BNC Text H4A

Labour Club public meeting. Sample containing about 9844 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C277

PS1XR Ag3 m (Steve, age 35, health worker) unspecified
PS1XS Ag3 m (John, age 35, council worker) unspecified
PS1XT Ag4 m (Jeff, age 56, retired) unspecified
PS1XU Ag2 m (Ed, age 28, trade union officer) unspecified
PS1XV Ag3 m (Graham, age 40, member of parliament) unspecified
PS1XW Ag5 m (Ronald, age 65+, retired) unspecified
PS1XX Ag5 f (Ida, age 65+, pensioners' movement representative) unspecified
PS1XY Ag3 m (Alan, age 43, trade union representative) unspecified
PS1Y0 Ag3 f (Gwen, age 35, hosiery worker) unspecified
H4APSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
H4APSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 090601 recorded on 1993-07-03. LocationNottinghamshire: Mansfield ( labour club ) Activity: public meeting

Undivided text

Steve (PS1XR) [1] [...] ... Shut up Henry. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Steve (PS1XR) [2] I'd like to welcome you to er this meeting of UNISON.
[3] It's an open meeting mainly to discuss er the campaign around er saving .
[4] I have a few erm apologies for absence to er make.
[5] One from Joyce , who until recently was a full-time COHSE at er .
[6] Quite where the jobs are going and who does what at this stage I'm not sure now we're UNISON.
[7] Erm ... one from Paddy and I have an official letter er apologizing for not being able to be here.
[8] He said he's been pressing and pressurizing the Health Authority about the their plans for .
[9] [reading] The future appears to be shrouded in mystery and uncertainty.
[10] I find it difficult to conceive how an international hospital with a high with a highly regarded professional staff can be allowed to slip into terminal decline.
[11] It is an indictment on the present government's approach to the N H S.
[12] Incidentally, I can't be with you because I'm trying to ensure that in the next general election Labour will win more seats.
[13] Only with a Labour government can we ensure the N H S will be safe and secure [] .
[14] That's erm that's his opinion.
[15] Erm ... and also from er Alan MP from he er thanked us for inviting er him here today but he says, [reading] unfortunately I already have a previous engagement in London, and so will be unable to join you on this occasion.
[16] Please accept my apologies and best wishes, and rest assured ... of my ongoing support.
[17] Yours sincerely, Alan MP [] .
[18] Er we are hoping that erm Graham who's the MP er will be attending and speaking er
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [...]
Steve (PS1XR) [19] Unless that's him on the phone at the moment.
[20] Erm other than that I'd just like to introduce the other speakers.
[21] I'm, my name's Steve [...] and I chair the Save Campaign.
[22] Erm on my left here is John who's er from the District T U C.
[23] On my right is Jeff who is a founding member of the Save Campaign and an ex-patient of .
[24] And on the far end is Ed who's a full time UNIS UNISON officer.
[25] So could I without further ado introduce John .
John (PS1XS) [26] Erm ... The Trac Trade Union Council in Mansfield basically supports for two reasons.
[27] One, that many trade unionists work at and there's a threat to their jobs and a threat to their future careers.
[28] Too many trade unionists will at some stage or other become patients of .
[29] And it seems strange in an area where we just lost General Hospital and everything has moved to , that , which is a nationally renowned hospital.
[30] Let's get that bit right nationally renowned.
[31] Is under threat.
[32] And I also noticed this week that nine specialist hospitals in London are now also under threat.
[33] This is from a government whose leader, John Major, said fifteen months ago, that the N H S is safe in his hands.
[34] Mind you he also said that David Mellor, Norman Lamont and Michael Mates had nothing to worry about with their jobs.
[35] Er we know where they went.
[36] Er like everything else
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Steve (PS1XR) [37] that John Major says, it seems to be very inaccurate, to put it politely.
[38] Lies is perhaps more accurate.
[39] The National Health Service was founded forty five years ago.
[40] For forty five years, we're being told continually that it is the envy of the world.
[41] Everybody would like to have a National Health Service, wherever you go in the world.
[42] And we seem to be at the moment watching the dismantling and the decline of the National Health Service.
[43] It concerns me, in fact I was, I've had a theory for a couple of years now, that what the Tories wish us all to do is to go on to the American system of medical insurance.
[44] Private health care.
[45] That is why specialist units have to be shut down.
[46] Why pay for good health care if you can get the best on the N H S?
[47] That is I think partly the thinking behind this government, that they wish to see us all pay health insurance.
[48] Take private, use private hospitals.
[49] Interestingly enough I also heard recently that takes patients from a private hospital, the , because they can give far better treatment than the private sector.
