeting this evening. alongside John Harrison (Disabled people Against Cuts), Fran Heathcote (Public and Commercial Services Union) and John Woodhouse (Communication Workers Union).
Solidarity. NO to cuts and privatisation.
Peoples Assembly is one of our longstanding campaign partners, and does a great job in encouraging joint actions amongst organisations in the North East.
2nd June 2022 – KONPNE meeting
Monthly campaign meeting for KONPNE – always the first Thursday of the month @ 7pm….
Please click here for the notes from this meeting – these are open, and available for all to read.
The next meeting will take place on Thursday 7th July at 7pm – ALL WELCOME!
Further information and Zoom codes are here
14th May 2022 – Shut Hassockfield Down
It’s time we made the UK a welcoming, supportive and kind place that welcomes those who are forcibly displaced, no matter where they come from. No one chooses to be a refugee. The health needs of refugees can be considerable, given recent trauma, displacement and separation, and places such as Hassockfield serve to intensify symptoms. It is time the Government abolishes its hostile policies, and closing immigration prisons like these is the first step in doing so.
It was important for supporters of KONPNE to be present today and to stand in solidarity with many other groups and individuals against this abhorrent facility.
Mary Kelly Foy, MP for the City of Durham: “I am fundamentally opposed to the detention of vulnerable refugees. Instead of this dehumanising process, I echo the call of human rights activists that asylum claims should be resolved in the community without the trauma of detention.”
Agnes Tanoh, “Women for Refugee Women”, started a petition against the new detention centre that has now been signed by over 16,700 people. She said: “I know how detention destroys a woman, because I was locked up for over three months at Yarl’s Wood detention centre, before the Government accepted that I am a refugee. I witnessed the suffering of vulnerable women while I was there. The Government promised to reduce its use of detention because of the harm it causes, but they broke this promise by opening Derwentside detention centre – the first one to open in over seven years. Protest is an act of solidarity. Together we have one strong and loud voice”.
CLICK HERE for the No to Hassockfield Campaign, HERE for the report in the Northern Echo, HERE for the video from Rochelle, and HERE for our NHS and Migration website page
12th May 2022 – KONPNE speaks
It is always good to catch up with like-minded people at our monthly KONPNE campaign meeting. The agenda tonight comprised information and planning around a huge range of NHS-related issues. One thing is for sure – we are never stuck for issues to talk about. Please click here for the notes from our meeting – including updates on Hassockfield protest, Durham Gala, TUC march and rally, local groups, petitions, questions to local councils, Integrated Care Systems, and more….
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 2nd June – all welcome, and please click here for details.
23rd April 2022 – Three questions to put to candidates in the forthcoming Council elections
At this time of the year, we can guess who’s there….
Here’s three key questions to put to prospective Councillors – or, indeed, all Councillors even if they are not facing an election this year….and if there is no knock on the door, please click here for email addresses of current Councillors….
WE NEED COUNCILLORS WHO ARE ACTIVE IN PROTECTING OUR NHS!!
a) What will you do to encourage local NHS commissioning services to keep healthcare within the NHS? (Over the last decade, £96 billion has been paid to private companies for NHS services – privatisation puts profits before patients).
b) How will you work to increase democracy in local health structures? (The Health and Care Bill reduces the contributions of councillors and local people on NHS decision-making bodies)
c) What are you doing to fight for fair pay for all NHS staff? (The current pay offer of 3% is derisory and unacceptable. It is not surprising that there are 100,000 vacancies in the NHS – an average nurse in the UK has lost 20% of income over the past 10 years)
….and please let us know responses at email@example.com – thank you!
20th April 2022 – Order NOW!!
𝐍𝐇𝐒 𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐑 𝐒𝐈𝐄𝐆𝐄 The fight to save it in the age of Covid – Edited by John Lister (Health Campaigns Together) and Jacky Davis (KONP), with a foreword by Michael Rosen….
14th April 2022 – “Rebuild Our NHS” Campaign – out and about in Wallsend and Tynemouth
Further to the KONPNE Campaign meeting last week, today saw our first leafletting session of the “Rebuild Our NHS” campaign. We made a very good start in Wallsend town centre and in Tynemouth – and the challenge now is for much further distribution, far and wide. We need your help.
Please click here to order free leaflets from “We Own It” – these will be posted to your address, for you to deliver to houses in your street or locality, or for you to distribute via an organisational street stall, etc.
You can read up on the background to ICSs on our website here and remember: If we don’t fight to protect our NHS, we will always lose. But if we fight we have a chance of winning.
14th April 2022 – Socialist Health Association
Great to be invited to speak at tonights SHA North East meeting, alongside Coral Jones from London. Much discussion and many ideas generated regarding possible ways forward, especially with regard to challenging some of the issues associated with the proposed Integrated Care System. It will be great to carry out further Campaign work together in the future.
7th April 2022 – Monthly KONPNE campaign meeting
Discussions and planning regarding the “We Own It” Rebuild Our NHS campaign, Integrated Care Systems, asking questions at forthcoming Full Council meetings, Livi, digital access to health, Hassockfield and TUC demonstrations, and the start of a KONPNE activists WhatsApp group = a busy meeting. The notes from this meeting are here – these are open and available for all to read.
Our next monthly meeting will take place on Thursday 12th May at 7pm via Zoom – this is a week later than usual due to the local elections. Please join with us – all welcome. Further information about this meeting and details for joining via Zoom is here.
2nd April 2022 – Cost of Living March and Rally, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Today’s Cost of Living Crisis demonstrations is the fourth in a series of protests organised by the People’s Assembly, and supported by trade unions, community, and campaign groups, including KONPNE. As the Tories’ cost of living crisis continues, we continue to protest.
We must not let the Tory government make us pay for their Cost Of Living Crisis – collectively we must continue to fight back and force the changes we need.
Crucial that we join forces to keep up the pressure on the government.
Many thanks to North East Peoples Assembly for organising. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the report in the Chronicle here
24th March 2022 – Rebuild Our NHS; Get Private Profiteers Out
Great that John Whalley, KONPNE Steering Group member, was invited to speak as one of the panellists at the national launch of the new “We Own It” Campaign. Rebuild our NHS is one of the most ambitious campaigns ever launched by WOI, and will enable unprecedented pressure to be placed on local NHS leaders to kick private companies out of local NHS bodies and put local people first.
Locally, this Campaign will involve supporting people in the North East and North Cumbria to send 3000 emails to the chair of the “North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System” (ICS) + leafletting + newspaper and radio coverage. The same actions will also take place, regionally, with regard to the other 41 ICSs across England.
At the national launch rally this evening, NHS campaigners from across the country spoke about why action on the local level is effective. Pamela Sloan who helped stop the closure of a local A&E in Chorley reminded us: “mosquitoes are tiny, but together they can run a mighty buffalo mad”. Len Hockey, a Unite workplace rep, spoke about how they won their fight to get Serco-employed hospital workers in London insourced into the NHS just last month. Mike Forster and Louise Irvine spoke about how they won fights in Huddersfield (West Yorkshire) and in Lewisham (South East London) respectively, to save their local hospitals. Speaking about health campaigning in the North East, John Whalley highlighted the recent successful “SOS NHS” day of action; the event, at Longsands, Tynemouth, centred around raising public awareness and engagement, and involved speakers, local musicians, poets and public participation in a “sand sculpture” – this beach event was a “first” for KONPNE….
KONPNE will be prioritising the Rebuild Our NHS Campaign over the next few weeks. To get involved immediately, please use this link https://weownit.org.uk/find-my-nhs then add your postcode and send the prepared email to the ICS chair….and please share this link with your family, friends, colleagues and contacts on your social media too. KONPNE will also be arranging some local events to get this message out to the public – we will let you know places and times.
9th March 2022 – Surfing in North Tyneside?
Moving away from Longsands to a very different kind of surfing….North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group has recently commissioned Northumbria University to carry out a survey relating to residents access to digital technology. The researchers comment that “we want to gather as much information on digital technology use to inform a digital plan for North Tyneside. This information will also be used to help to shape how people access future services. When referring to digital technology, we mean the devices used to access the internet, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers, smart speakers, etc.”
Whilst there is a place for digital technology in public services, it is crucial that quality of healthcare is not undermined. The prolonged underfunding of the NHS, staff shortages, and the ongoing cuts to services, coupled with the Covid pandemic, have all impacted on the NHS, and the increased use of digital technology must not be used as an inadequate quick-fix. Nor must it be used as a backdoor for increased NHS privatisation. We are aware that, in early 2020, the very same North Tyneside CCG awarded the private company “Livi” an initial contract to carry out virtual consultations in Primary Care. This company has very recently been given a 5 year contract, and all is undoubtedly part of a very slippery privatisation slope: Livi claims to be Europe’s largest digital healthcare provider – see here.
So, North Tyneside residents, please fill out the survey at the following link: https://northumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/resident-survey
Question 34 is freetext, and supporters of KONPNE have recorded their huge concern about the health inequalities that may be heightened through increased digital technology (some patients can’t use such technology, or can’t afford to use it), the decreased continuity of care brought about through virtual consultations with private health companies, and the misdiagnoses (symptoms are more accurately assessed at a face-to-face consultation). And, of course, the reality that many digital healthcare platforms are underpinned by finance from private companies, all eager to placate the shareholder… Other supporters may wish to highlight these and other important issues.
5th March 2022 – We Won’t Pay for the Crisis
Many thanks to North East Peoples Assembly for inviting KONPNE to speak at today’s Cost of Living Crisis Rally in Newcastle – inflation and rising prices are squeezing wages with no pay rise in sight for healthcare staff, all working tirelessly within services which face relentless cuts or privatisation. This Government does not care.
Speakers included Matt Perry (UCU), Steve Swainston (PCS NEC),Tay Pitman (Green Party), Bill Corcoran (NUFC Fans Food Bank), Tony Dowling (People’s Assembly) and Jude Letham (KONPNE).
Jude Letham, KONPNE Co-ordinator, Cost of Living Crisis Rally in Newcastle, 5th March 2022: “Please do not leave campaigning for the NHS to someone else. If you want an NHS, you must become an NHS campaigner. Start this week: sign the SOS NHS petition, follow KONPNE on social media and talk to family and friends about what is happening to the NHS”
Click here for the news coverage and video from The Chronicle
4th March 2022 – Some excellent news….
KONPNE sends huge congratulations to the striking workers at Barts Hospital who have now won their long fight to be brought back in house. Hundreds of cleaners, porters, security guards and domestic staff are to benefit from NHS pay, terms and conditions – these staff will be transferred across to join the existing Barts Health staff as NHS employees under the Agenda for Change (AfC) conditions – clickherefor info.
Outsourced workers at St George’s Hospital have also won sick pay alongside their NHS colleagues after prolonged pressure from the GMB union too.
The truth is that campaigning works, Government’s and organisations can and often are forced to make U-Turns and are occasionally even pushed from office. Public consciousness can and does frequently shift and arguments are won.
Never give up the fight….
3rd March 2022 – KONPNE speaks
Wide-ranging discussions and planning at tonights meeting – feedback on the “SOS NHS” campaign and actions of last Saturday, updates on the Health and Care Bill and a possible refocus away from the Parliamentary process and onto local “Integrated care Systems”, North Tyneside CCG survey, Patients Not Passports update, discussion around campaign funds, and dates for future speakers and rallies. It’s looking like a busy Spring and Summer ahead! The notes from this meeting are here – open for all to read.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 7th April at 7pm via Zoom – please join with us – all welcome. Further information about this meeting and details for joining via Zoom is here.
28th February 2022 – in todays Chronicle…….
and also on Chronicle Live – click here
26th February 2022 – Proud to stand up for #OURNHS in Newcastle, Tynemouth and Sunderland
(1) Approve emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives this winter
(2) Invest in a fully publicly owned NHS & guarantee free healthcare for future generations
(3) Pay staff properly: without fair pay, staffing shortages will cost lives
Scroll down for reports ⇓
26th February 2022 – “SOS NHS” at Seaburn Beach, Sunderland 3pm
TO #OURNHS, with from Seaburn
Congratulations to all at the KONP Sunderland and District group for this absolutely amazing piece of artwork!!
Created as part of the SOS NHS national Day of Action, this took residents and visitors to Seaburn by surprise, and led to many conversations.
to read the article in the Shields Gazette
26th February 2022 – “SOS NHS” at Longsands, Tynemouth 2.30pm
TO #OURNHS, with from Tynemouth
All Photos with kind permission of Mark Husmann
Part of the SOS NHS national Day of Action (click here for details),
(1) Approve emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives this winter
(2) Invest in a fully publicly owned NHS & guarantee free healthcare for future generations
(3) Pay staff properly: without fair pay, staffing shortages will cost lives
Organised and supported by local residents and by “Keep Our NHS Public North East”, the beach event at Tynemouth was a first for KONPNE!!
A celebration of #OURNHS, but with a very serious message relayed through a mix of superb music, poetry, speeches and a HUGE human sculpture in the sand for #OURNHS….all buffeted by a gentle wind, much sun (especially early on) and a little chill (especially towards the end). Many thanks to all who turned up to make the event so successful…..
