National NHS Demonstration 4th March 2017

Keep our NHS public Greater Manchester

HCT is calling a national demonstration in London on 4th March . We believe the time has come to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support for the NHS and anger and opposition to the destructiveness of Tory policies.
‘Health Campaigns Together’ is a national network of over thirty NHS campaigning organisations and unions working together to co-ordinate action to defend the NHS.

Our National Health Service is at breaking point. On the backdrop of gross underfunding and continued cuts and closures of NHS services, private companies seek to gain even more of a foothold within the NHS. Continued pay restraint has seen the value of NHS staff salaries reduce by 14% since 2010 and there are now 25,000 nursing and 3,500 midwifery vacancies in NHS England alone.

By March the “winter crisis” will not be over and the full reality of the STP plans will have become clearer to…

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Footprints March and Rally for the NHS from Northallerton

The Friarage Hospital and Darlington Memorial Hospital are under the threat of service cuts, including A&E closures. This is because of the so-called ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ (STPs) They divide the NHS in England into 44 ‘footprints’ which must make cuts in order to access ‘transformation funds’. Essentially, this is a bribe to implement cuts to our already struggling health service.

We have found documents that prove that closures of A&E departments, maternity and stroke units (and many more) are planned. We’ll be adding them to this page.

We vehemently oppose these cuts which will put lives at risk and therefore we are marching between the 8 major hospitals in our Footprint in order to show just how large our footprint is and how dangerously isolated we will become as a result of these savage cuts.

Footprints March for the NHS begins in Northallerton with a meeting with speakers where you can find out how we can defend our hospitals. The meeting is in the Mowbray Suite of the Golden Lion Hotel on the High Street between 10am and 12pm.

The March will then commence from the Friarage Hospital at 12.30 with a walk to Brompton. After that there is no good path, so we will arrange transport to Croft and recommence the march to Darlington Memorial Hospital there.

After Darlington the march visits Bishop Auckland, Shotley Bridge, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, North Tees and then Darlington again.

For a detailed itinerary of the walk and its associated public meetings, please visit

There is a sign up form on the website – please let us know which legs you’re walking.

If we all stand together, we can defend our hospitals. Walk with us!


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Cuts will have consequences in the Vale of York

Unlike many York residents I was aware of Archways before the news about its planned closure on the 31st December was announced. I’d had the pleasure of knowing elderly relatives and younger friends were able to be safe there when they were clearly not ready for home without 24 hour care and, if necessary, observation.

The closure came as a great surprise when such a beneficial half-way house was clearly in demand and relieving the pressure on in-patient beds at the hospital, particularly for the younger people unable to look after themselves at home.

The fact that the news broke in the same week when the CCG made national headlines for attempting to stop those with a BMI over 30 of being operated on leads to one clear conclusion – it’s a cost-cutting measure – in fact a very short-term cost-cutting measure because as the hospital beds fill up from December onwards with the delayed discharges of patients young and old the Trust and CCG will hit the headlines yet again…

The report makes much of an ‘expanded Community Response Team’ but how will this be staffed when the local media reports an increased cost for temporary doctors & nurses DOUBLING to £27.4 million a year in the last year. The committee has been told that the Trust has been recruiting in foreign parts for more staff but that must be a less attractive option given BREXIT, so where will the staff for these expanded teams come from? Given the traffic and rural nature of the Vale of York how will all those visits be provided in a timely and needy nature?

The emergency call button connected to the telephone system can be a wonderful thing in some contexts but the freshly discharged patient subject to falls or seizures who lives some miles from the nearest Community Response Team may well die in the wait.

The idealistic and technological solutions that are paraded as a response to the last two governments NHS cuts should be tried and tested in a real world situation before being foisted on an unaware public surrounded by hyperbole and spin.

Archways is a purpose-built resource that has served the community of York for 12 years and been well praised. I do not see the point in closing it down at relatively short notice and without a replacement solution being tried and tested – patients will die or suffer needlessly – more discharges will be delayed. Rather than closure expansion should be the consideration.

Winter pressures will pile higher on the NHS and the soon to be less available social care.

(Delivered at City of York Council Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee 28th September 2016)


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Bootham Replacement Consultation Detail and Questionnaire


The purpose of this public consultation is to seek the views of local people on the development of a new mental health hospital for the Vale of York.

Over the next 12 weeks we will be asking for feedback on:

  • the location of the new hospital (there are three possible sites)
  • the proposed number and configuration of beds.
  • The consultation will run from 23 September to 16 December 2016 and will include seven public meetings.

The consultation document contains information to support our discussions with local people. It includes background information explaining why we need a new hospital and what we have done to date to involve local people in developing our plans. It outlines our proposals for the new hospital including what services we will provide and the proposed number and configuration of beds. It also contains information about the three site options and the reasons why other sites have been ruled out.

We welcome your views on our proposals and look forward to hearing from you.