[50] It's kind of worrying.
[51] To tell what the Tories are doing to the N H S, I mean I don't think it's a case of us making them aware of what's happening.
[52] They know what they're doing to the N H S.
[53] I, come on I mean, if El Presidente Michael Heseltine, has to go all the way to Venice to have a heart attack.
[54] Because he's very much aware of what the Tories are doing to the Health Service same as the rest of the cabinet.
[55] And he has to go abroad before he dare have a heart attack.
[56] Most probably wouldn't be able to find a hospital open.
[57] You never know these days.
[58] Er so I mean this to us is a very important campaign.
[59] And I know there are speakers coming on that know far more about the N H S than I do, so I'm not gonna go on too long.
[60] Er because I mean we're just here to show support and to provide continuing support for this campaign.
[61] But it does concern me very much, not just the loss of jobs but it's the loss of services in this area.
[62] And this is an area now which faces very high unemployment, with the Tory policy on pit closures.
[63] What that basically means, wherever that happens anywhere else in the country, you go to South Wales, you go to West Lothian, places like that I've been up to West Lothian, all services are reduced ... when your main industry's removed from an area.
[64] We do have an asset in , and I think it is worth us fighting to preserve that hospital, and not to watch it go into decline.
[65] But it's also about a bit more, it's about defending the National Health Service.
[66] Something which is very much under attack.
[67] We can see it daily, monthly.
[68] I don't quite understand how the government think they'll keep getting away with this.
[69] Erm I certainly know it's not a case of debates in Parliament.
[70] Or letters to John Major.
[71] I've a sneaking suspicion he bins any letter that criticizes his government, before he even reads it.
[72] It is all about people getting out.
[73] And about them fighting and making their voices heard.
[74] And I hope over the next few months that the people that's present today and other people, get more involved in the campaign.
[75] Show them some support.
[76] They keep battling away, the staff and the, the former patients at the hospital.
[77] And the unions, more directly involved in it.
[78] And as I say I'm not really [...] , that is basically all I wanted to say.
[79] Must be one of the shortest speech I've ever done.
[80] Thanks.
Steve (PS1XR) [81] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [clapping]
Steve (PS1XR) [82] [...] John, without further delay I'll introduce Jeff , who is a founding member of the campaign and an ex-patient.
[83] Jeff.
Jeff (PS1XT) [84] Well it er [...] to be here and thank you for coming to the meeting.
[85] Er as I said on, on Thursday night, that it saddens me about , that I'm also an ex-patient of .
[86] And also I'm going in on the fourteenth of July, er in to have my knee washed out on the fourteenth of July.
[87] And it's been on my heart for a long time to save .
[88] Not just , but the other hospitals around my country, that are being threatened.
[89] And our Health Service is being threatened.
[90] And I reach out personally from the patients' and the public's point of view, to the people out there, that sit in their ivory towers in the homes, and say, they cannot do this to our hospitals.
[91] And all I say in response is, please get up, write on petitions, send them in to M Ps, send them in to the unions.
[92] Fill them in to save your hospitals, not just the unions or the M Ps, Labour, Conservative, Liberal whoever they are, it's your hospitals, it's their hospitals they're trying to close.
[93] It's one of the marvellous hospitals in the world.
[94] And we just reach out to you please to, to try to speak out to your friends.
[95] Er we will get on to the er the press and people, to really get out to the people, to save our, it's no good saying, in nine months' time, why wasn't there something done, for our hospitals?
[96] The time for , the time for our Health Service, the time for the rest of the hospitals in this country is now.
[97] It's today.
[98] Don't put off tomorrow, what can be done today, for your hospital, for .
[99] And I'd like you to just to reach out and the MPs and people just to keep fighting.
[100] Because what they're doing now as you know, they can do closing, they can do these now.
[101] We are having to fight hard, to save our hospitals.
[102] So we need these people [...] have ammi ammunition, to fight for us, [...] .
[103] I will still carry on and I'd like to see, on this T-shirt here, at the end of the day, we have saved [...] .
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [clapping]
Steve (PS1XR) [104] Thank you very much Jeff.
[105] I'd just like to welcome Graham who's come in.
[106] Erm and very quickly move on to Ed who's the UNISON full time [...] .
Ed (PS1XU) [107] Thanks very much Steve.
[108] Erm I think before I start, it's very very important, as has been pointed out by the previous two speakers, that we actually make a practical response to the closure of Hospital.
[109] We all do our bit to ensure that the general public and also members of the Health Authority, are fully aware of our feelings in connection with the closure of, what is not just a regional speciality, but what is a nationally and internationally renowned, orthopaedic hospital.
