There’s Something Funny in the Honey Tuesday 23rd October…

There’s Something Funny in the Honey

Tuesday 23rd October -

Bee numbers in Britain have fallen dramatically in recent years, but we intend to save them with a little help from a few very funny people! Bees are essential in pollinating our favourite food and for our economy, without them it would cost UK farmers 1.8 billion a year to pollinate our crops, and for our gardens and parks. All good enough reasons for Birmingham Friends of the Earth to organise this fundraising comedy night with some of the finest comedians. (More: There’s Something Funny in the Honey – Birmingham Friends of the Earth)

from Brumblr, the scrapbook of Brum web ephemera:

NHS in Birmingham, Hall Green

From: Becky Jarvis – 38 Degrees <action@38degrees.org.uk>
38 Degrees Logo

Dear Jon,

The government’s plans to privatise and fragment our NHS are taking shape in Birmingham, Hall Green.

Local doctors are forming a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the area. They’re going to get new powers to decide what health services you and your neighbours are able to access and who provides them. [1]

Whether it’s treatment for diabetes, skin conditions, a broken arm or depression, profit-hungry companies like Virgin Care and Serco are circling, ready to bid for contracts by promising to slash costs. [2]

The doctors on your local CCG will be under pressure from the government to hand out contracts to private companies. That could put vital services at risk. [3] But the last thing most doctors want is to carve up our NHS for private profit. Plus, the new CCG has a legal duty to listen to local people. [4]

So right now, we’ve got a big chance to ask local doctors to use their new powers to protect our NHS, not privatise it. Together, we can make sure they hear from hundreds of local people as they make these crucial decisions.

Can you add your name to the petition to your local CCG now?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/CCG-petition

Donations from 38 Degrees members have funded lawyers to prepare robust wording for CCGs to write into their constitutions – protecting our NHS from the worst risks of the government's plans. [5]

If we can get in early, while CCGs are still being formed, we can give doctors a better choice – one based on sound legal advice and the interests of patients, not private companies.

38 Degrees members will be able to work together to persuade their local CCG to write these safeguards into their constitutions. The government and the private health industry probably won’t like it at all, but there’s little they can do to stop people power.

First things first. Can you add your name to the petition in Birmingham, Hall Green?
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/CCG-petition

Thanks for being involved,

Becky, Marie, Robin, Ian and the 38 Degrees team

PS: The website tool that links you up with your local CCG is new – you’re one of the first to test it. If you have any problems or questions, please let us know by emailing: emailtheteam@38degrees.org.uk

NOTES
[1] GP Online: GP and CCG relations: what are the challenges? http://insidecommissioning.gponline.com/2012/08/02/gp-and-ccg-relations-what-are-the-challenges/
[2] "Virgin Care…will take over integrated children's services in the south-west in March 2013 and will run frontline services for three years. Critics have warned that such deals herald the breakup of the NHS, with private firms cherrypicking services." Guardian: Virgin Care to take over children's health services in Devon http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/12/virgin-care-children-nhs-devon
GP Online: Services open to “any qualified provider” revealed by DH http://www.gponline.com/channel/news/article/1149786/services-open-any-qualified-provider-revealed-dh/
[3] “…plans for a radical restructuring of the health service in England, which will give GPs control of much of the NHS's £106bn annual budget, cut the number of health bodies, and introduce more competition into services” Guardian: NHS Reform Health bill passes vote
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/mar/20/nhs-reform-health-bill-passes-vote
BBC: NHS – The shape of things to come http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17457102
[4] Telegraph: Scrap NHS Bill, say doctors who will run reforms http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9112448/Scrap-NHS-Bill-say-doctors-who-will-run-reforms.html
Pulse: More GP commissioners withdraw support from health bill http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/newsarticle-content/-/article_display_list/13604675/more-gp-commissioners-withdraw-support-from-health-bill
[5] 38 Degrees blog: Top legal advice to save our NHS http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2012/09/21/top-legal-advice-to-save-our-nhs/

A piece of PR we couldn’t be bothered to re-write.