NHS Birthday Party, Oxford, 1 July

Hands off our NHS hosts – A Mad Hatter’s NHS Birthday Teaparty


Supported by Unison Health, KONP, Oxford & District TUC, Unite Community, Wantage Labour, Oxford Labour



This July is the 69th birthday of our NHS. It was born out of the optimism, conviction and passion to make the world a better place after the Second World War.

Ongoing cuts, privatisation, asset stripping, real-term cuts to staff pay, abolition of student nurse bursaries, imposition of the Junior Doctors’ contract have all combined to create the greatest crisis in the history of the NHS. The 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) are designed to be the final nail in the coffin of our NHS as we know it – publicly funded, publicly run and free at the point of need.

The government doesn’t want to hear your voice on these important issues. Make sure they do! Bring vuvuzelas, bring air horns, bring whistles, bring drums, bring anything that will make a noise, join us in an almighty “Howl of Protest for the NHS”.

When and where

Saturday 1st July. Join us at 12.00 for a picnic and rally at the site of the new memorial to the International Brigades, at the bottom of South Park OX4 1NE.

This will be followed by a march to The Martyr’s Memorial (OX1 3BJ) where rousing speeches will be made by our great line up of speakers, including the wonderful Ken Loach.

Our speakers will include:

Ken Loach – Film maker, Director and Socialist

Aneira Thomas – the first NHS baby, born just after midnight on 5th July 1948

Rishi Dhir – orthopaedic surgeon

Sarah Stock & Melissa Darcey – Fighting 4 Life, Lincolnshire

Ciaran Walsh – Oxford radical historian



KONP Address to HOSC 22 June by Joan Stewart

Address to HOSC on Oxfordshire Transformation Programme Phase 1 consultation (22 June 2017)
  • I’d like to address the committee on a matter of unfinished business and on the timetable for further scrutiny of this consultation. The previous Chair of HOSC made a commitment to have a special public meeting in June with OCCG. That meeting would have given HOSC and the public the opportunity to challenge OCCG on its weak written response to HOSC’s letter, detailing its concerns. Legitimate concerns about the consultation process, and how these proposals would actually work in practice.

  • OCCG’s response was evasive, disingenuous and high-handed. They ignored your misgivings about the ‘domino effect’ phase 1 decisions would have on phase 2, particularly on services in the north of the county, and why 146 acute bed losses form part of phase 1, but proposals to shift care into the community won’t be seen until phase 2, when the beds will have gone.

  • Despite being the statutory accountable body for the consultation, OCCG have attempted to shift responsibility onto OUHT for solving access and car park problems. They have also tried to avoid accountability for – investment in the Horton – again saying it’s an issue for the Trust. How this will be financed when the Trust has curiously moved from a surplus to a deficit is open to question. But maybe not. Asset-stripping NHS land and properties, recommended by the Naylor Report, looms large, and private finance waits in the wings.

  • OCCG have also sidestepped the fundamental question of whether the proposals are workable and sustainable given severe underfunding of health and social care, shrinking care home capacity, and chronic workforce shortages in our county.

  • And their response to your concern about how inequalities would be tackled, shockingly, given their huge significance to health outcomes, was one of the feeblest in their whole response.

  • Added to this, the findings in the full consultation report reveal a catalogue of concerns, misgivings and reservations about the proposals, (not adequately captured in the Board paper in your pack). The findings also include strong criticism of the consultation process, not least of which was the decision to split the consultation in the way it was; the lack of options; and the leading nature of many of the questions.

  • All of which leads to the conclusion that there are many more questions that HOSC needs answers to before the decision making meeting in August.

  • When will HOSC be able scrutinise the re-evaluation of the options for Obstetric services at the Horton? And scrutiny is one of the functions of the Health Overview and Scrutiny committee.
  • When will HOSC be able to evaluate the criteria and results of the Integrated Impact Assessment the positive and negative conclusions of which will be critical to the proposals?
  • When will HOSC be able to assess the methodologies and quantitative and qualitative data collected by Healthwatch and Mott McDonald on travel and parking?
  • And to the biggest question: how will revision of these consultation proposals reverse the crisis in health and social care?

  • We would urge HOSC to schedule another public meeting with OCCG before 10 August. However, if today you are not satisfied with OCCG’s response to your concerns, refer to the Secretary of State for Health.

Joan Stewart
Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public
22 June 2017

OCCG Written Responses to KONP Questions put to Special Board Meeting on 20 June 2017

Questions for OCCG Board extraordinary meeting 20 June 2017 from Oxfordshire KONP with response from OCCG

Q1-6: Our previous questions (to be answered in the meeting 20 June)
Please see link to previous board questions here

Q7: Given that OCCG has reiterated its intention during its decision-making process to put patient safety factors and clinical best practice ahead of consultation findings (unless they endorse its proposals presumably), how will the Board refute the criticism that their intention has been less about genuine public engagement than compliance with official edicts to consult?

OCCG needs to balance its duty of commissioning safe and effective services with its duty to consult and engage with the public.
Our board paper said: “The public consultation is a very important part of the decision-making process; however it is not a referendum. Its purpose is to seek views from the public, answer questions and allow other suggestions to come forward that may not have been considered. This feedback will be considered alongside other relevant information such as patient-safety factors and clinical best practice; OCCG Board will use this to help them make decisions about the proposed changes.

Q8: Given that the Board has to ‘agree it is assured about the process for the consultation’, how will it respond to the widespread criticism of the process found in the report, including: the split into two phases, revealing a failure to recognise/willingness to overlook clinical interdependencies; the disconnect between the themes of the Big Conversation and the proposals; the low numbers engaged by the Big Conversation; the leading questions of the survey; the lack of options; timing and venues of meetings; the confusing and unhelpful management-speak consultation document; the late uploading of the PCBC appendices; and the absence of risk and impact assessments?

OCCG recognise the public have strong views and have raised their concerns throughout the consultation as might be expected. However the Board of OCCG is assured that the consultation gave many opportunities and ways for the public to respond. The Board felt that the consultation was far reaching in Oxfordshire and across the northern borders. More than 10,000 individual responses were received by OCCG:
 646 surveys were completed, 509 online and 137 self-completion;
 1,407 people attended the 15 public meetings held;
 9,248 letters from the public were received;
 43 submissions from stakeholders;
 Other engagement activity took place including outreach to seldom heard individuals and communities

The Board has received the consultation report and interrogated it thoroughly in private and in public. They have heard the views and strength of feeling from the public. Given this, a number of areas will be explored further before final recommendations will be brought in August.

Q9: In noting the findings of the consultation report, will the Board not find it hard to avoid being deeply concerned about the extent and range of concerns expressed by the public and other key stakeholders about OCCG’s proposals?

As above in Q8.


CCG refused to answer KONP questions at its June meeting

The Clinical Commissioning Group had promised that, at its Board Meeting on 20 June, which would receive the Report of the consultation results on the NHS transformation plan for Oxfordshire, it would answer questions about the consultation. This is what it put on its website:

‘Members of the public can submit questions to the Board by 9.30am on 19 June. Board members will do their best to answer these questions during the meeting.’

What happened? KONP had submitted questions before the deadline. The Board ended early with no mention of any questions from KONP or from anyone else. The questions were too embarrassing for them. KONP had earlier sent questions to the OCCG’s May meeting. Shortly after the June meeting,  answers to these questions were posted online.

You can view the questions and answers here.