**Dr Helen Groom (Retired GP, NHS campaigner and member of the “No to Hassockfield Campaign”) **Julia Charlton (Retired Nurse Tutor / Academic) **message from Gail Ward (Disabled People Against Cuts / Protect Tynedale NHS) **Joe Kirwin (Councillor and chair of North Tyneside health scrutiny committee) **William Jarrett (Unite, Newcastle Hospitals Branch) **message from a GP **Tony Dowling (North East Peoples Assembly) **Sean Fahey (North East Pensioners Association) **Jude Letham (Keep Our NHS Public North East)
**Harry Gallagher – Cullercoats poet. His book “Northern Lights” is a love letter to the people of the North, a region often buffeted and battered by stormy conditions but which in the end always prevails
**Joan Hewitt (Award-winning Tynemouth poet. Joan read a poem by Michael Rosen, whose treatment during a Covid- induced coma and long recovery left him with enormous gratitude to NHS staff.
fantastic acoustic sets:
**Pete Shaw – Artist and singer songwriter, Pete has appeared at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Brampton Live, WOMAD and many other festivals and venues across the UK. He is locally loved for his brilliant guitar- playing , warmth and cheeky humour
**Jimmy Ince – well-known and loved on the northeast music scene for his acoustic versions of standards, recents and rap, all delivered with a highly-individual twist.
and special thanks to:
**Mark Husmann – photographer extraordinaire
**Joan Hewitt – for boundless energy in event planning and organisation
to read the report from Chronicle Online
…..and the curtain falls on Longsands….until another day…..
Read Joan’s guest blog about the poetry at Longsands on our blogpage here
and some quotes and transcriptions of some of the speeches here
This event was one of 85 events taking place across the country today. Click here for the article from National KONP
26th February 2022 – “SOS NHS” at the Monument; 12 noon
All photos with kind permission of Davy Ellis
National Day of Action for the NHS
STAND UP FOR THE NHS: Part of a national Day of Action for the NHS, and co-hosted by NE Peoples Assembly and KONPNE, the “SOS NHS” Rally in Newcastle demanded that the Government
> Approve emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives this winter
> Invest in a fully publicly owned NHS & guarantee free healthcare for future generations
> Pay staff properly: without fair pay, staffing shortages will cost lives
In 2010, after a decade of investment, our NHS was delivering its best-ever performance: after more than a decade of austerity – despite heroic efforts by staff – it has sunk to its worst-ever. The problems were there before the pandemic but have been deepened by the continued high level of Covid infections. We need emergency funds to save lives now.
Our line up of speakers, covering a wide range of health service topics, included**Dr Pam Wortley (Socialist Health Association) **Roger Nettleship (Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign) **message from Gail Ward (Disabled People Against Cuts / Protect Tynedale NHS) **Sean Fahey (North East Pensioners Association) **Grace Dowswell (Psychologists for Social Change) **Dr Helen Groom (Retired GP, NHS campaigner and member of the “No to Hassockfield Campaign”) **Stacey Richardson (NHS Staff Voices, North East Peoples Assembly) **Jude Letham (Keep Our NHS Public North East) **with David McAllister (acoustic guitar and vocals). Many thanks to Tony Dowling (North East Peoples Assembly) for introducing the speakers.
Thank you to all. Events took place all over the country, and it is CRUCIAL we continue to work in a concerted manner to overcome the policies and actions of this regressive Government. More info:https://sosnhs.org
26th February 2022 – Fresh air is free
A busy day ahead….. three events…..
26th Feb 8.30am kicked off bright n chilly with an early-morning leafletting session outside the Labour Party Conference. This took place at the Helix Centre, Newcastle city centre; this futuristic, blue, angular high rise campus opposite St.James Park seems a very impressive environment and is part of Newcastle University but at the end of the day is only bricks and mortar – importantly, its crucial for us to keep the UCU pensions and deteriorating pay and working conditions in sight.
Great to speak with Labour Party members in the queue – many expressed their solidarity – but it would have been even better inside!! KONPNE had asked Labour North for a table inside the venue (to provide information, display posters and chat with delegates regarding health campaigning in the north, the privatisation of services in the region, the Health and Care Bill etc etc) and were quoted £250 !!!…. reduced to £200 on our appeal !!!…. but all totally out of reach for a Campaign group. We made the decision to stand outside for free, have thawed out now, but appeal once again: we are all in this together, we need to join forces and work collaboratively in fighting for #OURNHS and PLEASE, next year, lets share ideas around a table and a coffee?
Great to meet up with our friends in the Socialist Health Association.
26th February 2022 – “SOS NHS” in Gosforth
Wonderful for the NHS to have the continued support of East and West Gosforth Labour Party Branches – Party members leafletted and spread the word about NHS privatisation to people on the busy Gosforth High Street. A BIG THANKYOU to all involved.
And if you care for the NHS, this Campaign belongs to us ALL – KONPNE as an organisation does not align itself with any one specific political party, and we are happy to support all individuals or groups who support a publicly funded and publicly provided NHS and wish to get involved. Please get in touch with us at email@example.com… we are happy to update you on the latest details and point you towards the most appropriate resources.
Many thanks, once again, to all in Gosforth.
25th February 2022 – All sorted for tomorrow…..
Info is here
21st February 2022– Supporting UCU
It is crucial that we step forward to show our respect, support and solidarity with our University and College academics and staff. They are experiencing devastating cuts to pensions and deteriorating pay and working conditions; in healthcare, these people teach and supervise trainee doctors and other health professionals.
This morning, members of “Keep Our NHS Public North East” were proud to support NewcastleUniversity UCU members and also to promote our “SOS NHS” events at both King’s Gate, Newcastle University and outside the main medical building in Framlington Place. Solidarity.
19th February 2022 – 1000 leaflets in one morning….
Joan, Jude and Clare from Keep Our NHS Public North East…..And what a great reception we got this morning giving out leaflets in Whitley Bay and Cullercoats— from cafes, shops, beauty parlours and chemists! One passerby took leaflets from us and did four streets herself!
We asked a family on the seafront to take our photo and a 1 min video on the phone; two turned out to be professional photographers – at the coast for their nonegenarian mum‘s birthday – and passionate about the NHS. Watch this space for their proper photos arriving soon!
See you next Saturday 26th February 2022 2.30pm SOS NHS at Longsands Beach, Tynemouth, near the Grand Hotel. Events also in Newcastle and Sunderland – click here for details….
15th February 2022 – “SOS NHS” gathers force across the NE
KEEP THE DATE: Saturday 26th February 2022. The Day of Action is taking shape across the NE – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to assist with organisation and/or leafletting, before the day or on the day itself.
More info is here
9th February 2022 – Discussions in Consett
Great to be invited by NW Durham CLP to present an update on the Health and Care Bill, which is currently going through Parliament. This Bill, if passed as it stands, marks the end of a national health service, sets up a postcode lottery for care, and will lead to growing health inequalities and increased privatisation. Much discussion and information on ways forward (see here), and many thanks to Andy for arranging.
KONPNE are regularly invited by groups and organisations to present updates on campaigning work for the NHS, and to provide information about ways of getting involved. We are not aligned to any political party, and we are pleased to help out wherever possible – click here for further information, and contact us at email@example.com
3rd February 2022 – KONPNE Zoom
Good discussions and planning at our monthly Campaign meeting – focussing on Livi privatisation in North Tyneside, the Health and Care Bill, campaign activity by KONP Sunderland and District, and the forthcoming SOS NHS National Day of Action. Many thanks to all who attended – it was good to see you. The notes from the meeting are here, and are available for everyone to read – our meetings are open, and all are welcome.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 3rd March (always the first Thursday), at 7pm via Zoom. All are welcome! Click here for more info and joining details.
26th January 2022 – KEEP THE DATE: 26/2/22
(1) Approve emergency funding of £20 billion to save lives this winter
(2) Invest in a fully publicly owned NHS & guarantee free healthcare for future generations
(3) Pay staff properly: without fair pay, staffing shortages will cost lives
The details of local North East events planned by KONPNE will be posted here (if your group or organisation is also planning an event for the Day of Action, please let us know, and we will be pleased to publicise)
17th January 2022 – Contacting the Lords
YOUR ASSISTANCE IS URGENTLY NEEDED.
The Health and Care Bill is currently being debated in the Lords, and we need your help in emailing up to 5 Peers. This is a very straight-forward and quick task. Please go to our page here and scroll to Part 3 for guidance.
We need to stop private companies from sitting on NHS Boards and we need to ensure that NHS Trusts (and not private companies) are the default position when commissioning future services.
Please do all that you can to support this crucial action, and please get your family, friends and all contacts involved….it is not an understatement to say that the future of our NHS lies within this Bill.
Thank you, KONPNE
15th January 2022 – Fight to protect the right to protest
Kill The Bill National Day of Action – Rally at the Monument, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Is there anything more deserving of protest than a plan to infringe the right to protest?
Voting on the Police and Crime Bill takes place in the Lords next week and THIS BILL MUST BE STOPPED. KONPNE were proud to speak at the Kill The Bill Rally in Newcastle today, and many thanks to North East Peoples Assembly, Stand Up to Racism North East, Resist Ncl and Extinction Rebellion North East for organising the event. A great turn out – and, now, we expect our representatives in London to do the right thing by voting to uphold democracy and human rights.
Jude Letham, Co-ordinator, spoke on behalf of KONPNE. Click here to watch (most of) the speech on video, and click here for a written version
Click here for more info about the Police and Crime Bill
KONPNE Co-ordinator Jude Letham speaks at the Kill the Bill Rally, 15th January 2022
6th January 2022 …..And into the New Year
Our first KONPNE meeting of 2022 – and much campaigning to plan and action. Our planning and discussions included **an update on lobbying individual members of the House of Lords re the Health and Care Bill, **the latest developments regarding the Livi privatisation in North Tyneside Primary Care brought about by North Tyneside CCG, **our question to North Tyneside full Council meeting taking place on 20th February, **campaigning work regarding healthcare to refugees, **the online rally “SOS – NHS” hosted by a number of Campaign groups (incl KONP) taking place on 19th February, and the Covid Public Inquiry hosted by national KONP.
Notes and links from this meeting are freely available to all to view, and are here.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 3rd February 2022 at 7pm and ALL ARE WELCOME. Make it your New Year resolution to stand up and fight for the reinstatement of a publicly provided NHS. Your help is needed, and rest assured that you will be made to feel very welcome. Zoom log in information is here.
31st December 2021 – New Years Eve 2021
NEW YEARS EVE: Behind the NHS tinsel and glitter is the reality of life and death – 24/7 operating, assessing, measuring, scanning, recording, medicating, exercising, washing, cleaning, feeding, transporting – and we give our heartfelt thanks to all NHS workers for caring for us in many varied ways over the festive period and throughout the year….
Some say that the NHS is a system or organisation – but we know that it is our friends, relatives, the guy next door, the woman in the cafe and that person up the street who want to do their very best – not “angels” or “heroes”, but people with families and homes who have their own share of happiness and joy and stress and sadness and who, at work, are caring and hardworking professionals who want to make a difference.
Throughout 2022, the Government now need to match this by providing a good working environment – and not running down our services; by ensuring adequate staffing – and not diminishing our workforce; and by paying a fair wage – and not a low wage.
Behind the tinsel and glitter, that is the reality. 2021 has been a long and difficult year, and we give our sincere thanks to all NHS staff. We also thank all KONPNE supporters for their persistence in fighting for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, which is available to all. Thankyou for being part of the team in 2021 – and we’ll be back in the New Year to join forces and to continue the fight. See you then – and wishing all a very happy and healthy New Year
xx Keep our NHS Public North East
24th December 2021 – Festive Greetings!
Thank you very much for all your support this year and our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022
21st December 2021 – KONP contacts Police Commissioner Cressida Dick
Further to the People’s Covid Inquiry earlier this year, Dr Tony O’Sullivan and Dr John Puntis (Co-Chairs of National KONP) have written to Police Commissioner Cressida Dick re Governments gross negligence and misconduct in public office, requesting that she authorises an investigation of the facts from the Inquiry with a view to considering prosecutions. Misconduct in public office is an offence under common law defined as where there is wilful neglect of duty ‘to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder.’ The report also suggests there may be the offence of corporate manslaughter. Click here to read the letter and for further information – and watch this space….
12th December 2021: Further privatisation by North Tyneside CCG
Article in the national newspaper “Health Campaigns Together”, published today
More info is on our website here
9th December 2021: Cartoons received from Awry
Many thanks to cartoonist Awry for the pictorial response to recent goings-on in North Tyneside. It is clear to many people, perhaps with the exception of North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, that North Tyneside CCG should not be wasting taxpayers money by contracting out to international private, profit making healthcare companies with shareholders….and for North Tyneside CCG to describe these predatory private companies as being part of a rosy and cosy “NHS family” is, itself, laughable…. if it wasn’t such an appallingly serious issue.
“North Tyneside CCG, following an evaluation exercise, has extended the Livi pilot contract while it procures a ‘Complementary GP Video Consultation Service’ for North Tyneside”. North Tyneside CCG website (September 2021)
KONPNE disagrees with North Tyneside CCGs warm and glowing portrayal of private providers as being part of a rosy and cosy “NHS family” (North Tyneside CCG: “Livi: Complementary GP Video Consultation Service Pilot Evaluation” page 33). The reality is, of course, very different. We strongly object to the insidious privatisation of the NHS: North Tyneside CCG should not be wasting taxpayers money by contracting out to private, profit making companies with shareholders.
Read more about this issue, our KONPNE response to the CCG commissioning, and national press reporting here
2nd December 2021: Winter in the NE – and the Campaign heats up
Our final KONPNE meeting of the year – but no slowing down…in fact, the Campaign heats up – good to have feedback about initiatives in the North East, and also conversations about our future campaigning regarding “Livi” in North Tyneside, and the Health and Care Bill. The notes from our meeting tonight are here.
No KONPNE social gatherings are taking place this Christmas due to Covid – but our thoughts are with all over the festive period, and as we move into the New Year. And, of course, our Campaigning does not stop. Please click here to find out how you can assist over the Christmas period.
All are welcome to launch our 2022 Campaigning at the 6th January 2022 KONPNE meeting, commencing at 7pm, and lasting for 1 hr 30mins – log in details are here. We meet on the first Thursday of every month.