[110] I also think it's quite er symbolic that we're commemorating both the birth of the new public service union, UNISON, for the first of July, and also on Monday the forty fifth anniversary of the N H S.
[111] According to my understanding of, of Labour history, it was er during the war years, at one of the Labour Party conferences, that a NUPE resolution supported by COHSE, actually er brought about some of the, the, the many things that were written within the Beveridge report, and committed the Labour Party to the foundation of the National Health Service that would be free at the points of need for every member of the community.
[112] So I think, from the trade union movement's point of view, we can feel especially proud of the fact that on Monday we'll be celebrating the forty fifth anniversary of the Health Service, and all the advantages that that's brought to members of our communities and members of our, of our families.
[113] I think it's also very relevant that we look at the real threats that are facing the N H S.
[114] Within this locality we look at the imminent or fairly imminent closure of, of, of .
[115] John earlier spoke about the gradual Americanization of our National Health Service.
[116] The, the, the moves towards a form of credit card care, where ambulance workers will be asking you the, the number of your credit card before erm treatment will be given in hospital.
[117] Because that's literally the state of affairs in America.
[118] And one of my experiences since the N H S reforms has been working in hospitals and hopefully defending our members' interests.
[119] I mean I think maybe some of our shop stewards have a different opinion about er my involvement but that's what, what I aim to do.
[120] And one situation I came across as a consequence of the N H S reforms, was nurses on a maternity ward undergoing a work study.
[121] Which literally timed every single activity they undertook.
[122] The purpose of that exercise was to bring about a specification for maternity services.
[123] To build times that nurses spent working with patients, into a specification and to, basically to form contracts based upon that time.
[124] Now I think that approach to health care is fundamentally wrong, because you measure the needs of a patient in one moment and then suggest that the needs of that, that the needs of that patient will continue to be the same in subsequent weeks or subsequent months.
[125] So you actually build a time value into the contribution of nursing.
[126] You actually do exactly the same thing as you would do to a joiner in a, in, in, in, in a fitting shop, to say, This task c c c can take this length of erm time.
[127] So that's just one example of how commercialization is seeping into the N H S.
[128] Our nurses are, are un are, are, are being undermined in terms of the contributions that they, that they, that they can make.
[129] And it's also important that we look back over the last ten years to how the N H S has been fundamentally changed as a consequence of Tory government policy towards it.
[130] In the early nineteen eighties the government undertook a review by an expert, Sir Roy Griffiths.
[131] An expert in running supermarkets as chairman of Sainsburys.
[132] And obviously an expert in business.
[133] But clearly someone with without a background in health services, or indeed in the management of health services.
[134] What that review achieved was the compartmentalization of the Health Service, the breaking up of health authorities, from health authority into units, and the heading up of those particular units by, by general managers.
[135] Now my opinion is, is that was the first stage of the government's master plan to create a health service that would be ripe for privatization.
[136] Back in nineteen eighty eight the government faced a massive crash cash crisis in N H S funding, and er many people within the trade union movement took part in a massive rally in London to call on the government to review its policy towards the, the Health Service.
[137] Many of us at that time welcomed the fact that the government was taking stock of public opinion, and was t making the effort to review the, the, the N H S.
[138] But unfortunately what that review meant was that ... what the review brought about was a near privatization of the Health Service through the government's N H S White Paper and subsequently the N H S and Community Care Act.
[139] The privileges of that Act went to the very heart of the N H S.
[140] In general because it introduced the concept of competition between the providers of the, the providers of health care in the so-called internal market.
[141] In simple terms health authorities have been turned into the buyers of health care, and, rather than the providers of health care.
[142] And that is very very significant.
[143] And I'll go on to talk about how that is significant in the context of, of .
[144] In this process they're able to purchase services, health authorities are able to purchase services from whoever they see fit, and basically from wherever they th they want to.
[145] In we saw the Health Authority choosing not to purchase services directly from the N H S for their [...] but purchasing from a voluntary stroke private, privately motivated organization.
[146] And again there is no guarantee that any N H S trust will receive contracts from district health authorities in the future.
[147] Therefore the awarding of contracts affects completely the services of otherwise model erm hospitals and services.
[148] And in a similar fashion I think it's also important that we look the, the, move towards G P fundholding.
[149] Where G Ps are at liberty to refer their patients wherever they want to refer those patients.
[150] Yeah?
[151] So it won't necessarily be that patients from er a G P surgery or a G P practice will be referred directly to the local hospital.
[152] If G Ps are fundholders they have constraints upon their finance.
