In my view a no-brainer. Population growth is an unacknowledged accelerator in promoting environmental chaos and global inequalities. We talk and strategise about reducing carbon footprints but not the accelerating numbers of those footprints. No, this is not advocating authoritarian 2 child government dictates, its advocating win win policies such as massive western investments in education, especially for girls, in developing countries and a big push in promoting contraception. We also need a cultural change in acknowledging the effects of our consumption footprints on the wellbeing of the planet and it’s inhabitants.
Not such an odd couple more partners in crime
We will get absolutely nowhere handing out leaflets telling people that Future Fit is a con trick without sticking blame onto our MPs. Nobody is asking what our aims are in all this. I believe that Future Fit is going to happen in exactly the way the NHS bosses plan – they hold all the cards and will win the propaganda war with the public. Any intervention we make in the consultation process will go unregistered (they haven’t spent thousands of pounds on this consultation not to be 100% sure of its outcome) and in any case they have successfully sold the pro FF narrative of winners and losers to the biggest population area in the region so they know that they will get a majority supporting their preferred option. They also know that the public don’t give a stuff about the PFI argument when they are being offered £312 million of cake now which they are being told will enhance their health provision. I think its an easy sell.
We are at war with the Tory government, lets not pretend otherwise. So why do we ignore the fact that there is a political intelligence behind all the cuts and consolidations guiding its direction and determining its presence? It is not NHS bosses that produced the 2012 Health and Social Care Act that opened up 49% of NHS Services to private companies or constructed the STP regions which are tied to stringent austerity funding targets, it was the Tory Government. Given all the pain that we the patients have suffered at the expense of these Tory policies you would think or hope that our 5 local Tory MPs would be screaming at the Health Secretary to back off lest this region turns red with anger. But no they have positioned themselves as local champions of the NHS coming together to congratulate the Future Fit board and Jeremy Hunt for producing a long term solution to the region’s Health problems and of course, because the remodelling will take at least 4 years to come to fruition, they will be betting that blame for this health catastrophe will be forgotten and that there will be other excuses for why there are increased mortalities and suffering.
Surely the only way we can affect them is to call them out over support for the Government ambition to cut £22 billion by 2020 – this is what they ARE responsible for. They can and have distanced themselves from local cuts or reinterpreted them as clinically beneficial. The public however can and do join the dots between these massive national cuts and the health chaos that they experience.
Exposing the floating voters or soft Tories to these incontrovertible facts is exactly what Mark Pritchard, Philip Dunne, Lucy Allan, Daniel Kawczynski and Owen Patterson don’t want us to do. This is why we must.
Andrew Eade and Shaun Davies both ardent supporters of #PRH4me
Socialists should never swim in the same contaminated distorting currents of our opponents. In the current end game of Future Fit we have #PRH4me representing the Labour Councillors with £100,000 to promote their travesty of socialism. In my view they have taken a running leap into these filthy waters seeded with lies and deceit because they conceal the true political nature of the ambitions of this programme. Blair called it modernisation, they call it TINA – there is no alternative.
Under the guise of greater clinical efficiency, our NHS is to be remodelled (as are all other public services) with a business framework which has ‘consolidation’ and ‘financial sustainability’ as universal motifs. Telford and Wrekin Council believed, in the early years of Future Fit that the A&E was remaining in the PRH and they were then its biggest fans. Cllr Overton even chided Shropshire CCG for being reluctant to let the Future Fit board have its way. Now they have capitulated into urging their residents to participate in a faux consultation and vote for option 2 (keeping the A&E at the PRH) on the grounds it is £60,000 cheaper. Someone needs to ask the putative socialist councillors at what point in their personal journeys towards a Labour Party viewpoint did they conclude that our NHS allocation be determine by costs and not human need?
This Council also finds it convenient that, whilst Health Services are framed in terms of Future Fit, their voters are kept ignorant to cuts and their effects on health services they are administrating such as social Care and Public Health that have been decimated by cuts since 2008. Labour Councillors at some point have to stop pretending that the services that they administrate are safe and are providing the necessary benefits that lead to a thriving living environment for their residents. Maybe the collapse of community health and social care services has had an effect making young people more vulnerable to CSE? I know from first hand experiences the damage done by cuts to local services for the elderly, people with mental health issues and adults with learning disabilities. It is appalling that this Council will not admit that both options 1 & 2 are options that will cause harm as are the central government cuts that they have passed on to us. Do they think that by pretending that these cuts either are not real, as with Future Fit, or inconsequential as with local public services will protect their vote for next year’s local election?
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time but …
The Future Fit consultation on the farcical choices put forward for the future of Shropshires NHS provision will not be a people’s referendum. I’ve even heard from local NHS bosses that it isn’t democratic. When the the board’s plans have been signed off by the government, cost millions to produce, and has taken 5 years. Do you really think they would allow the public the option to reject their plan so they had to start from the beginning again? Don’t get involved in this farce – they are taking the mick.