1st December 2021: Findings of The People’s Covid Inquiry are published
Today, The People’s Covid Inquiry organised by national Keep Our NHS Public presented their final and completed report.
In the absence of a formal public inquiry into the pandemic, The People’s Covid Inquiry began in February 2021, took place over 9 sessions and concluded it’s hearings in the summer. It covered all aspects of the government’s handling of the pandemic and heard testimony from a wide range of people and organisations. These included previous government advisors and key academics, as well as frontline workers and bereaved family members. The Inquiry was chaired by world renowned human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC who, together with a panel of experts, delivered their findings and recommendations on all main aspects of the pandemic to date.
The Full Report and an Executive Summary are on our webpage here
27th November 2021: No stopping the Campaigners from East and West Gosforth
It is always great to get support from local groups and organisations and, today, campaigners from East and West Gosforth Labour Party branches held their usual monthly street stall on Gosforth High Street. In the wake of Storm Arwen, it was decided to do without a table – it would have blown away! The action focused on protecting the NHS from privatisation, and especially the current atrocious Health and Care Bill. Party members gave out a fair number of KONP leaflets, despite the awful weather.
A big THANKYOU to all involved. Whilst individual supporters of KONPNE may have a personal membership of one of the wide range of political groups and organisations, KONPNE as an organisation does not align itself with any one specific political party. We are happy to welcome and work alongside any individual or group who support a publicly funded and publicly provided NHS. A range of leaflets are available for individuals or organisations to buy and distribute (very cheaply, at £9 for 500, or £15 for 1000). Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you as an individual, or with friends, or as a member of your organisation are willing to host a street stall, hand out leaflets or post through the letter boxes in your street… we are happy to update you on the latest details and point you towards the most appropriate resources
6th November 2021: NE England Global Climate Day of Action
Great to join with “Patients Not Passports”, “Medact, health professionals and members of the public at todays march and rally in Newcastle upon Tyne. No doubt about it – climate change is a (life or death) health issue….
Many thanks to the organisers of todays very successful event. Click here for coverage in the Chronicle.
4th November 2021: KONP meets – locally and nationally
Monthly meeting this evening – but much shortened (30 mins) and at an earlier time, so that supporters may attend the national KONP online rally. A brief discussion on plans to support the forthcoming climate change march and rally in Newcastle, plus updates on the campaigns re Livi and the Health and Care Bill.
Notes from the KONPNE meeting this evening are here
A link to the national KONP rally is here – some powerful speeches. Rally hosted by “Keep Our NHS Public”, “NHS Workers Say No” and “NHS Staff Voices”
All are welcome at the 2nd December KONPNE meeting – next month at the usual time of 7pm, and lasting for 1 hr 30mins – log in details are here. We meet on the first Thursday of every month.
2nd November 2021: Freedom of Information request to North Tyneside CCG re “LIVI”
Dear North Tyneside CCG
Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information – NHS North Tyneside CCG
I would be grateful if you would please provide the following documents / information regarding the “Livi” pilot scheme in North Tyneside Primary Care, commissioned by North Tyneside CCG, commencing Summer 2020:
1) Please provide the formal minutes, action plans and notes relating to past meetings of the Livi Steering Group (the multi-agency group, hosted by North Tyneside CCG, to oversee the Livi pilot and evaluation). We have the minutes for meetings in October 2020 and January 2021 – no need to resend these.
2) Further to the Livi evaluation provided on the North Tyneside CCG website, we are particularly interested in minutes and notes relating to the process of this CCG evaluation and the associated decision making. We expect feedback to include the membership of the Steering Group / panel and key comments and/or statements made by individual panel members. Please also clarify and provide information as to whether the decision to extend the Livi contract and procure a complementary GP video consultation service was unanimous or otherwise.
3) We understand that North Tyneside CCG now intend to make a case to take this type of service to procurement. You will be aware of the huge outcry from local people regarding the further privatisation of our NHS in North Tyneside, and it is essential that future investment remains within locally-based NHS primary care services – and not to private business with shareholders. Given that a new service will be commissioned, we anticipate public engagement and public consultation – please provide information of CCG plans and timetable.
Your responses will be made available to members of “Keep Our NHS Public North East”
I thank you for your attention
Keep Our NHS Public North East
More information about the Anti-Privatisation Livi Campaign in North Tyneside is on our webpage here
1st November 2021: Emails to three North East MPs
Further to the very successful campaign actions in the North East on Saturday (see post below, 30th October) regarding the Health and Care Bill, KONPNE has today written to Ian Levy MP (Blyth), Richard Holden MP (NW Durham) and Dehenna Davison MP (Bishop Auckland). We await their responses, which we will share with all supporters.
As part of the national day of action against the Health and Care Bill, “Keep Our NHS Public North East” and “We Own It” supporters and friends held a very successful public event in ……………………………………… on Saturday.
An account and photos are on the Keep Our NHS Public North East website at https://konpnortheast.com/news/
Posts are also on facebook and twitter as follows – (we provided the social media links re the three specific locations)
We are counting on you to oppose this Bill or, at the very least, to support multiple amendments to the Bill which address two major flaws which place our NHS at great risk. Information relating to this was provided to your office after the action, and I also attach a copy for your convenience.
Members of “Keep Our NHS Public North East” await your response
I thank you for your attention
Keep Our NHS Public North East”
The information provided to each of the three MPs is here
30th October 2021: Halloween: Private companies are sucking the lifeblood of the NHS
“We Own It” national day of action against the Health and Care Bill
What’s so scary about the Health and Care Bill? It sounds harmless, right? Don’t be fooled – this legislation has real fangs, and will further drive privatisation into our NHS. This Bill will drain more resources, power and money away from the NHS and into the hands of the likes of billionaire Virgin Care owner, Richard Branson.
Today – some lively street theatre in three locations across the North East – all with a very important message. Supporters of KONPNE and “We Own It” dressed in Halloween costume to get the point across – but this really is now a matter of huge concern, and your assistance is needed.
The Health and Care Bill is currently making its way through Parliament; if passed, this will make it harder to get the treatment that people need. The Government calls it “integrated care”, but it really means cuts to NHS services and more profit for private companies. It is crucial that all MPs now show their real support for the NHS, and vote against this Bill. After each action, we hand-delivered a letter to each of the three MPs at their constituency office. Read this letter here.
Many thanks to all supporters of KONPNE and “We Own It” who took part in Blyth, Consett and Bishop Auckland, and to the many residents who asked questions, provided their views and showed their support.
FIRST STOP – Blyth, Northumberland – when voting this time round, it is crucial that Ian Levy MP stands up for the NHS
SECOND STOP – Consett, North West Durham – Richard Holden MP needs to vote to STOP further NHS privatisation:
AND THE THIRD STOP – Bishop Auckland, County Durham – Dehenna Davison MP needs to vote against the Health and Care Bill to ensure NO MORE CASH FOR CRONIES.
NHS R.I.P ? Time is running short. A real-life horror story.
Information about the Bill and what you can do to help is on our website here
KONPNE has strong links with the national “We Own It” organisation. Information about “We Own It” is here
27th October 2021: No Borders in the NHS – Whitley Bay
This morning, KONPNE were proud to support the Newcastle group of “Patients Not Passports” in campaigning against the charging of asylum seekers and refugees for NHS services.
Pictured outside the iconic Whitley Bay Dome, Clare Bethell from the “Patients Not Passports” group said: “My work with asylum seekers with Care for Calais has shown me that migrants and asylum seekers in need of health care will not use the NHS for mental health issues, pregnancy or infectious diseases care because they know that they will be sent a bill for thousands of pounds. When they don’t pay, our hospital trusts send the debt collectors after them. When they try and register with GPs they are often asked for a myriad of documents to prove who they are and where they live, which they don’t have. They then become more unwell and need more care than they would have done. We must stop patient charging in the NHS and return to an NHS with no Borders.”
#patientsnotpassports #medact #nobordersinthenhs #refugeeswelcomehere #setherfree #migrantsorganise #careforcalais #NEAR
More information about the “Patients Not Passports” week of action is here and information about the Hostile Environment is on our webpage here
25th October 2021: No Borders in the NHS – RVI, Newcastle
Today, members of KONPNE joined together with Medact North East to support the “Patients not Passports” National Week of Action. Our action outside the RVI attracted considerable attention and support from patients, visitors and staff.
Our NHS was founded on the principle of universal healthcare, free at the point of use for everyone – regardless of background, nationality, or ability to pay. The government’s Hostile Environment means this is no longer the case. What we see as a result is people deterred from seeking the care they need, outright denied treatment on the basis of the documents they have, questioned about their entitlement to care because of how they look, the colour of their skin, or their so called ‘foreign sounding name’, and people being forced to choose between incurring huge debts, regularising their immigration status, or their good health.
We remember and honour all those whose lives have been destroyed by these racist Hostile Environment policies. October marks four years since the introduction of upfront charging for migrants in the NHS, and two years since the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants who were found in a lorry in Essex. We remember Nasar Ullah Khan, who died after being denied treatment for heart failure. We remember Elfreda Spencer, who died because she could not pay £30,000 upfront for chemotherapy. We remember Kelema Mulat, who died following a 6 week delay in breast cancer treatment. We remember Elvis, who died of coronavirus without help because he was too scared of being charged or deported if he came forward for treatment. We remember all whose lives have been made disposable at the hands of Britain’s hostile border controls—their bravery, their struggles to survive and their campaigns for a better world.
Today, in Newcastle, we joined forces with others across the country to make a very clear message: no borders in healthcare. The NHS must treat #PatientsNotPassports.
to read the report from the Chronicle
More information about the “Patients Not Passports” week of action is here and information about the Hostile Environment is on our webpage here
12th October 2021 *Save the Date* – NHS v Vampires Halloween Special: Saturday 30th October
We will be taking part in the ‘We Own It’ Day of Action to oppose the “Health & Care Bill” (or “NHS Corporate Takeover Bill”, as it is more accurately known).
Find out more about the ‘We Own It’ Day of Action here
On Saturday 30th October, campaigners are asked to take a selfie (wearing a Richard Branson mask or vampire teeth) at a local landmark, alongside a message about private health companies sucking the life out of the NHS, and then to post it on social media with tags to ourselves.
….. or, alternatively, members of KONP North East Steering Group will be briefly visiting Blyth (10.30am), Consett (12.30pm) and Bishop Auckland (2pm) – please join us for a group photo – more details plus addresses (for photos) are on our events page here.
Find out more about the Bill on our website here
Photo: KONPNE action last year: Blood-sucking private companies at Grey’s Monument, Newcastle October 2020
7th October 2021 – KONPNE into Autumn
Much discussed at tonights meeting, including further Campaign plans to fight against the provisions of the Health and Care Bill, and an update on Livi – the privatisation in North Tyneside Primary Care.
The notes from this meeting are here, and are open to all to read.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 4th November (always the first Thursday of the month) – details are here
3rd October 2021 – New briefing re Health and Care Bill
A brand new (October 2021) “Health Campaigns Together” briefing re the Health and Care Bill ishere– please feel free to circulate electronically, print off, or order copies from email@example.com – and circulate far and wide……
20th September 2021 – North East United
Great on-line public meeting this evening, hosted by North East Peoples Assembly, to build support for the 3rd October protest of the Tory Party Conference in Manchester. Speakers included Laura Pidcock, Daniel Kebede NEU President and Ben Chacko Editor of Morning Star and, additionally, KONPNE Co-ordinator Jude Letham spoke about the current situation regarding the NHS.
The Tories are back in Manchester for their annual conference at the beginning of October and, to coincide with this, there will be a national demonstration and march in Manchester on Sunday 3 Oct, which North East People’s Assembly will be joining, Members of KONPNE will also be present, to fly the KONPNE banner among the many thousands of people who are expected on the day. Book your ticket on the coach from Newcastle, organised by Peoples Assembly – £25 waged / £15 unwaged – clickhere
18th September 2021 – Gosforth campaigning against the Health and Care Bill
Thank you to East Gosforth Labour Party for inviting us to join them in campaigning against NHS privatisation and, in particular, the Health & Care Bill 2021. The branch had purchased leaflets from National KONP and set up their stall on Gosforth High Street.
Several members of the public were very keen to talk about the difficulties of getting face to face GP appointments – a situation which will undoubtedly be worse if the Health & Care Bill is passed.
Seethis pageof our KONPNE website for information about Integrated Care Systems, the Health & Care Bill and action you can take.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to arrange a similar event. KONPNE is not aligned to any political party, and we will do our best to support any organisation who believe in the need to return to a publicly-provided and publicly accountable NHS.
8th September 2021 – Protect the NHS – scrap the Health and Care Bill
– the national KONP online rally, part of the fight-back against Bill.
What a line up! Julie Hesmondhalgh, Actor, Michael Rosen, Writer, Dr Tony O’Sullivan (KONP), Jonathan Ashworth MP Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Alia Butt (NHS Staff Voices), Steve Cowan, Council Leader, Mark Ladbrooke, Chair Socialist Health Association, Cat Hobbs, Director of We Own It, Holly Turner (NHS Workers Say No), Dr Philippa Whitford MP (SNP), Dr David Wrigley (BMA), Dr Sonia Adesara (KONP), John Lister, Health Campaigns Together.
5th September 2021 – 5 MILLION PEOPLE WAITING: FUND OUR NHS
Crucial that we support the “We Own It” petition and campaign, launched this week.
Over 5 million patients in England alone are waiting for treatment right this second. The government has been underfunding our NHS for 10 years. And now, instead of investing in our NHS, it is propping up the private sector by paying them £10 billion (£200 million in shareholder profits) to run private hospitals using NHS staff to treat NHS waiting list patients. This is not a solution. NHS staff should be working in NHS hospitals.
We are calling for the government to commit to new funding for our NHS in its autumn budget update.