[153] And if you, you go and see a G P at the end of the financial year or at the wrong part of the financial year, then you may be referred to somewhere strictly because that's all the G P can, can afford to send you.
[154] So I think the scenario within, within the Health Service is basically that units, rather than working together, working in [...] with each other, are actually competing to achieve contracts to, to, to secure work.
[155] In the context of , we'll be witnessing a change er ... we'll be witnessing without a change on the part of the, the Health Authority, an eventual rundown of that hospital and a closure as a consequence of the internal market.
[156] Er firstly, a third of 's work is being transferred to Medical Centre, a third of its spinal services.
[157] And I think it's very important that we look at what the impact of that transfer will have upon the hospital.
[158] The remaining hospital will lose a third of its activity, will therefore lose a third of its income.
[159] But at the very same time, it'll retain many of the overheads that it's currently got, the overheads of management, some staffing overheads, the overheads for maintaining the estate of the, of, of, of the hospital.
[160] What this will do is present at a disadvantage when it comes to competing with other units to secure the contracts that it ultimately undertakes at the minute.
[161] The internal market makes no reference to the quality of care, to the ability of a particular unit to deliver care.
[162] It's simply to do with pounds, shillings and pence.
[163] And while many people can look towards the advantages of a spinal unit at , Medical Centre, people are failing to look at the disadvantages that that will cause for the provision of orthopaedic services in, in, in, in .
[164] because of the government reforms, is unlikely to survive because it will carry into competition a third additional overheads.
[165] Elsewhere will seem to be er will seem to be a little bit cheaper to the purchasing authorities.
[166] ... To deal with the future of , the Health Authority com commissioned what's called the York Report.
[167] A very elusive document er for many of the trade unionists who were involved in negotiations with the management at the current time.
[168] Despite two written letters to er the District General Manager, that report hasn't been forthcoming.
[169] It contains vital information as to the ability of to survive.
[170] Yet there's a shroud of secrecy surrounding that report.
[171] It's likely that this report will set out how should close, and all the reasons why it should close.
[172] Erm as I've said strictly because it will be to it will be uncompetitive within the,with with within the internal market.
[173] ... And I think if we look at the effects of the internal market in this situation, what the internal market will achieve is er a situation where this community and all the neighbouring communities that use will be
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [174] Excuse me.
[175] Sorry to butt in but if anybody's got a car parked at the back here, the warden's taken all the [...] .
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [176] [...] traffic warden is taking all the numbers.
Jeff (PS1XT) [177] [...] W=well actually he's jus he's just getting bored with me.
[178] That's why he said that.
[179] Right, right.
[180] I'll er I'll erm I, I'll crack on ... crack on [...] .
[181] I think in a similar fashion ... in, in a similar fashion, we're seeing other areas of the country that are affected by, by the ravages of the internal market.
[182] Over recent months the Tomlinson Report recommended the closure of many of the, the, the country's finest teaching hospitals with wi with within London.
[183] Erm basically to say that elsewhere can provide services on a cheaper basis than those hospitals erm wi with within London.
[184] I think the other point I would want to make is that it's quite significant that in the week that we celebrate the forty fifth anniversary of the, the N H S, for the first time ever erm waiting lists within this country will have, will exceed one million.
[185] So all the rhetoric that we've had from this government about better performance N H S, more people being seen by the N H S, that must be read against the fact that over a million people are, or a million patients, are er waiting on N H S waiting lists.
[186] The other thing that we need to say is that far from creating efficiencies within the N H S, the bureaucracy attached to the changes when people are responsible for managing contracts, dealing with contracts, dealing with specifications for contracts.
[187] That within itself has cost one point two million pounds.
[188] And I think it's no wonder that for example within Trent region, over the, the last three years since the N H S Act came into force, that there has been a quadrupling of accountants or er administrators within the Health Service and a corresponding reduction within the numbers of nursing staff, the numbers of directly employed ancillary staff within with within the N H S.
[189] Again the internal market hasn't worked and isn't working.
[190] One other example over the last week just plucking, plucked out of the air, a hundred thousand pounds has been taken away from Hospital er College Hospital in London's budget for the treatment of AIDS patients.
[191] They will over the next few months be endeavouring to sack twenty five UNISON members, skilled nurses who work within that particular speciality.
[192] Think of the logic attached to that.
[193] At a time when the incidence of AIDS has risen to er approximately to two thousand four hundred a year, compared with one thousand six hundred a year in i i i in the previous twelve months.
[194] This government is, is, is seeking to reduce the budget of one the most necessary services within the country.
[195] I think another important thing for us to recognize is that many of the people within the N H S, the people directly responsible for the care, remain some of the lowest people in the country, the least rewarded people in the country.