Another part of this pantomime is the way our politicians are dealing with the deceptions and partial truths of the Future Fit project. All have acquiesced to the big lie that Future Fit is about developing a plan to secure clinical excellence for the region’s population. They all pretend not to know that either option will bring reduced services for their voters, instead presenting themselves as valiant warriors in protecting their voters Health services. The truth and they all know it, is Future Fit’s primary aim is to secure future savings so that our health provisions will be fit for the future budgetary requirements of this Austerity fixated government, 300 less nurses, 20% fewer therapists, fewer beds etc etc resulting in £135 million of savings and a health nightmare for all of us. The clue to the nature of the Future Fit remodelling process is in the business focused approach to our health needs. Consolidating NHS assets provides economies of scale increase in productivity as well as reduced staff costs. These new models of delivering public services are seeing patients as commodities to be processed as quickly as possible rather than patients with varied and entirely individual needs. This is the ‘brave new world’ that Future Fit is ushering us into. We are going to have to travel further to see our doctors (if we can get appointments) as well as our nearest hospital, this will undoubtedly lead to patients dying in ambulances across the county. Your GP’s now knows more about the cost of each of their patients than the effectiveness of their treatment and all public services are going through the same process. The inevitable result of this is a society that monetises our humanity and places little to no value on the basic human qualities of care and compassion.
A long read, but we need to discuss…
I believe that Future Fit, because of its political nature and objectives, can only be defeated politically. All our local Tory politicians who represent the FF ‘consolidation and cut’ models, that are being delivered throughout the country, define themselves publicly in relation to this brave new world of ever larger and ever more distant hospitals . The narrative that has only varied marginally is that the clinicians are devising a health service with more investments and better clinical outcomes for everyone and those opposing this are Luddites who are frightened of change and that ‘doing nothing is not an option’. So on the one hand we have these kindly clinicians (our own Doctor Kildares or Casualty’s Charlies if you will) who are recommending Future Fit and on the other, the Luddite ‘critics’ or “do nothing” brigade that our esteemed politicians have been warning us against. They, the Future Fit protagonists claim to represent the NHS and clinicians who overwhelmingly welcome what they consider is a progressive future model of health care that will meet future demand. Their argument is simple and direct – we are the experts/doctors and this is our diagnosis and here is our prescription.
This is richly illustrated in the Star 7th April with the Conservative Leader of Shropshire Council ‘ warning that ‘the Future Fit consultation will not be a referendum on the public’s favourite option’ and that we must accept that the clinicians who have already made their decision may not ‘follow what the public want but what they do will be in the best interest of the people of Shropshire’. This is why arguments from authoritative individuals and institutions are easily dismissed. Professor Tyrer from the Imperial College London reviewed the outcomes from hospitals that had merged two A&E’s into one with the result that there was significant increases in fatalities caused by the unavoidable longer ambulance journey times. The Royal College Of Nurses were sceptical about the percentage of patients brought to hospital by ambulance who can be adequately serviced in an Urgent Care Provision, and overwhelming evidence contradicts Simon Wright’s assertions that MLU’s aren’t wanted by Shropshire ‘Mums’. These and all other arguments by the People are all diminished by those in power because of the status and the media platform they are given. The only significant power base to stand against them has been T&W Council backed by £100,000 of tax payers money and copious amounts of officers’ time. Unfortunately instead of taking Future Fit to task as an attack on our NHS they defined it as unfair to their electorate and went on to argue that the Future Fit board got their sums wrong which only served to reinforce the neo-Conservative narrative that the NHS should be assessed as a financial business rather than a public service.
So for activists it is important that what we say is not shaped and translated by the opposition and we look at exactly what is achievable and by what tactic. Tory politicians and Future Fit propagandists will strengthen their case with the TINA (There Is No Alternative) argument that seemed to have successfully mesmerised the electorate (hence the confidence of the chancellor in further cutting 11 million peoples’ benefits on April 6th). All the time the Future Fit programme is not being politicised the politicians are breathing a sigh of relief and given the wide public acceptance of TINA they can successfully project an image of tenacious politicians fighting for the biggest slice of a diminishing NHS cake.
If we are to succeed we must reveal the political truth that Future Fit is part of the Conservative Government’s Austerity plan and a first stage in privatising our NHS, all of which our representative MPs have voted for. This is the only message, if successfully absorbed by the public, that politicians will fear.
Will you really be celebrating Telford’s 50th
Like most people, I am shocked by The Mirror report that up to 1,000 girls have been abused since the 1980’s and that there has also been murders and worse still that the abuse, which I had thought had been brought to a halt by Operation Challis, is ongoing. I have to apologise to Lucy Allan whom I accused of publicity seeking when she questioned the efficacy of the police operation – It would now seem that she has, if anything, understated the gravity of the situation. 1,000 of our woman and girls need individual answers to the question of why their nightmares weren’t listened to or addressed.
I feel strongly that the Council should reconsider their celebration for Telford’s 50th anniversary considering that for the majority of that period despicable acts were being perpetrated upon so many of its vulnerable young; people who I’m sure won’t be celebrating. Yes I am confident there are other guilty parties, administrations and individuals whose roles in this catastrophe will, with effective scrutiny, come to light. But what we do know is that this Labour administration have been part of an investigation that has failed to protect our young, whilst at the same time, reassuring us that they have everything under control. This clearly is not the case and, given that much of the then disregarded intel of this abuse came from youth and community workers who now no longer exist in Austerity Britain what chance is their of existing and future abuse coming to light? Finally, this Council must at the very least, reassure residents that the existing and future jailed perpetrators will never be coming back to Telford to haunt their victims.