Sign the “We Own It” petition here, and please circulate the petition link to all contacts. More info on hospital waiting lists is on our webpage here.
4th September 2021 – Care and Support Workers
In Newcastle city centre this afternoon, and a big shout out to Care and Support Workers Organise and their national day of action for..
**£15 ph **renationalise care **full sick pay **better terms and conditions in the workplace …plus more
2nd September 2021 – Autumn campaigning
Our monthly meeting tonight (always scheduled for the first Thursday of the month at 7pm), and another interesting discussion and planning session for activity over the next few weeks…..also great to spend time in the company of like-minded people…. and great to see new faces – we are an open and inclusive group, and everyone is welcome.
Tonight, the focus was on the Health and Care Bill, with feedback following our events in August, and much planning for September and beyond. There is much happening. Notes of our discussions are here.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th October at 7pm, and ALL ARE WELCOME. More info, including Zoom joining info is here.
29th August 2021 – Door-to-door in Whitley Bay
Great to have the support of Joan, Liz, Helen and Sophie who leafletted the leafy suburb of St.Marys, Whitley Bay, today. All four of you are stars, and you definitely deserve that cappuccino. Special mention to Liz Smith (pictured by the tree), a supporter of KONPNE and passionate about OUR NHS; Liz survived a congenital heart defect through receiving the second open-heart surgery in the UK carried out in 1956 and done, of course, through our wonderful NHS. Well done, Liz, and well done NHS ❤
More information about the Health and Care Bill is here, leaflets may be purchased (very cheaply) from the national KONP website here …and please let us know where you are leafletting: we are at email@example.com THANK YOU ❤
28th August 2021 – Campaigning in Consett
The Health and Care Bill is currently going through Parliament and, if passed, it will UNDOUBTEDLY lead to >> MORE American-style privatisation of our health service across the country >> BIGGER roles in decision-making for private healthcare companies (an exec of Virgin has already taken a seat on the Bristol health board) >> MORE contracts to private businesses, without checks and balances >> DECREASED local democracy / decision-making (ie our local North East councillors will have reduced say in health planning).
More info – click here
IT IS CRUCIAL THAT YOUR MP REPRESENTS YOUR VIEWS IN PARLIAMENT. Good to be in Consett today, hearing the views of many residents – an overwhelming public vote for a publicly-funded and publicy-provided NHS. Hundreds of information leaflets circulated to local residents, many conversations, and around 50 letters signed and delivered to local Tory MP Richard Holden….we await his response….and demand that he supports our NHS in the parliamentary vote.
Pix – KONPNE delivering the Consett letters to the office of Richard Holden MP | Great to be joined by Andy Plant (Secretary, NW Durham Labour Party), pictured with Jude Letham (Co-ordinator. KONPNE)
24th August 2021 – video release
*** OPPOSE THE HEALTH AND CARE BILL 2021 *** This video follows on from our action in Newcastle city centre last week
Click on the video link to watch it, please share it on social media (click the arrow at top right), and click here for the associated webpage….. (music: “instinct” from Bensound.com)
14th August 2021 – Health and Care Bill at the Monument
Further to the recent leafletting sessions outside the RVI, the Freeman and North Tyneside General, last Saturday saw members of KONPNE at the Monument in Newcastle, with great support from our friends at Morpeth and Pegswood Branch Labour Party. Many interesting conversations, plus hundreds of leaflets distributed, plus around 50 letters to local MPs….. a very successful session.
More info is here: there was absolutely no doubt in Newcastle that this Bill must be stopped….
9th August 2021 – This week – North Tyneside General Hospital
Another leafletting session for KONPNE, this time at North Tyneside General Hospital ….and great to have support from members of North Tyneside Momentum.
It is crucial that as many people as possible know about the Health and Care Bill which is currently passing through Parliament …. and do something about it. Please click on our bespoke webpage here to find out how you can help….
5th August 2021 – KONPNE speaks
Much to discuss at tonights monthly meeting – including updates about activity in South Tyneside and Sunderland, Morpeth, North Tyneside, Blyth and Newcastle, plus the latest on the “NHS Data Grab” and the “Health and Care Bill” (plus Integrated Care Systems…)
The notes from the meeting are here.
Wherever you live, you are welcome to join in with the discussions and campaign planning at our next meeting – or to sit back and listen… whatever suits you best. The important thing is that you are there.
KONPNE meets monthly via Zoom on the first Thursday of the month at 7pm – our next meeting is on Thursday 2nd September: ALL WELCOME. More info and the Zoom joining code is here
29th July 2021 – Health and Care Bill must be opposed
Today: leafletting outside the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There is absolutely no doubt that the Governments “Health and Care Bill 2021”, and its inherent “Integrated Care System” will hurt staff and patients throughout the country, if Parliament votes it in after the summer recess. The staff at the Freeman do a brilliant job, and it is crucial that they know about the bill – plus patients and visitors.
This Bill must be opposed. More info about the Bill, the Campaign, and what you can do is here.
28th July 2021 – Much support in Benton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Great to be invited by Benton Branch Labour Party to address and lead a discussion on “Integrated Care Systems” and the current “Health and Care Bill”. Much interest and support, many questions, and a thoughtful discussion about ways forward and campaign involvement at tonights Branch meeting via Zoom.
Whilst KONPNE members are, individually, members of a range of political groups or none, KONPNE as an organisation is not affiliated to any one specific political group. We are happy to present a talk or lead a discussion with any group who wish to find out more and join in the Campaign. More info is here – please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
22nd July 2021 – Sunny day, dark news
Outside the RVI gates for a busy two hours this lunchtime – and time very well spent, providing leaflets and information about the “Health and Care Bill 2021” to the many NHS staff, visitors and day patients.
If this Bill is voted in by Parliament, it will UNDOUBTEDLY lead to >> MORE American-style privatisation of our health service across the country >> BIGGER roles in decision-making for private healthcare companies (an exec of Virgin has already taken a seat on the Bristol health board) >> MORE contracts to private businesses, without checks and balances >> DECREASED local democracy / decision-making (ie our local North East councillors will have reduced say in health planning)
More info regarding the Health and Care Bill (including the leaflet handed out today) is here
Many thanks to all who helped today. It was a hot one!
COME AND JOIN US IN HANDING OUT LEAFLETS – this government is hellbent on involving the private sector in our health service further AND IT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED NOW. Next week, we will be outside the gates at the Freeman Hospital on Thursday 29th July 2021, 12 noon – 2pm…. Can you spare a couple of hours? Your assistance would be very much appreciated, so….see you there? Thank you
17th July 2021 – North East v private healthcare companies
Forming part of the national Day of Action called by the campaign group “We Own It”, members of “KONP North East” and “KONP Sunderland” met in a very hot and sunny Newcastle city centre, rolled up their sleeves, and demonstrated how the government’s new NHS legislation (The Health and Care Bill 2021) is a tug of war between private companies and our NHS in England. The usual suspects were represented – Centene, Virgin, Serco – plus the local newcomer, Livi, which is a private healthcare company offering virtual appointments in GP practices in North Tyneside….for info, Livi claims to be Europe’s largest digital healthcare provider….currently with a one-year contract in North Tyneside primary care…. This must be stopped.
Johnson was also at the Monument, attempting to appease NHS staff with a miserly 1%, and even HRH couldn’t help with the George medal; the medal was appreciated – but it doesn’t pay the bills…..
And our message was, obviously, well-received in the North East today. Huge thanks to people in Newcastle who jumped at the opportunity to join in and clearly knew which tug of war team to join. It is crucial that we continue to join forces to bring an end to the lucrative contracts to healthcare companies which, of course, involves a cut of the cash going to the pockets of shareholders. And, it is also crucial that the professionals who work in our NHS receive a fair wage – the 1% offer is, in short, an insult.
Some street theatre, but with a very serious message. Back in Parliament, the government is pushing ahead with its Health and Care Bill. The NHS needs us more than ever: this legislation includes so many dangerous changes….like letting PRIVATE COMPANIES sit on NHS boards, where they’ll have a say on people’s care and how NHS money is spent ?!?! Unbelievable – but true.
The NHS has just turned 73 – and if you want it to be with us for another 73 years, then this Bill must be amended. Write to your MP now, sign the petitions, download and share the leaflets: all at https://konpnortheast.com/ics/
10th July 2021 – Morpeth stands up for the NHS
Fantastic action planned and carried out by members of Morpeth and Pegswood Branch Labour Party (many of whom are also members of KONPNE), marking the NHS @73 and also spreading the word about the huge dangers associated with the Health and Care Bill 2021 currently passing (rapidly) through Parliament.
Many conversations along the high street, huge public support, hundreds of information leaflets circulated, very clear messaging, and a NHS birthday card to be signed – watch out for this displayed in a Morpeth shop window next week. A superb event.
Tom Cosh, Branch Secretary: “Morpeth and Pegswood Branch Labour Party is proud to support the Campaign to stop the privatisation of the NHS. We are working to ensure that Northumberland has a voice – all supporters of the NHS need to join together to fight for it to continue”
Paul Thompson, event co-ordinator: “It is encouraging to see how many more people are now better informed about the privatisation within the NHS and of the threat from US companies, compared to three years ago. This privatisation must be stopped”
Jude Letham, KONPNE Co-ordinator: “The Health and Care Bill 2021, currently going through Parliament, will lead to more cuts to our services, further privatisation and decreased local democracy. It is CRUCIAL that this Bill is amended to protect the NHS and we call upon everyone to write to their MP. We need to ensure that the NHS is with us for another 73 years”
It is great that a local political party organised this event, and we were very pleased to represent KONPNE through two members of our Steering Group joining in on the day, and also by contributing the information leaflets – it was great to be with you in Morpeth.
Whilst KONPNE members may be individual members of any political party (or none), KONPNE as a group is not associated or affiliated with any one political party. Now in our eleventh year of campaigning, we are a group of North East people who strongly believe that the NHS should remain a fully funded public service, and not become privatised, and we campaign to uphold these values, both locally and nationally. Everyone is welcome to our monthly Zoom, and to join in with the Campaign.
IT’S OUR NHS – publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable, available to all on the basis of need.
Info about the Health and Care Bill is here
3rd July 2021 – Thank you Blyth!!
NHS birthday celebrated in style with music from Blyth Valley Samba Band and speakers from NHS Staff Voices, Peoples Assembly North East, Keep Our NHS Public North East, and the Labour Party – including three health professionals. Wonderful messages of support for OUR NHS provided on the mega 73rd birthday card from Blyth residents and, also, well over 100 letters to Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy.
Mr Levy has made much of his past employment in the NHS, and it is now important that he stands by his words (unfortunately, his track record over the first year has been appalling – he is one of the Tory MPs who, in January this year, voted AGAINST protecting the NHS in international trade deals: see here). So – important letters written today and delivered to his constituency office – we await responses.
A new Bill, the “Health and Care Bill” will be presented to Parliament in the next few weeks, again with even more danger of increased privatisation, decreased local democracy and further NHS cuts – this time round, we expect our MP to safeguard the NHS. More info about this Bill is here
This event in Blyth was hosted by “Keep Our NHS Public North East”, “Peoples Assembly North East”, “Socialist Health Association North East”, and was part of the national Day of Action called by national KONP and Health Campaigns Together. Well done to everyone across the country who planned, facilitated and took part in it. MUCH strength in our unity.
Many thanks to our speakers: Stacey Richardson from NHS Staff Voices, Councillor Les Bowman from the Labour Party, Tony Dowling from the People’s Assembly North East, Dr Helen Groom a retired GP and John Whalley from KONP North East.
We are also grateful to Blyth Valley Samba for performing in the Market Square and accompanying us on the march.
Coverage of the national Day of Action is here
1st July 2021 – Much happening in the North East
A very lively Zoom tonight, with discussions and planning for the Blyth NHS Rally and March on Saturday, and updates on the Livi campaigning in North Tyneside, the Health and Care Bill / Integrated Care Systems, the NHS Data Grab, and news from Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign and the campaign initiatives in Morpeth.
There is much happening in the North East. Whose NHS? DEFINITELY OUR NHS.
The notes from this meeting are here.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 5th August 2021 (it is always the first Thursday of the month) – ALL ARE WELCOME and more details are here
29th June 2021 – Press release for Saturday
+ more info is here, and also on the facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/4273531895992159
See you in Blyth….
28th June 2021 – Bad news for patients….
Please circulate the two new leaflets (above) from national KONP….and more information is here
17th June 2021 – KONPNE youtube video released…please share
Click here: https://youtu.be/dTI4ZKmbRew
and also at
16th June 2021 – 632 people say NO
Earlier today, a delegation from KONPNE delivered our petition to North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group. A massive 632 people say NO CONTRACT RENEWAL for Livi – the private healthcare business with shareholders, currently offering online appointments in North Tyneside Primary Care. This insidious privatisation is part of the slippery privatisation slope and is NOT WELCOME in North Tyneside.
BTW, of the 632 people who signed the petition, a huge 418 people live within the Borough; the remaining 214 live outside North Tyneside and are no doubt fearful of the domino effect – yes, we know what has happened in localities in the south….
Not signed? The CCG will be making a decision about whether or not to renew the contract in the next month or so – we are holding our online petition open, and will send on all additional signatures.
Petition: click here
More info re Livi in NT: click here
3rd June 2021 – KONPNE meeting
Another very full and active meeting – much happening in the North East!