[196] Now while that says a great deal about what the government thinks about of them and their expertise, it also says a great deal about how well regarded this National Health Service of ours is in the minds of this particular government.
[197] And again one of the great concerns that we have with the development of N H S Trusts, is those Trust Boards are able to determine their own policies in respect to staffing, to set their own pay scales for staff, also they are able to do their business to a large extent behind closed doors.
[198] Legally they are only required to have one public or open meeting at which the Community Health Council is invited to attend.
[199] Again my concern about that is that Trusts bring with them a shroud of secrecy, able to do business behind closed doors.
[200] And much of the concerns that we've been able to express about the Health Service has been as a direct consequence of us having information as to for example the numbers of bed closures, as for example the numbers of people on waiting lists.
[201] Trust status brings with it a cloud of secrecy.
[202] We'll be limited in our ability to find out what these Trusts are doing with public money, what they're doing er er in su su what they're doing er i i i in support of, support of patients.
[203] Another area that is of concern to us is the development of what's called Patient Focused Hospitals.
[204] Trusts within this locality, er are, a little bit further afield than, than , are actually looking a towards Patient Focused Hospitals, where in actual fact everything, every, every treatment a patient is dealt with on the ward, rather than have a skilled nurse undertaking part of the treatment, there will be multi-skilling so er the member of staff will be multi-skilled to perform almost every single aspect of erm care directly on a ward.
[205] Again an attempt to undermine the skills and expertise that currently exist within the Health Service.
[206] Again I, I think it's important th that I, I wind up before I start rambling.
[207] But maybe you think of course I started rambling when I started off but er
John (PS1XS) [...]
Jeff (PS1XT) [208] thank you very much John.
[209] Erm.
[210] As I said from the start it's vitally important that we do everything we can to defend Hospital.
[211] It's vitally important that we mark the forty fifth anniversary of the N H S.
[212] Labour's greatest ever achievement, without fear of any contradiction, the greatest achievement of the Labour movement was the introduction of the N H S which still remains to a large extent, the envy of the world.
[213] We must fight to defend it.
[214] We must resolve on the forty fifth anniversary to continue in our support.
[215] We must all of us write to the Health Authority, to our local M Ps, to the government to defend Orthopaedic Hospital.
[216] Thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [clapping]
Steve (PS1XR) [217] Thank you very much Ed.
[218] Erm ... I er move straight over to er er Graham and then open up for any questions or if anybody wants to say anything from the floor.
[219] Graham.
Graham (PS1XV) [220] Right.
[221] Thank you very much, and er thanks for inviting me along.
[222] I'm sorry I became er a wee bit late.
[223] Sorry I nearly got a ticket as well.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Graham (PS1XV) [224] Nice welcome to .
[225] I had to bring my passport with me to er obviously get into coming from but er I've got a letter from Alan as well so er [...] me over the border.
[226] But the reason I'm here is just to express solidarity with the campaign that you're continuing.
[227] And it's a campaign that's gotta keep, keep on.
[228] There's no question about that.
[229] Er to let you know that your Labour members of parliament in Nottinghamshire as a whole er are backing the campaign.
[230] And that's because doesn't belong to you.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [231] No, it don't.
Graham (PS1XV) [232] Belongs to everybody, and it particularly belongs to everybody in Nottinghamshire.
[233] Er whether you're from the south, north, the city or whatever.
[234] As far as we're concerned it's our and we want to keep it.
[235] And one of the er I think probably everybody in has some relative brother who's er used .
[236] Certainly my father not least because of his er mining history.
[237] And also my brother as well have used .
[238] And you go anywhere, you can go anywhere in the country, people talk about it.
[239] They know immediately when you start talking about .
[240] They know its record, they know what it does.
[241] And I think that's the most valuable thing.
[242] It's er what the er marketing people would call grand identification.
[243] And that means it's in people's minds, there's something even above what it actually is.
[244] It's got an image, it's got an emotional contact and I think we're gonna play that for all it's worth.
[245] It's one of the assets that we've got in the campaign.
[246] One of the other reasons I'm here is er, again with the blessing of er Jeff , and Alan , and the other MPs is to try and help the campaign along a little bit and hopefully er have friends from er Central Television who I've brought along today.
[247] Er who'll get it on the News tonight with a wee bit of luck.
[248] And if I may we'll set something up for them and we'll try and get the shirt on the telly and whatever and try and get people to remember.
[249] Anybody in the East Midlands that sees that News, remember their hospital is under threat.
[250] Did a little bit for the radio this morning in , Radio and Radio , and it's all grist to the mill.
