Minutes of Bristol Meeting 26.03.13

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April 3, 2013 by Protect Our NHS

Action Points are at the end of these minutes. So if you want to skip an outline of the discussion below, head to the bottom of the e mail.

Mike agreed to take the chair. He reported that we now had an e mail list of just under 100 and that Gwyneth would supply the KONP (Keep Our National Health Service Public)local list.

The meeting was to concentrate on the following issues:

1. May 4th Trades Council March from College Green to Castle Green.
Various ideas were discussed including a Die In using the Unite coffin and the Scrubs that Mike has. Keith to ask the Trades Council if they are interested. Mike is happy to co-ordinate but will not be there on the day. David and Ben asked what the message was going to be. Hilary stated that we needed a clear message aimed at ordinary people. Mike has leaflets. Pam felt that we lacked leadership for this project and that we needed a strategy and people to organise and attend.

2. Strategic Aims
Pam asked if we could define our strategic aim in one sentence. Ben said we needed to emphasise the names of the private companies like Virgin Health. That would have much more resonance than talking about CCGs and PPGs. Pam recommended that we talk about the links with social care in which privatisation led to situations like Winterbourne Down. All agreed this was a good approach.

Steve’s view was that as the battle for the constitution was now over we should concentrate on three things: Infiltration of the new bodies in order to be continually question and monitor from within, raising privatisation issues with local GPs, seeking continuing legal advice for how to stay the progress of the privatisation process.

David suggested that people join their local PPG (Patient Participation Group) to educate the other patients and practice managers. Keith agreed infiltration was very important. Shaun asked what the CCGs could do if they are being forced by statute to tender for services. GPs had been drawn in on the promise they were doing the commissioning so surely they would be unhappy, Mike recommended we continue to go to CCG meetings and ask questions. Barbara recommended we try and get invited to GP practice meetings. Ashley raised the issue of bundling in tendering which meant that only large companies could tender for services. Small companies like doctors’ surgeries could not compete. Mike said that HealthWatch was the organisation which was supposed to represent patients and public. Steve reported that he and Rhiannon were joining HealthWatch in North Somerset and would apply to become directors on it.

3. Involvement with Political Parties
Keith asked if we could get hard facts out to the Labour party. Pam asked if we could stay local and get a relationship going with the local Labour Party. Mike has been tweeting to pressurise Steve Williams (Lib Dem Bristol West). Williams has called this tweeter bullying (poor thing). only 2 Lib Dem MPs have signed the Early Day Motion on the secondary legislation. A group of people who live in Bristol West will go to his surgery on Friday 5th April.

4. People’s Policy Forum – 23.03.13 ICC Birmingham
Mike asked Sarah McMurchie to tell the meeting about this meeting. Sarah reported that 1,000 people braved the snow to hear Ed Milliband, Yvette Cooper, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, Angela Eagle et al talk on issues from Crime Fighting to Health Care. She said that Burnham made no promise to reverse anything and that they would deal with the situation they inherit. Sarah felt that this was an issue that Labour could generate huge passion about if they tried and something on which they could win an election. She gave us the link to the Labour Party’s ‘ideas’ web site: http://www.yourbritain.org.uk.

5. Mental Health Recommissioning in Bristol
Mike and Tessa separated to discuss this. Mike to write something for the blog when he has further confirmation on the issues.


1. Keith to talk to Trades Council about our involvement in May 4th March
2. Mike to e mail everyone on following issues:
A leaflet for May 4th
Four people to organise – volunteers??
The need numbers on the day – volunteers??
3. Everyone should try and join the PPGs at their local surgery
4. We need to go to CCG meetings and continue to ask awkward questions.
5. Contact Bristol Labour Party – Margaret Hickman.
6. Try and get more information on Bristol HealthWatch.
7. Find out more about Bristol Health Oversight & Scrutiny Panel
8. Bristol West members go to Steve Williams’ surgery on Friday 5th April and ask for his position on the EDM.
9. Co-ordinate ideas to send to Labour’s ideas site http://www.yourbritain.org.uk.
10. Mike to liaise with Gwyneth to add the KONP e mail list to ours to enlarge circulation of information. BADACA as well??
11. Contact Local Radio stations
12. National Demo on May 18th by KNOP. A Unite coach is going to London. Need to find out more. Keith?
13. Mike has contacted Tara Mistry – Lay Member leading on championing Patient public Involvement for Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group – to ask if she could attend the next meeting for 45 minutes.


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“That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.” Noam Chomsky

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