Click herefor notes of this meeting
….and click here for details of our next meeting, scheduled for 1st July 2021
26th May 2021 – Advance Notice for 3rd July: BLYTH MARCH AND RALLY Our NHS – We’re Still Fighting For It
Keep the date free!! Saturday 3rd July 2021 – NHS 73rd Birthday
…. and see you in Blyth!! There is much happening re this event – full details later!! Great to be Campaigning with North East Peoples Assembly and Socialist Health Association NE
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/4273531895992159
19th May 2021 – Cullercoats presentation
Much support and interest from Cullercoats Branch Labour Party this evening – our presentation on the “Integrated Care System” (aka “Accountable Care Organisation”) brought about much discussion. It is clear that the course is clearly set for decreased local democracy and increased privatisation – unless action is taken now. “Integrated and Caring”? – definitely NOT. The Government will be introducing a Bill this year, and we need your help in ensuring that our voices are heard loud and clear. Good to meet up (virtually) with local Labour Party members, including local North Tyneside Councillors – the NHS is counting on your support at the North Tyneside Health and Wellbeing Board meetings, and Health Scrutiny meetings. Click here for more info.
Information also provided regarding the presence of the dreaded “Livi” in North Tyneside – click here
Our presentations are available to all Unions, political groups, social groups, community organisations…. basically all and everyone who wishes to find out more and offer support. Click here for more info, and please get in touch with us at email@example.com
15th May 2021 – that deja vu feeling
An action replay of last week – back again today to outside the market at Tynemouth Station and then to Bedford Street, North Shields for more conversations with members of the public about Livi (see here) and petition signing (sign here). We have listened carefully to the residents of North Tyneside, and it is crystal clear that LIVI is not wanted in NT. In summary: HEALTHCARE, NOT SHAREHOLDERS.
Great to be joined today by members of the Socialist Health Association (morning) and Unite (afternoon)
More info, including our petition, is here
8th May 2021 – NO TO LIVI…every 45 seconds
North Tyneside Primary Care is undoubtedly sliding down the slippery privatisation slope. Last year, North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group gave the Swedish company “Livi” a one year contract to carry out virtual appointments in Primary Care in North Tyneside – “Livi” claims to be Europes largest digital healthcare provider. This must cease. Investment should, instead, be made to develop our existing GP services, including employing additional staff for these local services – indeed, the pandemic has led to many practices developing their own in-house video call and telephone work anyway.
Today, we took our petition against this private healthcare business to the residents of Tynemouth and North Shields, and our anti-privatisation Campaign hit an all-time high with an average of one signature every 45 seconds. A very clear message indeed to North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group; NO TO BIG BUSINESS IN PRIMARY CARE, NO TO SHAREHOLDERS IN PRIMARY CARE, NO FURTHER CONTRACT RENEWAL FOR “LIVI”.
The one year contract to Livi expires over the next three months, and it is crucial that this is not renewed by North Tyneside CCG. If you object to taxpayers money going to private profit-making companies with shareholders, then please
to sign the petition. It will take you less than 30 seconds. This petition is open to everyone; you don’t need to be a resident of North Tyneside.
You can help further. More information and other actions regarding “Livi” are outlined on the Campaign page here.
5th May 2021 – Three more people needed for the next two Saturdays
Please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are available to help on one or more of the sessions – thank you
3rd May 2021 – North Tyneside anti-privatisation campaign gathers force
Much interest in this Campaign to date – it is APPALLING that North Tyneside CCG has seen fit to award a one-year pilot contract to Swedish firm “Livi” to provide virtual consultations in Primary Care in North Tyneside. Undoubtedly part of a very slippery privatisation slope: Livi claims to be Europe’s largest digital healthcare provider.
Click here for three Campaign actions to carry out now. These are for NT residents…..AND ALSO for people who live in other parts of the NE – remember that what is happening in NT now could well be on its way to your locality in 3 months time….
1st May 2021 – Statement of support from KONPNE
Keep Our NHS Public North East send our very best wishes for a successful day of action this May Day. In our ambition for a return to a universal, publicly—funded, publicly-provided, national health service free at the point of use: we find that we have more and more reasons to protest.
Last year we had several protests about the money being poured into the disastrous SERCO “Test and Trace”, the inclusion of the NHS in the Trade Bill and migrant charging in the NHS. This year we have actions planned protesting about private on-line GP services in North Tyneside and the embedding of private companies in the new Integrated Care Systems.
As the mainstream media continues to fail the public by not informing them of continuing, creeping privatisation of the NHS, it is absolutely essential that we have the freedom to take to the streets to inform the public ourselves. In the words of the KONP NHS Staff Voices group:
“It appears that our Government is now not just intent on dismantling our NHS, but through this bill they are attempting to break our capacity to act to protect it”
Solidarity and thanks to everyone participating today.
Jude Letham Co-ordinator KONPNE
More info: click the “Police and Crime Bill” pagehere
30th April 2021 – Open letter – We must retain the right to protest
This open letter is co-signed by KONPNE. The “Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill” must be defeated, as it is an attack on our rights. The Government is intent on dismantling our NHS and, through this Bill, they are now attempting to break our capacity to protect it.
More info: click the “Police and Crime Bill” pagehere
29th April 2021 – KONPNE speaks
Great to meet up with supporters at our monthly meeting tonight – much health campaigning is happening across the North East, and it is good to share information, learn from each other, and support each other.
Notes from the meeting are linkedhere.
Meetings take place on the first Thursday of the month, and our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 3rd June – YOU ARE INVITED!!! Click here for information
20th April 2021 – NO to private healthcare companies in North Tyneside Primary Care
North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group is sliding further down the slippery privatisation slope by using public money to provide private health care services to the public – and what is happening in North Tyneside today may well be happening in other NE localities tomorrow. THIS INSIDIOUS PRIVATISATION OF OUR NHS MUST END.
Click HERE for more information and for three actions you can take NOW – for North Tyneside residents, and also for those who live outside North Tyneside.
Who’s NHS? OUR NHS. North Tyneside CCG should not be wasting taxpayers money by contracting out to private, profit making companies with shareholders.
17th April 2021 – The Police and Crime Bill must be stopped
The Government is now not just intent on dismantling our NHS but, through the Police Bill, they are attempting to break our capacity to protect it.
It was important for KONPNE members to be at the Monument in Newcastle upon Tyne today – the “Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021” must be stopped….if passed, it will have a hugely detrimental effect on freedom of speech, democracy and civil liberties
For more info, please see our webpage here
1st April 2021 – DON’T BE FOOLED – THE GOVERNMENT ARE SELLING OFF THE NHS
Focus on NHS privatisation at tonights monthly KONPNE meeting – especially the Campaign plans regarding “Livi”, the virtual GP consultation firm recently commissioned by North Tyneside CCG. The Livi contract must not be renewed this year.
See the notes from the meeting here.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 29th April – more info here and, as always, everyone is welcome
24th March 2021 – KONPNE at Durham County Council
Last autumn, members of KONPNE decided to put a formal question to each of the seven North East councils at their full Council meetings. Our question focused on the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, and asked local Councils throughout the North East to identify what steps they are taking to prevent this activity.
Many thanks to Dr Lawrence Welch, KONPNE member and Durham resident, for putting our question to Durham County Council at the full Council meeting this morning. It was a requirement of the Council proceedings that our question here was shortened. The Council response from Cllr Lucy Hovvels is here.
Whilst we feel that the reply from the Council is disappointingly short and lacking in specific detail, we note that a key part of this brief statement is the last sentence, where Cllr Hovvels (Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Adult and Health Services) confirms the need “to keep as much decision making as possible at a local place level so that we can promote the founding values of the NHS in any future commissioning”.
It is encouraging to hear this, and we totally support Durham Councillors in carrying this out in practice. We will certainly be returning to this in the future….
And, in addition to considering activity at a local level, we also we expect our Councillors to challenge developments at the macro-level regarding the White Paper proposals concerning the Integrated Care System. More information is here.
Todays activity at Durham marked the seventh (and final) question put to the seven North East councils. How does your Council measure up?? Check out our questions plus the responses from the seven councils here
16th March 2021 – Morpeth and Pegswood Labour support NHS
This Spring, the Government’s White Paper “Integration and Innovation” proposes legislation which would confirm “Integrated Care Systems” as “new NHS bodies”. Proposals involve dividing up the NHS into approx. 42 pots of money with limited “population health budgets” designed to find more ‘efficiency savings’ (aka CUTS).
“Integrated and Caring”? Definitely not. More like “Underfunded, undemocratic, unfair, unsafe”.
“Our concerns, based on hard facts, are widely shared by councillors, senior NHS management, GPs and seasoned analysts. NHS England’s proposed changes threaten to make the NHS less locally responsive, less accountable, more dominated by US and other management consultants and contractors, and more focused on policing cash limits than meeting the needs of patients. NHS England’s priorities should be on strengthening the NHS in alliance with local government and communities, not creating new remote bodies or adopting systems meant to maximise profits of private health insurance”National KONP, January 2021
And, so, much respect to the active and forward-thinking Morpeth and Pegswood Branch Labour Party. “Oppose Integrated Care Systems in the English NHS”, a motion outlined by the national office of Keep Our NHS Public, was debated and was unanimously passed by the Branch at their most recent meeting in mid-March. This motion opposes the content of the White Paper and makes it clear that, instead, what is needed is legislation to bring about a universal, comprehensive and publicly provided NHS, fit for the 21st century…
It is great that this motion is supported by Morpeth and Pegswood Branch Labour Party and by many other Branches and CLPs – and, indeed, by other political parties, Unions and organisations throughout England.
Not yet passed by your group? Please click here for the model motion and for much more information about the White Paper and the proposed legislation. THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION MUST BE STOPPED.
14th March 2021 – with Tynedale Transformed
KONPNE were very pleased to be invited by Tynedale Transformed to be part of a Zoom day event about the future of the NHS. Jude Letham presented part of the KONPNE PowerPoint presentation on NHS Privatisation and also informed the group about Integrated Care Systems. The participants were particularly keen to learn how they could be involved in campaigning and accessing further resources.
4th March 2021 – KONPNE speaks
Great to meet up with fellow North East health Campaigners at our monthly meeting this evening. Much discussed, including updates from NE campaigns, recent presentations to groups (here), formal questions to Full Council meetings (here) , Livi privatisation in NorthTyneside (here), the Integrated Care System (here), local Council elections, website and social media, and the possibility (Covid19 allowing…) of a public NHS birthday event in July…
A date for the diary is Thursday 1st April at 7pm – our next KONPNE meeting (here) – but please keep in touch beforehand by checking out this website and our daily facebook and twitter posts – there is much Campaign activity, and your assistance is urgently needed….
Notes from the meeting are here: 4.3.21 – KONPNE notes of meeting
3rd March 2021 – Linking with Newcastle University students
Many thanks to Sam for inviting KONPNE to address the “Students for Global Health” group (formerly known as “medsin“) at Newcastle University. Utilising our powerpoint, we overviewed the many faces of privatisation in the NHS, touched on the current Trade Bill and Integrated Care Systems (aka “Accountable Care Organisations”), and described our Campaign work and strategies. Much interest all round – and it is great that some students have recently attended our monthly KONPNE meetings. We hope to build on this, and forge even stronger links in the coming months.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you are a member of a group who would welcome a presentation or discussion about NHS privatisation – we will do our very best to assist. Please click here for further info.
25th February 2021 – at South Tyneside Council
The question was provided in full in the Councils document pack for the meeting, and was read out in full by the Chair; a copy of the question ishere, and the meeting can be viewed online here(go to 1:20). In South Tyneside, the protocol is not to respond to public questions at the meeting and, instead, for the Council to provide a written response within seven days, and for the question and response to be recorded in the Council minutes.
We look forward to this response and will provide a copy of it on this site here…..and many thanks Maddy for taking this forward.
On a related note, at the beginning of the Council meeting, Councillors need to formally record any declarations of interest in any of the agenda items, and it is encouraging to note that nine members of South Tyneside Council recorded their interest / support of the “Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign”. Their ongoing support is much appreciated and is noted by South Tyneside constituents.
KONPNE members have now put formal questions about NHS privatisation to six of the seven North East Councils – we are focusing on the seventh, Durham, next month….click here for reports
11th February 2021 – Livid in North Tyneside
It is positive indeed that NORTH TYNESIDE COUNCILLORS sitting on the “Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing Sub Committee” are standing up for our NHS.
Item 6 on tonights agenda was feedback on “Livi” – the Swedish healthcare business which NT “Clinical Commissioning Group” had recently (Summer 2020) seen fit to appoint for a one year trial period of virtual appointments in GP practices across North Tyneside.
Councillors Joe Kirwin and Paul Richardson have attended the “Livi Evaluation Group” on behalf of the Councils Sub Committee, and they highlighted many fundamental concerns; a recent survey on client satisfaction had feedback from a mere 56 people AND the feedback was collated by Livi; in the week previous to a review meeting in January 2021, only 174 appointments had been provided by Livi (a miniscule number compared to the very approx estimate of 26,400 provided per week by practice GPs in NT); a concern that some practices are referring on to Livi (backroom work being done by practices, but with no credit); adverts are appearing across NT, incl at vaccination sites, plus Livi promotional freebies such as facemasks and hand sanitiser in some NT practices, plus – would you believe it – two vans circulating NT advertising Livi, on road routes agreed with the CCG.
Councillor Matthew Thirlaway questioned “everything about the pilot” and stated that “there are serious questions that Livi and the CCG need to answer”, Councillor Cath Davis highlighted the potential loss of 1-1 relationships with local doctors, and the fact that technology may prove to be a barrier for some people, Councillor Trish Brady highlighted that this NHS privatisation is happening in the context of other huge NHS privatisations (Serco and Capita, to name just two), and Councillor Karen Clark (Chair) spoke of the lack of evaluation criteria and the ongoing frustrations in the way elected members are not consulted by the CCG – describing the latter as being “not acceptable”.
And the financial cost??? Totally undisclosed…. apparently, it is “commercially sensitive”…. has much resonance with the Governments quick-fix commercial arrangements with the private sector throughout Covid19. Let us not forget: THIS IS PUBLIC MONEY.