[251] Keep the campaign going.
[252] Keep talking to people.
[253] keep letting people know the threat that is actually occurring.
[254] But it's not a new threat.
[255] We were talking earlier on about the N H S and the foundation of the N H S.
[256] When the National Health Service was founded, don't ever forget, on the second reading of the bill to establish the National Health Service, every single member of the Conservative Party voted against the establishment of the National Health Service.
[257] And in my view what they couldn't achieve on that night in Parliament in the nineteen forties is now being achieved by stealth, slicing bits and pieces away as they go along.
[258] They want a two tier health service and they're working towards a two tier health services.
[259] This for them is just one step along the way.
[260] And whether it's nasty shouting arrogant Kenneth Clarke or lovely perfumed Virginia, they're all the same underneath in terms of the way they look at the Health Service.
[261] It's alright for some to be able to buy private health care, and then the rest of us can have a diminishing and reducing National Health Service both in Nottinghamshire and throughout the rest of the country.
[262] Of course, they'll say well there's no demand.
[263] Well try telling the one thousand seven hundred and sixty two people who are currently on the waiting list at that there's no demand for the services that provide.
[264] Even the documents that er UNISON have provided to me, which indicate the shortfall in operations last year will indicate that the job isn't even being done with a fully fledged , let alone a reduced service.
[265] And slicing away one part of , transferring the spinal unit, just taking out bits and pieces, is designed to weaken the idea that itself can stand on its own.
[266] Once you've got rid of some of it, why not take another bit, and then at the end of the day let's close the whole damn thing and save everybody a lot of money.
[267] That's the theory that they're working on, and it's not just here.
[268] It's not just in , and it's not just in hospitals, it's all the way around.
[269] Over the last six weeks or so I'll tell you the places I've been and the people I've seen in the National Health Service.
[270] Now dentists.
[271] I had a meeting of all the dentists in about five weeks ago.
[272] Without exception every single one of them in that room, and I invited every single one from the whole of my constituency, said, we want to stay in the National Health Service.
[273] But because they're reducing the fee income for dentists in the National Health Service these dentists, dedicated people, in some pretty tough estates in my patch, were saying, I am being forced to go private.
[274] Whenever somebody comes into my surgery I offer them this so-called Denplan.
[275] Sign up for private insurance.
[276] They don't want to do it and some are even having to leave the N H S as a whole.
[277] But they are being forced to do it by fragrant Virginia, who's actually trying to reduce the ability of dentists to perform in the National Health Service as they want to do, and as they always have done.
[278] Four weeks ago I met every single G P in my constituency in a meeting.
[279] Those G Ps told me, I thought I was listening to my own speeches to be honest, from about a year or two ago.
[280] They were saying, oh you know what's happening.
[281] I said, no, there's a development of a two tier health service.
[282] I said, well welcome to the reality.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Graham (PS1XV) [283] It's what we were saying in the Labour Party before the nineteen ninety two election.
[284] And er I made one or two political points as you can imagine with doctors who are allegedly nonpolitical and don't want to get involved in all this messy er things about Conservative Party and Labour Party and the rest of it.
[285] The truth is, politics is coming home even to those so-called professional groups.
[286] They're getting hammered too.
[287] Yes, there is a two tier G Ps service developing in my city and in the shire.
[288] And there's no question about that.
[289] There's, they pointed out to me that the two thousand percent increase in prescription charges
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Graham (PS1XV) [290] since this lot came to power, is forcing people to make a decision as to whether they should get a prescription or whether they should not.
[291] And there was one of many heartrending stories about a doctor.
[292] She went round to this er house and said, why aren't, why aren't you improving, and the person said, I just can't afford the prescription.
[293] She went out and bought the prescription for this person because it was so essential.
[294] Not every doctor can do that and you certainly do it every week.
[295] So all the way round there are attacks taking place.
[296] And attacks quite deliberate, not just happening by accident.
[297] But quite deliberate, on the different parts of the Health Service.
[298] The nurses, two weeks ago I met nurses that I've met three years ago at my surgery about regrading.
[299] They still haven't been regraded five years later.
[300] Five years from the original appeal in nineteen eighty eight, those nurses still haven't gone all the way through the regrading process and any union officer will tell you that doesn't just occur in City Hospital in this case, but it occurs right across the [...] as well.
[301] And now what they're saying is, well we'll buy out those appeals, if you had your appeal running for a few years we'll give you five hundred pound ex gratia payment.
[302] Go away and forget it.
[303] Well I can tell you if you get your right grade firstly you earn a lot more money.
[304] And it s should all be backdated.
