Dear NHS Campaigner
Wherever you live, please respond to this call for support for our members currently forming part of the protest camp within the hospital grounds as part of the Support Stafford Hospital Group, which is now on Day 5.
The group is making a stand to stop the transfer of essential services from the hospital and the serious dismantling of NHS provision generally in Stafford. They have tried every other means at their disposal.
"We have been through an administration process which is financially and politically driven - Monitor, Jeremy Hunt and our local CCG are not listening to what our community demands despite 50,000 people marching to save their hospital services. We cannot get in the national press. There is only one Stafford Hospital ‘story’ that interests them.
If we lose, this process will be rolled out to other District General Hospitals. We know that £300 million has been set aside by the government for Ernst and Young and other firms for this task.
We have no choice but to make a stand. We need your support, please. Write, Tweet, email, or come and visit us.
This is not just a fight for Stafford - which has been the excuse the government has used to break the NHS apart - but for the NHS itself.
Please visit #occupySSH; supportstaffordhospital.co.uk; twitter@staffshospital.
Thank you all.”
The government has used Mid Staffs remorselessly as the example of public service gone wrong. The people of Stafford know there is a different story.
Please send messages of support and visit if you can.
The NHA Campaign team
The whiff of hypocrisy coming from Cameron as he harps on about voting thresholds is overwhelming. Not a single member of his cabinet won over 50% of the vote in the 2010 election, with Cameron himself getting just 43% of the potential vote.
If he practised what he preached then no Tory councillors would have been elected in the last 20 years and Londoners would have been spared the circus of Boris Johnson. So we’ll take no lessons from the Bullingdon bully, who gives tax breaks to his City chums yet plots to deprive lowly waged workers of their right to fight poverty pay.—
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, attacked the prime minister’s plans to tighten the strike laws if the Tories are re-elected.
The TUC published research last Wednesday showing that since the coalition took office, local government workers, NHS staff, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and other public servants were on average £2,245 worse off in real terms.
Unite seeks legal injunction in NHS trust ‘sign or be sacked’ dispute
A major hospital could find itself in court over its treatment of core NHS medical staff, in what is thought to be the first time an NHS hospital has faced court proceedings over the use of temporary staff to break a lawful industrial dispute.
Unite, the UK’s largest union, has lodged an injunction with the Administrative Court in London to stop Northampton General Hospital from using staff supplied through an employment business to replace highly skilled biomedical staff.
The union is also seriously concerned that some replacement biomedical staff, supplied by an agency, are being encouraged to set themselves up as ‘companies’ in a bid to circumvent the law on the use of temporary staff in industrial disputes.
The biomedical scientists have been locked out of work for almost a month for refusing to accept an imposed £6,000 pay cut and a doubling in their night time shift patterns.
The highly qualified professionals are seeking a negotiated solution to the dispute, however they have been blocked in this by the trust managers who walked away from last week’s (Thursday 10 July) conciliation talks at Acas.
The union had sought urgent clarification from the head of pathology, Gus Lusack, over the use of agency workers to cover locked out staff in contravention of Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003. These regulations forbid the supply of ‘work-seekers provided by an employment business’ to perform the duties of striking staff.
The subsequent response of the trust to the union falls far short of addressing its concerns, leaving Unite no option but to commence legal proceedings.
Barrie Brown, Unite national officer said: “The trust’s aim all along has been to break the morale of its dedicated staff, and now it seems it is also prepared to flout the law and risk patient safety to achieve this.
“Never before in the history of the NHS have staff involved in saving lives been subjected to such a vicious and heavy-handed attack at the hands of their own employer. We’re witnessing the first case of union-busting in the NHS, which is why Unite will do all in its power to prevent this intimidation.
“We now suspect the trust of playing semantics with the letter of the law by encouraging some agency workers to set themselves up as limited companies in a deliberate bid to circumvent Regulation 7.
"We believe this use of agency staff is unlawful. If it is the case that they have had just three weeks training on the hospital’s complex blood testing and transfusion machines, we fear that this is inadequate-and potentially could risk patients’ safety.
“NGH must pull back. Its behaviour has been outrageous, impoverishing and bullying workers and taking little care with patients. We again call on them to abandon this destructive course and work with us on a negotiated solution to this dispute.”
The 78 biomedical scientists and support staff, locked out of the workplace by their NHS employer since 26 June, have until Friday 7 August to sign new contracts, accepting a £6,000 a year cut in pay, or be sacked.
The NGH’s biomedical scientists and support staff are the only staff group facing the loss of £6,000 a year under the new deals, a drop of around 15 per cent in their yearly income, and a doubling of their night shift working.
With news that waiting lists have gone through the 3 million mark – and are now at a six-year high - people will see the growing gap between David Cameron’s spin at the Despatch Box and the painful reality for patients.
Under David Cameron, NHS waiting lists and waiting times are getting longer by the day. People are being forced to choose between suffering in silence or paying to go private – the age-old Tory choice in the NHS. People who can see the NHS going backwards will today be justified in wondering why David Cameron threw the NHS into the chaos of a re-organisation when nobody voted for it.
David Cameron promised to protect the NHS and keep waiting lists down. He has broken that promise and must urgently set out a plan to turn things around. Given that only yesterday he was claiming that waiting times were coming down, people will today see that his public statements on the NHS simply can’t be trusted.—
Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Health Secretary, responding to last week’s NHS data released showing an extra 75,000 patients on the operation waiting list – a total of 3.1 million, the highest in six years.
“We will not lose control of waiting times – we will ensure they are kept low.”
BROKEN: No. 3 of David Cameron’s NHS personal guarantees