Councillor Richardson will be attending the next “Livi Evaluation Group” with the CCG (9th March 2021) and the next meeting of the Councils Sub-Committee is scheduled for 31st March 2021.
We agree with these very grave concerns expressed by North Tyneside Councillors.
The “Livi” contract MUST NOT BE RENEWED IN 2021: there is no place for this privatisation in the NHS – this money should be invested in further developing primary care provision in localised Primary Care Networks and practices throughout the Borough.
Due to Covid19, NT GP practices have needed to fine tune and develop their own in-house telephonic and virtual consultations, and they have responded to the challenge…. so why the need for this external privatised service and (presumably) the huge expense….
Watch last weeks Council Sub Committee discussion here from 1.03 (click on the youtube link)
Much more info about “Livi” in North Tyneside is on our “Privatisation in Primary Care” page here
5th February 2021 – Congratulations to Prof Allyson Pollock
It is great news that Newcastle University Professor Allyson Pollock has been awarded the British Medical Journal award “speaking truth to power”. Allyson is a founding member of national KONP and is known internationally for her tireless work against the privatisation of the NHS. Many, many congratulations – and very well deserved.
“In the 1980s NHS there wasn’t today’s climate of fear around speaking out”—Allyson Pollock. Click here to read the BMJ interview with Prof Pollock.
4th February 2021 – Busy KONPNE meeting
It was great to meet up with 26 people at our Zoom KONPNE meeting this evening. Notes and links from our meeting will be posted here shortly – our discussion and planning included NHS charges to migrants, issues around the vaccination roll-out, formal questions to local councils re health privatisation, forthcoming elections, “Livi” privatisation in primary care in North Tyneside, ICSs, conferences and meetings, plus updates from Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign and KONP Sunderland and District. A busy meeting.
The Notes of this meeting are here.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 4th March 2021 via Zoom. Please clickhere for further details – ALL WELCOME!
27th January 2021 – “2020 Vision”: the KONPNE year
We are pleased that our short video “2020 Vision – the KONPNE year in pix” has been posted on our social media and youtube (and here) this evening. Check this out for an overview of our NHS Campaign activity – all shoehorned into a quality two minutes…its been a busy year …
(music:https://www.bensound.com track: “Creative Minds”)
…and the Campaign continues.
The next KONPNE MEETING is on Thursday 4th February 2021 @ 7pm via ZOOM and all are welcome – more information is here
19th January 2021 – Tory MPs vote against protecting NHS in Trade Bill
The House of Lords put forward Amendments to the Trade Bill – if passed, these Amendments would have provided some protection to our NHS. Click here for an overview of the Amendments, and the Amendments in detail are here
The Bill and Amendments returned to the Commons on Tuesday 19th January; Tory MPs voted against the amendment to protect the NHS from trade deals by 357 to 266 (The NHS Amendment), and they voted against giving themselves a say over trade deals in the future by 353 to 277 (The Scrutiny Amendment).
The six North East MPs who voted AGAINST the amendments to protect the NHS and increase Scrutiny are:
SHAMEFUL: Ian Levy MP (Blyth), Dehenna Davison MP (Bishop Auckland), Paul Howell MP (Sedgefield), Richard Holden MP (NW Durham), Guy Opperman MP (Hexham) and Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP (Berwick)
It’s an absolute scandal that while our hospitals are working hard to protect us all, this government and these six North East MPs refused to protect our NHS from trade deals.
Click here to see report and full list of MPs who voted the Amendments down at
Tories vote down protections for NHS in trade deals on deadliest day in pandemic (The London Economic, January 19th 2021)
Tory MPs reject amendment to protect NHS from international trade deals(The National, January 19th 2021)
Tory MPs vote down legal bid to ‘protect the NHS’ in post-Brexit trade deals (The Mirror, January 19th 2021)
Zara Sultana MP made an excellent speech in support of the Amendments – hear this speech on videohere
***Read this article from KONPNE member Dr Sarah Walpole, published in The Independent (21st January 2021):I’m a junior doctor, it’s clear to me the Conservatives just voted to end the NHS
We are grateful to all KONPNE supporters for taking action, in many different ways, over 2020 – placing posters in key locations across the North East (June and November), at the event at the Millenium Bridge (July), at the Monument (October), making videos, developing posts, sharing and retweeting, writing articles, writing to papers, writing to members of the Lords, emailing MPs, sending Christmas Cards to MPs, signing petitions, attending meetings, sitting on planning groups, getting friends and family involved and remaining strong throughout. You are wonderful. In our local KONPNE Campaign, we have worked very closely with“We Own It”, national“Keep Our NHS Public” (Trade subgroup) and the“Trade Justice Movement”, and we are grateful for their guidance, advice, support and solidarity.
This is not the end. Keep Our NHS Public continues, and we will continue to fight and stand up for our NHS until it returns to be, once again, publicly accountable and publicly provided.
16th January 2021 – Message from KONPNE Co-ordinator
Time is now running short. There is currently no protection for the NHS in the current Trade Bill, plus minimal scrutiny of new trade deals. The Bill will be debated and voted on in the Commons next week, so it is our last opportunity to email MPs this weekend….
More KONPNE info / action re the Trade Bill is here
13th January 2021 – KONPNE message for Ian Levy MP (Blyth Valley)
The Bill returns to the Commons in early 2021, and it is crucial that ALL North East MPs now do the right thing.
More info about the Trade Bill, plus links to all of the short videos are here – please share and retweet.
(music:https://www.bensound.com track: “Creative Minds”)
7th January 2021 – KONPNE Zoom meeting
Our first meeting of the year, and the agenda included feedback on a number of current North East health campaigns including privatisation questions to Councils, Livi, Trade Bill, NHS charges to migrants, thank you banners, plus updates from both Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign and KONP Sunderland and District. Much good work is being done.
Notes from the meeting are here.
Our next meeting will take place on Thursday 4th February 2021 at 7pm via Zoom – all welcome; our meetings are open to everyone. Meetings will take place on the first Thursday of the month throughout 2021.
7th January 2021 – Socialist Health Association updated on North Tyneside “Livi” privatisation
Dr Gerard Reissmann, Newcastle GP and KONPNE member, was a speaker at the Socialist Health Association AGM this evening. To a Zoom audience of over 30, Dr Reissmann spoke about the private GP video consultation service commissioned by the North Tyneside CCG which is taking money away from frontline GPs and, if expanded widely, could threaten General Practice. SHA members were keen to know more about the issue and will raise it in various places including the Labour Party and through the NT Council.
6th January 2021 – KONPNE question to Newcastle City Council
Many thanks to KONPNE member David MacAllister for representing KONPNE and putting our question about NHS privatisation to the full Council meeting this evening.
Our question, submitted in advance, is here
Councillor Karen Kilgour, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care responded on behalf of the Council, stating that the Councils Labour administration is “fundamentally opposed to the privatisation of the NHS” and the chumocracy evidenced by the Governments award of health care contracts to the private sector. Cllr Kilgour went on to speak of the “Collaborative Newcastle”, a joint initiative between four health and social care organisations in the city, launched in September 2020, and describing it as a “unique opportunity”. She concluded by confirming that the Council “opposes privatisation wherever possible”.
Surprisingly, our supplementary question here was not responded to by Cllr Kilgour.
We welcome Cllr Kilgour’s commitment to our NHS, and we will be pleased to study the transcript of Cllr Kilgours response in some detail when this is available. We will certainly be getting back to the Council regarding a full response to our supplementary question; Councillors are involved in decision-making regarding health provision in the city, and it is crucial that Councillors have ongoing up-to-date information about outsourcing patterns and trends – it is crucial that they see the full picture.
3rd January 2021 – new Trade Bill video “Sell-off in Blyth”
KONPNE have put together a number of short 2-minute videos over the last few weeks, mostly focusing on the Trade Bill and the need for ALL local MPs to vote for amendments which protect the NHS. It is alarming that six North East MPs voted AGAINST protecting the NHS in the trade bill vote in the Commons in July 2020.
The Bill returns to the Commons in early 2021, and it is crucial that ALL North East MPs now do the right thing.
More info about the Trade Bill, plus links to all of the short videos are here – please share and retweet.
….and click on the video link below to see Sell-off in Blyth. We trust that Ian Levy MP is taking note – we will certainly be noting his voting patterns….and, as we say, it is not too late for him to do the right thing.
31st December 2020 – sincerely THANK YOU NHS
21st December 2020 – a sincere thank you to NHS staff and all keyworkers
2020 has been a year like no other for our NHS staff and all keyworkers. Often exhausting… usually very difficult….and sometimes worse.
We can only say one thing to people who put their own LIVES at risk when they go to work.
To the thousands of NHS staff and keyworkers who work at many sites and locations, large and small, across the North East, we offer our MASSIVE RESPECT and SINCERE THANKS for your commitment and care throughout 2020. We can never thank you enough. This week, we’ve posted THANK YOU banners at locations across the region….
Our SINCERE THANKS go to ALL staff at hospitals, health centres, clinics and surgeries throughout the North East. Wherever you are based, we offer a sincere THANK YOU for your care and commitment throughout 2020 from all at Keep Our NHS Public North East.
December 2020: Outside Hexham General Hospital | opposite Freeman Hospital | at Sunderland Royal Hospital | outside Sunderland Minster | entrance to Queen Elizabeths Hospital, Gateshead | entrance at Blyth Community Hospital / Health Centre | opposite the RVI, Newcastle upon Tyne | Adjacent to the Health Centre, Whitley Bay | opposite the entrance to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough | near Richardson Community Hospital, Barnard Castle | on Rake Lane, outside North Tyneside General Hospital | South Tyneside General Hospital | main entrance, University Hospital of North Durham | outside Wansbeck General Hospital, Ashington
Please click the following links to see the thank you video on youtube, on facebook and on twitter …..and please share and retweet!! It’s the very least we can all do.
(Video music: www.bensound.com track: Inspire)
14th December 2020 – Christmas message for Dehenna Davison MP (Bishop Auckland) ….and all North East MPs
Constituents are expecting ALL 22 North East MPs, from Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle up to Berwick-upon-Tweed, to vote in favour of the Amendments to the Trade Bill which will protect our NHS. MPs may rest assured that constituents are following the situation very closely….
8th December 2020 – House of Lords backs the NHS
Some good news this morning – the Lords have voted in favour of an Amendment that would block any trade deal that undermines the NHS’s ability to provide free services or control drug prices. The amendment states there could be no trade deal which “in any way undermines or restricts” the ability of authorities to “provide a comprehensive publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery,” or “regulate and control the pricing and reimbursement systems for the purchase of medicines or medical devices”.
Baroness Thornton stated: “These are national assets which must not be put in jeopardy or squandered in whatever the future holds for UK trade with the world. While the Government have repeatedly pledged that the NHS is not on the table in trade negotiations, we know that there have been detailed conversations between UK and US negotiators, revealing that health services have been discussed. The US is probing the UK’s health insurance system and has made clear its desire for the UK to change its drug pricing mechanism.”
It is now CRUCIAL that all MPs now vote in favour of these Amendments when the vote returns to the Commons in early 2021. When this Bill was discussed in the Commons in July 2020, SIX North East MPs voted AGAINST amendments which would have provided some degree of protection to the NHS – this is not acceptable and, this time round, all MPs must do the right thing.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED WITH THE CAMPAIGN – click here
7th December 2020 – with “We Own It” in Blyth
Great to be part of the “We Own It” initiative in Blyth this morning – delivering a Christmas card to the local MP…
DEAR IAN LEVY MP – ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS FOR YOU TO PROTECT OUR NHS FROM TRADE DEALS BY VOTING FOR THE SCRUTINY AND NHS PROTECTION AMENDMENTS IN THE TRADE BILL
Important to note that, when the Trade Bill was voted on in the Commons in July this year, Mr Levy was one of six North East MP who, indeed, voted AGAINST Amendments which would have provided some degree of protection to our NHS. The vote will be returning to the Commons again early in the New Year 2021 and we trust that, on this occasion, Mr Levy will be doing the right thing for the people of Blyth and for the future of the NHS. MPs need to ensure that this Bill does not open up the NHS to further sell-offs and take-overs by multinationals…
…and as for this “Boris Johnson” this morning – he’s giving a clue to his preferred direction of travel? Blyth constituents are watching the situation very closely.
More info is here
3rd December 2020 – KONPNE speaks
Much discussion and plans made, as we approach the Christmas period: a focus on the Trade Bill continues, with our lobby now shifting from the Lords to the Commons (see here), much good work is ongoing regarding challenging the unjust NHS charges to migrants (here) and, in the wake of the moves to privatisation in Primary Care in North Tyneside (Livi), we are still asking questions at Full Council meetings and alerting local Councillors to appalling privatisation developments (here), plus our installation of end of year THANKYOU BANNERS outside hospitals throughout the North East region ….and some dates for the 2021 diary: we are aiming to have KONPNE meetings on the first Thursday of every month at 7pm, currently via Zoom….Book it in now!!
Our next meeting will take place on 7th January 2021 (here). All are welcome.
KONPNE member John Whalley put the following question to the full meeting of North Tyneside Council, at the full Council meeting on 26th November 2020. The question focused on North Tyneside CCG commissioning the private firm “Livi” to provide virtual GP appointments on a one year pilot basis.
Councillor Margaret Hall responded on behalf of the Council, and her response is recorded here, at part 9: https://democracy.northtyneside.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=2144
The video of the meeting is here (go to 38:40 mins): https://youtu.be/f5mh4pcZ9VE
In response to the question, Councillor Hall made the North Tyneside Council position very clear in stating that “North Tyneside Council is 100% opposed to any privatisation of the NHS and as long as Labour remain in control of North Tyneside Council it shall remain opposed to any privatisation of our precious NHS”.