[305] So it's not a very good deal.
[306] Secondly there's some of the nurses who weren't present at the meeting three weeks ago who had been present three years ago.
[307] The reason they weren't present?
[308] They've retired.
[309] The thing had gone on so long they'd actually retired from nursing.
[310] And one person had died in the process relating the appeal.
[311] I'm very pleased to say that the union er involved had actually pursued the appeal even though the woman had died, and won the appeal posthumously so that the backdated pay could be given to the widower in that case.
[312] Erm what a situation we're in when you can't get your appeal through in a reasonable time and it actually results in that sort of nonsense taking place.
[313] And finally a group in the National Health Service who I never thought would be on our team, the pharmacists.
[314] The classic singlehanded small business, which made Thatcher great.
[315] Every last one of them I would imagine that were in that room when I met them er a week ago Friday I would, would probably stake my shirt on it, not that shirt, but this one
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Graham (PS1XV) [316] that most of those people would have voted Conservative in nineteen eighty nine or three whatever eighty seven, ninety three, eighty three.
[317] I would have said they would, that they would have done.
[318] Every single one of them turned round at that meeting and said, will you go and beat the ... out of that government for what they're doing to us.
[319] Because what they're now doing to them is saying, unless you ... turnover two thousand prescriptions every month, we're gonna do away with your Professional Allowance.
[320] Now.
[321] Fine, okay.
[322] What, what does that actually [...] what does that do?
[323] In a place like mine anybody who knows my patch you, you know old or you know certain parts of or you know certain parts of .
[324] They are not gonna produce those amounts of prescriptions per month, therefore they're not gonna get the Professional Allowance, therefore those pharmacies or those chemists are gonna close.
[325] And in one particular patch of I worked damned hard over the last three years to get a doctor onto that estate.
[326] It's the only estate in my patch without a doctor.
[327] I've now got a half-time doctor on there.
[328] If the pharmacy goes people are not gonna go to that doctor because there won't be a pharmacy nearby to get a prescription.
[329] So that whole effort to raise up that estate in my patch, will flounder because of some arbitrary limit imposed by Virginia Bottomley who obviously know very well from a commanding position in Whitehall.
[330] Absolute nonsense.
[331] Doctors, G Ps, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, they're all under attack and you're just part of the effort to try and repel that attack, all the way round.
[332] So the sort of things that are happening are happening everywhere and community care I think could be probably one of the areas that I could talk about at some length if you wanted to later on.
[333] Erm these er very sad cases this week of individuals, frankly no fault of their own, er committing horrendous crimes that we have seen.
[334] Erm schizophrenic people being released into the community prematurely, not having the assistance that they needed, committing crimes, innocent victims there.
[335] Innocent families having to suffer from that, all for the want of proper supervision and proper care.
[336] It spills over, it goes into er the civil service unions that I addressed in Parliament this week.
[337] Exactly the same thing's happening with them in terms of privatization, market testing.
[338] From examples as wide as er Group Four farcically taking over transportation of prisoners from prison er to court and back, and losing a few on the way.
[339] Erm to things such as er the er case of people not having adequate staff in prisons and therefore releasing people.
[340] It's almost like community care for the prisons, you want to keep an eye in this one?
[341] I had a case this week of a person who was reduced from a Category A, the most serious form of offender in prison, to a Category C.
[342] He was a rapist, a violent offender, er racist attack merchant.
[343] On to a Category C, given home leave, first thing he does on home leave is go out and kill an Asian man.
[344] And in a way er and this is a story I think is gonna develop over the next six months or a year.
[345] We're gonna see a lot of this happening cos this [...] talking comes cheap, er crime and the rest of it.
[346] We're gonna see a lot of that developing, but anyway that's, that's a digression.
[347] But that actually occurred this week and I think we're gonna see more of that.
[348] So anyway is the Health Service safe in the Tories' hands?
[349] Well for the sake of a few million pounds the Conservatives will slash this area, that area, will say we need to close this unit, that unit.
[350] Well in , and there's one or two people here that'll know what I'm talking about, we've had one of our local MPs on a consultancy basis for the Health Clinic, fix up a contract for his own particular company.
[351] The District, the er Chairman of the District Health Authority, David , has been involved in this obviously in allocating this contract.
[352] And the then Secretary of State for Health, Kenneth Clarke was involved in that his department granted the authorizations.
[353] So a million, couple of million pounds has gone in that direction.
[354] Of course all three people no doubt innocent parties.
[355] All three people are local prominent Tories.
[356] All three people went to the High School.
[357] And all three people in my opinion are like that.