Public consultation meetings

Date:  7 October 2016

Time:  3.00 – 5.00pm

Venue:  Community Hall, Burnby Hall, Pocklington, York, YO42 2QF

Date:  11 October 2016

Time:  3.00 – 5.00pm

Venue: Community House, Portholme Rd, Selby, YO8 4QQ

Date:  24 October 2016

Time:  3.00 – 5.00pm and 5.30 – 7.30pm

Venue:  New Earswick Folk Hall, Hawthorn Terrace, New Earswick, York, YO32 4AQ

Date:  31 October 2016

Time:  3.00 – 5.00pm

Venue:  Galtres Centre, Easingwold, York, YO61 3AD

Date:  8 November 2016

Time:  2.30 – 4.30pm and 5.00 – 7.00pm

Venue:  Priory Street Centre, 15 Priory Street, York, YO1 6ET

Pre-consultation engagement

We held three public engagement events in May 2016 to give local people an early opportunity to be involved in the development of the new hospital.

These sessions took place in Selby, Easingwold and York.

The events were supported by Healthwatch York and Healthwatch North Yorkshire. Over sixty people attended the events including service users and carers as well as representatives from City of York Council, Selby District Council, Rethink and other members of the public.

During the workshops we looked at:

  • what we need (eg how many beds do we need and how big does the hospital need to be)
  • site options available within the City of York ring road boundary, including the Bootham Park Hospital site (what’s available and the benefits and limitations of the possible sites). People were given the opportunity to share their thoughts and views on these
  • best practice in building design and how do we create the most therapeutic space

You can read more detailed feedback from these events in the report.

The report is attached, along with a scan of the final two pages which are the feedback form. Comments may also be emailed to the CCG on (I’d put the subject as ‘New hospital’).

We’ll try to get hard copies of the report and questionnaire from the CCG for those not online.

The CCG consultation document (20 page PDF, 800Mb) consultation-document

CCG qusetionnaire (2 page PDF, 1Mb) New Hospital Questionnaire

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Bootham Park Hospital Replacement Consultation

Sites for Bootham Park Hospital replacement consultation includes an event at New Earswick Folk Hall, from 3pm to 5pm and 5.30pm to 7.30pm on October 24, and one at the Priory Street Centre in York from 2.30 to 4.30pm and 5 to 7pm on November 8.

For more information about these and other consultation events, visit…/new-mental-health-hospital-for-Val…

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Walk Back to Bootham 30th September 2016

Well done to Mental Health Action York for all their work in organising this commemoration event on the first anniversary of the closure of Bootham Park Hospital by the inappropriately named Care Quality Commission. A thank you to all the speakers including Rachael Maskell MP who rushed along after other constituency work to speak from the heart about Bootham Park Hospital, mental health and the state of the National Health Service. Thanks to all those who attended and walked from York Minster to the front of Bootham Park Hospital where we had the pleasure of listening (in both locations) to the excellent York Rock choir who raised spirits on an otherwise dismal occasion.

Many of those who spoke asked for parity of esteem for mental health, along with the re-use of this ancient site as a mental health hospital.

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Walk Back to Bootham Friday 30th September 6 pm – 8 pm

To mark a year of struggle, there will be a march from York Minster to Bootham Park Hospital.

It marks a year since the closure, and is being held for the many people affected by the sad shock closure.

Friday 30th September 6 pm-8 pm

York Rock Choir are singing for us outside the Minster before we depart.

Guest speaker is Rachael Maskell MP

Candles will be lit at Bootham Park Hospital.


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Video of Reclaim the National Health Service – the latest threats! Friday 23rd Sept 2016


nhs-york-2Couldn’t make the evening? Wished you hadn’t missed it?

The video of the speeches is now available here.

Our thanks to James Newman of for coming to York and doing all the hard work.


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Reclaim the National Health Service – the latest threats! Friday 23rd Sept 2016

Despite it being a Friday night and a location just off the ‘Micklegate Run’ around 60 people turned up to hear about the latest threats to the National Health Service.

With an excellent introduction from Anne Leonard all three speakers condemned what had been happening to the NHS for the last forty years and encouraged people to take direct action to save it.

Dr Youssef El-Gingihy (GP in east London. Author of “How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps”)

Dr Youssef El-Gingihy (GP in east London. Author of “How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps”)

Rachael Maskell (MP for York Central and former NHS clinician)

Rachael Maskell (MP for York Central and former NHS clinician)

Frank Dobson (Former Labour Health Secretary)

Frank Dobson (Former Labour Health Secretary)


The meeting was also an opportunity to show off the new banner soon to be appearing at demonstrations and meetings around York and further.


The meeting was video recorded and that should be available soon.


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St. George’s Conference Centre, Great George St. next to Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3BR                 

with David Wrigley   GP, BMA Council Deputy Chair, Chair of  Doctors                in Unite,  co- author of ‘NHS For Sale’ 


John Lister   journalist, academic,  co-author of NHS For Sale, author of  The NHS at 60, for Patients or Profits and  Global Health vs. Private Profit, Director of  London Health Emergency,  sec of KONP, ed. Health  Campaigns Together

 Find out  what is happening to our NHS,  share information across  the region and help to organise  the fight back !

Booking not essential but to guarantee your place and help us  manage numbers and food, please e mail  or T. 0113 2622800


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