Regarding Livi, Councillor Hall went on to say that “The evaluation of the pilot will be under the full scrutiny of all committee members. We agree that North Tyneside CCG should not be putting healthcare into the hands of profit-making companies. They also know that new and changed services in our local NHS always get the close attention of North Tyneside Council. This has been demonstrated by the Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing Sub Committee calling in the CCG’s Livi pilot for scrutiny. We’ve seen this year exploitation of the NHS by private businesses for huge profits by friends of government. A great example of how not to trust commercial arrangements”.
KONPNE: Councillor Hall has made the position of North Tyneside Council very clear regarding Livi. The Livi contract will be up for evaluation in the early part of 2021, representatives of North Tyneside Council are on the evaluation group, and we expect these people to stand up and be counted regarding this important matter
20th November 2020 – NHS is already part-privatised
In todays Metro – more info here
16th November 2020 – email to Healthwatch North Tyneside
As we are all too well aware, lucrative contracts are increasingly being awarded to private businesses and corporations for healthcare, with the subsequent erosion and rundown of the NHS. North Tyneside CCG is no stranger to this process, having recently handed over an undisclosed sum to “Livi”, an international digital healthcare company, to provide virtual GP appointments to patients in North Tyneside.
Livi? Livid, more like. KONPNE has emailed North Tyneside CCG, North Tyneside Council, and others….and Healthwatch North Tyneside is the latest organisation to be contacted by us to ascertain their views and to mobilise support – see our email here….
We need your support…. click here for information, to see the rest of our communications and to join in with the Campaign
4th November 2020 – KONPNE questions Northumberland County Council
Northumberland resident Richard Spedding, on behalf of KONPNE, questioned Northumberland County Councillors about NHS privatisation at the full Council meeting today. Two questions were read out at the Council meeting, and Cllr Veronica Jones (Conservative, Councillor for Ponteland West, Cabinet member for Adult Wellbeing, and Health and Wellbeing Board member) provided responses. Click here for details:
Needless to say, KONPNE will be communicating with Cllr Jones (cc rest of the Northumberland Council) regarding her inadequate response. There appear to exist inconsistencies between Cllr Jones overview of NHS funding and the Channel Four fact check (click here regarding the Tory claims of investing £33.9 billion) and we also need to remind Cllr Jones about the REAL direction of travel re Integrated Care Systems (very sadly, ICSs WILL MOST CERTAINLY shift the balance between public and private services – not this year, but fast forward to the time of large-scale takeovers by multinational corporations, made possible through the creation of this very same ICS system). We suggest that Cllr Jones reads our KONPNE briefing paper We Need To Be Worried about the NHS Long Term Plan, Integrated Care Systems and Primary Care Networks
Members of KONPNE are active in putting similar questions to the six other Councils in the North East – click here for details
12th November 2020 – In North West Durham
Great to take part in discussions this evening about campaigning for a publicly provided NHS. NW Durham CLP arranged this event, and friends from the Socialist Health Association also spoke. A very lively evening, many questions and much interest.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a speaker (plus optional slide presentation) – all can be done via Zoom – and we will do our very best to assist. See here for details.
3rd November 2020 – Tomorrow: our question to Northumberland County Council
Prompted by the recent growth in “outsourcing” (aka NHS privatisation) by North Tyneside CCG, members of KONPNE are putting questions to local North East Councils about NHS privatisation in their area. Next up is Northumberland County Council, with a question put to the full Council by KONPNE member Richard Spedding. This will be read out and responded to by a Council officer. Read the question here. The meeting will take place online on Wednesday 4th November – public questions are scheduled for 2.45pm, immediately before the full Council meeting. You can follow the question live at this link.
A question was also submitted to Newcastle City Council for consideration at the Newcastle full Council meeting on the same day, but our question was declined, as they felt it to be similar to a question asked by us at the Newcastle full Council meeting in March this year – we disagree, and will be following up on this with a view to putting our question to Newcastle in November or the New Year.
See here (towards the bottom of the page) for the questions already presented to Gateshead and Sunderland Councils at their full Council meetings in September, plus their responses, and see also the emails to North Tyneside, South Tyneside and County Durham Councils.
30th October 2020 – The Vampires are Out
KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC NORTH EAST show a true horror story at Grey’s Monument, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Halloween 2020. The Vampires are out – sucking the lifeblood from our NHS……
to see the KONPNE Halloween video – but be warned….this is a REAL horror story
24th October 2020 – Nightmare at the Monument
Click on photos to enlarge
SUCKING THE LIFEBLOOD FROM OUR NHS – Private multinational companies such as Serco, Sital and Deloitte are gaining increasing numbers of contracts to try to carry out health-related work. It is clear that the sudden onset of Covid 19 has provided the cover for many such contracts to be handed over by the Government, often without scrutiny or competition. We should be expanding our NHS to undertake additional health related work and not continually running to the private sector who have shown time and time again that they do not have the expertise.
WANT TO HEAR A DOUBLE HORROR STORY? – At the same time, Johnson and Trump are keen to work out a trade deal, discussions are well in progress and, in the Trade Bill which is currently going through Parliament, the NHS is NOT excluded. This paves the way for large-scale take overs by by US private companies, reduced access to medication, the harvesting of our UK patient data by US firms and the lowering of standards in medication, technology, and the numbers / skills / pay and conditions of staff.
NHS R.I.P? TIME IS RUNNING SHORT – Click here for information about what YOU can do now.
This morning, as part of the National Day of Action against the US Trade Deal, KONPNE dressed in Halloween costume on Saturday to get the point across – but this really is now a matter of huge concern, and your assistance is needed.
23rd October 2020 – Remote Rebels 3
Great Remote Rebels 3 gig this weekend from Peoples Assembly North East. Many thanks David McAllister, Alix Alixandra and Bethany Elan for fantastic singing, Theresa Easton for the campaign update and Tony Dowling for hosting.
Many thanks also for inviting KONPNE to speak – KONPNE Steering Group member John Whalley describes the Tory negligence regarding the NHS and Covid 19 at 1:23… click here to watch
22nd October 2020 – KONPNE Press release
17th October 2020 – No to Serco Newcastle
KONPNE joined with Peoples Assembly North East outside SERCO offices in Newcastle to demand: “Scrap Serco – Hands Off Our NHS”
btw….Serco’s CEO is the brother of a former Tory MP. His partner is a Tory Party donor. And Serco’s former spin doctor is the Tory Minister for Health….
Parliament recently voted on Test and Trace going to local public health teams, not Serco. The Tories voted it down.
15th October 2020 – KONPNE Zooms
Great to meet up with everyone tonight for the October KONPNE meeting. Feedback on the range of actions re the “LIVI” privatisation in North Tyneside and also the Trade Bill – and plans made for further (socially-distanced and safe) actions over the next month. Feedback also from our friends in the neighbouring Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign. Notes from this meeting are here
There is much happening in the North East – click here for details. Details regarding the November KONPNE meeting will also be posted in the same place.
13th October 2020 – “Not about profit….”
Great range of speakers in tonights webinar, including Jude Letham (Co-ordinator, KONPNE), Martin Gannon (Leader, Gateshead Council), Keir Howe (GMB Northern Region NHS lead), Stacey Richardson (NHS Staff Nurse) and Dr George Rae (North Tyneside GP and BMA Chair).
All speakers confirmed the need to keep our NHS public and to stop the outsourcing – it is clear that Covid-19 has thrown a light on the ongoing underfunding and privatisation by stealth of our NHS.
“The NHS is about service and caring, and is NOT about profit. We never ever want to lose that value” Dr George Rae, North Tyneside GP and BMA Chair
The link to the event is here. Many thanks to Tony and Peoples Assembly North East for organising tonights very lively event.
7th October 2020 – GP speaks out against privatisation in North Tyneside
North Tyneside CCG has awarded the private healthcare company “LIVI” a contract to carry out virtual consultations in Primary Care in North Tyneside. Undoubtedly part of a very slippery privatisation slope: Livi claims to be Europe’s largest digital healthcare provider.
KONPNE anticipates that other CCGs may attempt to follow suit and we need to fight against this insidious privatisation of the NHS. Let us be crystal clear: CCGs should not be wasting taxpayers money by contracting out to private, profit making companies with shareholders.
Dr Gerard Reissmann, Newcastle upon Tyne GP:
“Services should be put into mainstream general practice, more GPs, more nurses….not to a private company offering a little easy cherry-picking straightforward patient service” 7th October 2020
1st October 2020 – Morpeth
Great to meet up with members of Morpeth and Pegswood Branch Labour Party, and to have the opportunity to share the KONPNE powerpoint regarding NHS privatisation. Many thanks for inviting us and for a very interesting discussion. Participants spoke of their own experiences – one person spoke of a sense of shock at the extent of privatisation within our health services, and another person described his experience as a Type 1 diabetic where he now needs to pay £250 per month for an insulin pump as it did not meet the NHS funding criteria, despite the pump being recommended by medical staff…
Members of KONPNE are willing to present the powerpoint and lead a discussion via zoom with all North East groups – political, social, religious, leisure…all welcome. Let us know at email@example.com and we will do our best to assist.
25th September 2020 – Hiding behind a logo…..
Letter in todays Metro – We need to fix test and trace. Local public health teams and our NHS must be put back in charge of testing and contact tracing…and a clear message from KONP North East and @keepnhspublic and @We_OwnIt: You’re hiding behind a logo @MattHancock
24th September 2020 – North Tyneside privatisation reported by national media
Sharon Barbour, BBC, reports on the privatisation currently taking place within North Tyneside GP surgeries, as commissioned by North Tyneside CCG: see here
and the issue is also reported in the Health Campaigns Together news bulletin here (page 4)
….and we keep coming back to the fundamental question – why is the funding provided to this private company not being invested in local, existing primary care services? It is clearly a cost-cutting exercise, increasing macro privatisation and undermining localised provision….
23rd September 2020 – Sunderland respond
Question: What is Sunderland Council doing to prevent the steady and insidious NHS privatisation process and how will you ensure that the local “Integrated Care System” involves changes based on health and social need, rather than being driven by financial considerations that lead to further outsourcing to the private sector?
Cllr Geoff Walker responded to this question about NHS privatisation put to the the Council by KONP Sunderland this evening. He confirmed that Sunderland City Council does not support the systematic privatisation of the NHS, is committed to an internal commissioning of services, and referred to a number of initiatives that the Council is involved in. He stated “I think our involvement in integrated health and social care clearly demonstrates our commitment to an agenda of collaboration and co-operation aimed at avoiding wealth extraction by the private sector”.
A transcription of Cllr Walkers response is here: Answer to KONP question from Sunderland City Council 23 09 2020 and we have no doubt that KONP Sunderland will be following up Cllr Walkers response in some detail.
20th September 2020 – Sunderland City Council
Prompted by “Livi” and the recent growth in “outsourcing” (aka NHS privatisation) in North Tyneside – see posts below – members of KONPNE are putting questions to local North East Councils about privatisation in their area.
Sunderland KONP’s Laura Murrell and Dr Pam Wortley have presented the following question and information sheet, and a response is expected from Sunderland Council at the full Council meeting on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 at 4pm.
Live streamed here: https://youtu.be/X9R-j-J3o4U
Plus more to follow – Newcastle City Council (7th October), Northumberland County Council (4th November) and information to key Councillors in North Tyneside, South Tyneside and County Durham – links to follow…
17th September 2020 – KONPNE at Gateshead Council
Prompted by growing NHS privatisation across the region, members of KONPNE are currently in the process of putting questions to Councillors at full council meetings across the North East. First up was Gateshead Council this afternoon when Tony Dowling, KONPNE member and Gateshead resident, addressed the Council regarding the escalating privatisation within the NHS and then asked the following question:
What is the council doing to prevent the steady and insidious NHS privatisation process as mentioned, and what will Gateshead Council do to ensure that the local “Integrated Care System” involves changes based on health and social need, rather than being driven by financial considerations that lead to further outsourcing to the private sector.
Tony also asked:
“The local “Integrated Care System” can be made to look good on paper – no one would argue with phrases such as “greater collaboration” and “patient-centred care” – but some risks only become apparent when the “Integrated Care System” is seen within the context of the planned, strategic dismantling of the healthcare system. Does Gateshead Council commission risk assessments regarding service changes in health provision – and do these risk assessments relate to privatisation? Members of KONPNE are keen that our Council representatives see the over-all picture and ask difficult questions, so that the NHS remains for all constituents and for future generations”.
A full response was provided by Councillor Lynne Caffrey, Chair of Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Board, which KONPNE looks forward to considering further in detail. As part of her verbal response, Cllr Caffrey commented that Gateshead Council is doing lots to guard against privatisation and, verbally and in writing, she stated that “Gateshead Council is fully committed to the NHS as a public service”. Regarding the alarming news that North Tyneside CCG have commissioned a private company, Livi, to provide virtual appointments across primary care in North Tyneside, Cllr Caffrey confirmed that “the local strategy is to introduce the option for Gateshead patients to consult with GPs via video if they choose to, but that video consultation will be with a local practice and a local practitioner as part of the primary care service that is already commissioned. We have no plans to commission any outside services”.
Our statement and questions are here: Question to Gateshead Council Sept 2020
Cllr Caffreys response is here: Question Response By Councillor Caffrey, Gateshead
KONPNE will now consider Cllr Caffreys response in detail, and we intend to reply with copies to Gateshead Councillors.
15th September 2020 – KONPNE questions full Council meeting
Prompted by the recent growth in “outsourcing” (aka NHS privatisation), members of KONPNE are putting questions to local North East Councils about privatisation in their area.
Follow our question and Council responses live, as Tony Dowling, KONPNE member and Gateshead resident, puts a question to the full council meeting of Gateshead Council on Thursday 17th September at 2.30pm.
Follow live on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYDGr1rlFmM&ab_channel=GatesheadMBC
Plus more to follow – Dr Pam Wortley and the team at Keep Our NHS Public Sunderland have prepared a question for the full Sunderland City Council meeting on Wednesday 23rd September – links to follow…
14th September 2020 – NHS privatisation in North Tyneside primary care – “Livi”
KONPNE has now written to both North Tyneside MPs, checked out the times for formal questions to be put to the seven NE Councils (the first question will be put to Gateshead Council at the full council meeting on Thursday this week – more info to follow), has written to the Chronicle, Journal and local papers, and is in the process of getting more information from North Tyneside CCG via a “Freedom of Information” request….what can you do -> please click here for information about ways of getting involved.
The letter to local papers:
I am writing on behalf of the local campaign group, ‘Keep Our NHS Public – North East’.
I am very concerned about the creeping privatisation of the NHS which is occurring at this present time. Recently, North Tyneside residents received letters inviting them to sign up to an app from a private Swedish company, Livi, working in partnership with North Tyneside CCG. This would enable GP patients to get video appointments provided they had a Smart phone or laptop with the correct software. All of this happened without consultation with the North Tyneside councillors, our local representatives. Unless stopped, this pilot development in North Tyneside may well spread to other parts of the North East. Further information concerning this situation can be accessed from our website https://konpnortheast.com/privatisation/primary-care/.
In taking out a contract with this private company the taxes from our hard earned money are being misused, without our knowledge, to pay private companies to make a profit from our misfortune and ill-health. If this service became the norm then those people without access to technology or who are unable to use it would potentially be denied access to some GP services.
The service from Livi is currently ‘free’ and optional for N. Tyneside residents, but for how long? There is a cost though, as our taxes are benefitting this company. One hundred percent of the monies allocated to the NHS should go directly to the NHS to provide much needed healthcare and not to profit companies overseas. During the COVID pandemic we have been witnessing the NHS struggle to provide a full healthcare service. Many people have seen their operations and treatments postponed. Meanwhile the Government is funding private companies rather than invest in our British NHS, pay our NHS workers a decent wage and provide them with adequate PPE for safe working.
Telephone and video appointments can be a helpful way of having a first contact with your GP for some but not all clinical situations during our current COVID pandemic and many of our NHS GPs have been able to provide this service without payment to private companies. When we can return to ‘normal’ most people will want to be able to have that valuable contact with their own GP at the surgery where they feel comfortable and can have a full consultation.
Now is the time to stand up and stop this privatisation which we neither need nor want.
Keep Our NHS Public North East
3rd September 2020 – Livid…
A very active KONPNE meeting this evening, with much discussion and campaign planning centring around * Trade Bill (see here) *the private company “Livi” contracted to provide GP consultations in North Tyneside (much happening – social media and website posts to be added shortly) *access to A+E *powerpoint presentation on privatisation *forthcoming events
The notes from the meeting are here: 3.9.20 – KONPNE notes of meeting
Your help is needed – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in the campaign
28th August 2020 – North Tyneside on the slippery privatisation slope
The private firm Livi has been awarded a contract to carry out virtual consultations in Primary Care in North Tyneside. Whilst this is claimed to be a pilot scheme, and it is to be seen as an addition to the usual GP clinical work, it is undoubtedly part of a very slippery privatisation slope.
KONPNE strongly objects to this insidious privatisation of the NHS. Apart from the central fact that North Tyneside CCG should not be wasting taxpayers money by contracting out to private, profit making companies with shareholders, a number of key issues need to be answered as a matter of urgency – click here to find out more, plus ways of helping.
26th August 2020 – NE Councillors & Public Health express concern about restructure
Health and Wellbeing Board Chairs from across the region have come together to express concern at the Government’s decision to restructure Public Health England and to hand over key responsibilities to a new body with no clear idea of what it will do or how it will be governed.
“The National Institute for Health Protection appears to be an organisation set outside of the NHS but with a crucial role to play in the health of our communities,” said Cllr Lynne Caffrey, Chair of the Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB), who coordinated a letter to both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock.
The letter from 10 of the region’s 12 HWB Chairs from across political parties, expressed their surprise at the changes being proposed in the middle of a pandemic. It also asks for the expertise of local councils in dealing with many aspects of public health, including infectious disease outbreaks, to be recognised and for any new structures or systems to be set up to be co-designed with local authorities. Cllr Caffrey, said: “We believe we need to focus on maintaining the local capability, capacity and skills, to keep the effective working relationships already established and for us to have a system in place that is best able to protect the communities we represent.”
This view is shared by Directors of Public Health (DsPH) across the region and, as leaders of local systems they have experienced at first-hand the vital role that regional Public Health England (PHE) teams play in protecting the health and wellbeing of local communities and that they do not wish to lose this regional expertise. Amanda Healy, Durham’s Director of Public Health and chair of the North East Association of Directors of Public Health, said: “Our regional PHE colleagues have played a critical role in our local response to Covid-19. As such, any proposal to dismantle these arrangements now, particularly ahead of winter, present a real risk to protecting the health and wellbeing of our community. It is also vital that people understand the breadth of remit that PHE has across healthcare public health, health improvement and health inequalities. We would strongly recommend that any restructuring protects these functions which have a central role across Local Government and the NHS. We have all be involved with many re-organisations over the years and while, at times, there have been benefits, we also understand the immense upheaval and disruption they create. Given the pressure we are all currently under we, as Directors of Public Health across the North East, are extremely concerned that this disruption may adversely affect our ability to protect our communities from Covid and indeed other infectious diseases as we come towards the winter months.”
Read the Chronicle article here
18th August 2020 – Scrap the contracts for Serco and Sitel
Privatised track and trace has been a 2020 disaster that is costing lives. It’s now time to put local public health teams in charge of the whole system – they have the tools and the local knowledge they need to do this vital work before any second wave this winter. Now they need the money.
Speaking outside Newcastle Civic Centre on the “We Own It” national day of action on Track and Trace Contracts, Dr Helen Groom, GP and member of KONP North East, stated:
“Don’t be fooled – the Tories are now beginning to overtly privatise our NHS. Public Health England is now being merged with the failed Serco / Sitel. £528 million of your money is being given to this company which couldn’t even run track and trace properly in the first place”
David McAllister, North East Peoples Assembly, stated:
“We stand against all privatisation and cuts to public services – the NHS is a major part of that.We are here supporting health workers who are standing in the way of private companies making a killing out of our public services”
….and now watch the youtube video from Newcastle upon Tyne today: https://youtu.be/WCTDa-FC1fw
It is clear that Hancock needs to scrap Serco and Sitels failed contracts now instead of renewing them. The government must give the £528 million allocated for these contract extension to local authorities and Public Health England teams instead.
Couldn’t make the Newcastle event today? Then it’s crucial that you sign the “Save Lives, Scrap Serco” petition here….and please pass it on to all of your contacts….. https://weownit.org.uk/save-lives-scrap-serco-now
9th August 2020 – Sedgefield MP fails to support Amendment that would protect the NHS
Click SEDGEFIELD MP email communication to see email communication between KONPNE and Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield.
Top email – from KONPNE to Sedgefield MP Paul Howell, 9th August 2020 – our huge concern and disappointment that he chose to vote AGAINST protecting the NHS in the Trade Bill
Middle email – from Paul Howell MP to KONPNE, 24th July 2020 – – attempting to justify his position
Third email – our initial email from KONPNE to Paul Howell, 19th July 2020, requesting his support in protecting the NHS
It is not too late: we are now counting on Paul Howell to support NHS Amendments, after the Bill has been through the Lords in the autumn 2020
9th August 2020 – Blyth MP fails to support Amendment that would protect the NHS
Click BLYTH MP email communication to see email communication between KONPNE and Ian Levy, MP for Blyth
Top email – from KONPNE to Blyth MP Ian Levy, 9th August 2020 – our huge concern and disappointment that he chose to vote AGAINST protecting the NHS in the Trade Bill
Middle email – from Ian Levy MP to KONPNE, 21st July 2020 – – attempting to justify his position
Third email – our initial email from KONPNE to Ian Levy, 19th July 2020, requesting his support in protecting the NHS
It is not too late: we are now counting on Ian Levy to support NHS Amendments, after the Bill has been through the Lords in the autumn 2020
8th August 2020 – Pay justice for health care workers
Crucial for KONPNE to be at the socially-distanced march and rally in Newcastle today, in support of pay justice for health service workers. Poor rates of pay have contributed to the recruitment and retention crisis in the NHS, and workers shouldn’t have to wait until April 2021 for a pay review. Clapping on a Thursday night does not put food on the table. A great turnout at the march, speeches from health care workers, and also our first post-lockdown opportunity for a brief catch up with friends at Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign and Sunderland KONP.
A Chronicle report, pictures and video is here
5th August 2020 – KONPNE at Cullercoats Branch Labour Party
Many thanks to Cullercoats Branch Labour Party for the invitation to meet up with members tonight via Zoom – we were asked to present our new powerpoint on NHS privatisation in the North East, and this was followed by questions and discussion. It is great to have your support, and the support of other political parties in the North East.
KONPNE does not align itself to any one political party – we have members from most political parties (or none), and it remains very important for us to welcome all people who support a publicly funded and publicly provided NHS. Very recently, we have developed powerpoint images and text to accompany our presentations – we have found that this makes the presentation more engaging and interesting. If your group (be that political, social, educational, or religious….most gatherings, in fact!) would like a speaker / presentation to describe NHS privatisation in the North East, then please get in touch at email@example.com , and we will do our best to assist.
4th August 2020 – KONPNE on Zoom
Our agenda included an update from the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign, information about the forthcoming NHS Workers Pay Protest on Saturday (information here), an overview of the Campaign work so far regarding NHS charges to migrants (see here) and details about the recently updated KONPNE presentations on NHS privatisation in the North East. Most of the agenda and discussion centred around the Trade Bill and possible campaign initiatives (here), including lobbying the Lords and maintaining a focus on contacting local MPs….following our meeting tonight, we have updated our campaign strategy regarding this – please watch out for the details.
3rd August 2020 – NHS privatisation in the North East
KONPNE has devised a 30 minute Powerpoint presentation summarising the privatisation of the NHS in the North East, which can be delivered via Zoom. The presentation has been trialled successfully with several groups and has been followed by questions and answers. If you know of any groups that would like to book this presentation for a meeting: political, social, religious or any other interested group, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
Please click here for further details
31st July 2020 – KONPNE and Unite Community Branch
Great to be invited to a Zoom meet up with members of the NE Unite Community Branch, for an overview of the Campaign and discussion. Together we are stronger, and it is good to have your support.
This meeting saw the third trip out for our newly updated powerpoint presentation on NHS Privatisation in the North East. This presentation is available to other groups and organisations, and KONPNE members are invited to present it, at the moment via Zoom. If you are not an attender at our meetings, please get in touch with us at email@example.com, and we will do our very best to arrange a speaker.
20th July 2020 – Trade Bill now at the Lords
Further to the appalling voting at the Commons today, we are now reviewing the Campaign, with a focus on the Lords. Check out the page here for specific details about the passage of the Bill so far through Parliament, and actions to take. We are considering all options re the Lords, and will update supporters when we clarify and agree our way forward. Thank you.
8th July 2020 – 2 min Trade Bill video now published by KONPNE
URGENT: Please watch – then share or tweet this video to all of your contacts….The Trade Bill will be debated in Parliament in July 2020, and it is CRUCIAL that we contact our MPs NOW
Accompanying track Rumble is from www.bensound.com
6th July 2020 – North East Bylines
Excellent article from Giuseppe Bignardi in North East Bylines re Saturday action in Newcastle.
Please click here: https://northeastbylines.co.uk/troubled-birthday-4-the-nhs/
5th July 2020 – Across the North East….
5th July 2020 – 72yrs young
Today we CELEBRATE but we also PROTECT.
We need to KEEP OUR NHS PUBLIC – or we will lose it.
Dr. Helen Groom (GP) said;- “The things that have worked during the COVID 19 pandemic have been the ones organised by the NHS – our hospitals have’t closed, and we have, so far, had enough ITU beds. The things that haven’t, PPE procurement, testing, contact tracing and most tragically our care homes, are all contracted out to private companies. We call
on the government to SAVE the NHS from current trade bill and privatisation discussions, FUND the NHS to 11% of GDP, bringing us to average and not below average as we are currently, and to STOP migrant charging. This weekend we ask every member of the public not only to clap or take the knee but to write/email/tweet their
MP, Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson with those 3 messages”
Jude Letham co-ordinator of Keep Our NHS Public North East said;- “We have a state-of-the-art pathology lab in Gateshead but tests from IKEA 5 miles away were sent to Milton Keynes and often didn’t return. Big multinational private companies such as SODEXA, Capita, PWC and Deloitte and have been given £1.7 billion pounds worth of contracts in the last 3 months 1 . Serco got £49 million for call centres, PESTFIX £109 million for supply and delivery of PPE. Keep our NHS Public say give this PUBLIC tax payer’s money to the NHS. We need to act now to remove the NHS from the current trade talks and prevent the US companies from taking more of those contracts and implementing US style health care.”
Tony Dowling People’s Assembly said;- “Mental health and care services have been devastated by cuts in funding and contracting out to private companies where share holders count, not patients. It’s essential that the NHS is saved from the current trade talks, that privatisation stops, and that we stop migrant charging which prevents ill people from seeking treatment. We’re asking all members of the public to do their bit and to write, email, tweet their MP, especially Conservative ones, to say SAVE, FUND, STOP. A tsunami of public opinion reaching all of our politicians is what the NHS and care services need this weekend.”
4th July 2020 – Full report and video from Chronicle Live
Please click here