[358] When they get together and they need money, the old school tie, the old party tie comes into play and money can be found for things that they think are profitable for them and their consultancies, and their companies, and their interests.
[359] So if we can tighten the screw it's possible to actually get these people in my view to start seeing our interests as well.
[360] And I've said this er I've said this in week to the civil service unions, I never did believe in lobbying Parliament.
[361] I thought that was all about people feeling they'd had their day in Parliament because there was a Tory majority of a hundred or more.
[362] Now, if we can convince enough Tories, often a handful, ten, fifteen, twenty, there is a possibility however faint, that you can change the government's mind.
[363] And I think that's where this campaign's got to go next.
[364] I think we've got to be serious about it in terms of targeting given individuals, tracking back their history, go back through the bloody files, if there's been anybody been treated.
[365] Use everything, everything without shame, to get to those Tory MPs and say, do you know what is happening?
[366] Do you know that you, your family, your wife, your grandfather, whoever, wouldn't be able to get this sort of treatment in the hospital they were treated in before.
[367] I think we can do that and I think it's important that we do do that.
[368] We're fighting a battle against an enemy who has a totally alien philosophy to our to ourselves.
[369] They don't even understand the Health Service, they don't want the Health Service.
[370] They're flogging bits of land in again in the City of , flogging a piece of land next to the City Hospital for a supermarket.
[371] That's the sort of mentality you've got.
[372] Where they ask what are your vital signs, they don't mean have you got a pulse or high blood pressure, they mean have you got Access or Visa.
[373] They're the vital signs you've got to display before you go and get treated under the new Health Service.
[374] This campaign is just in my view really starting to make its mark on the public imagination.
[375] I hope that our friends [...] from Central Television and the media, and everybody else working through the East Midlands Region T U C, through UNISON, through the Labour Parties, start to get that campaign really rolling.
[376] Let them know you're around and I can say on behalf of the Labour MPs of Nottinghamshire, you'll have our full support.
[377] Go to it.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [clapping]
Steve (PS1XR) [378] Thanks very much.
[379] ... I wasn't actually gonna say anything but I'd better say a little bit.
[380] I've just suddenly realized actually that I'm the only health worker
Ronald (PS1XW) [381] Yeah.
[382] Could I ask a question please?
Steve (PS1XR) [383] Certainly.
Ronald (PS1XW) [384] Well, as er having listened to what Graham said against the er ... the G Ps and the pharmacists which er they totally agreed with what Graham was saying, what we don't see either in the press or on television, a panel of G Ps and pharmacists condemning the National Health Service and the media don't see that.
[385] Why isn't these doctors that are condemning it and the pharmacists and so forth, together on a panel of something and expose it on T V or in the press that they condemn it.
[386] And we never see the doctors condemning it, we don't see the pharmacists condemning it either.
[387] And I mean the media from their point of view is not getting across.
[388] And they're the professionals.
[389] So I think we ought to see a little bit more of these doctors and a little more of these pharmacists also backing the National Health Service up er which they should [...] .
Steve (PS1XR) [390] Er is it a question, do you want an answer?
[391] Or [...]
Ronald (PS1XW) [392] Well it's jus i it was a comment.
[393] Sorry, a comment.
Graham (PS1XV) [394] Can I just?
[395] ... I mean I think that's a good idea.
[396] I think you, the people you know and I said you could apply it to Tory M Ps, God knows if you're gonna get a Tory MP for with their organization, but I'm damn sure you can get G Ps for and you can get pharmacists for or whatever.
[397] You can do all the specialities.
[398] I'd go, I'd do stars for .
[399] You must've had people passing through there, famous people who you can register, get them there, do, do this sort of thing.
[400] I mean th ... er
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [401] I've done that?
Graham (PS1XV) [402] Oh I'm sorry.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [403] Yeah.
Graham (PS1XV) [404] Keep that keep that running in that case because you can't do too much with it.
[405] You've gotta keep using that sort of imagination to actually keep seizing people's imagination.
[406] I mean I didn't see that so
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [...]
Graham (PS1XV) [407] no but I ... keep us briefed so with ... so we're up to speed on it and keep those little units, that little campaign feeling here, there and everywhere going.
[408] Cos that's the only way you're gonna seize the public imagination.
[409] If you haven't got the public on your side and there is a lot of emotional support for , if you haven't got the public on your side then the politicians can get away with murder.
Ronald (PS1XW) [410] Could I co c er comment a, a little further then on that [...] .
[411] I'm talking about a pharmacist with a G P that set us [...] .
[412] Are these people afraid to expose themselves in a panel condemning the National Health Service or just to sit in the background and make any comments?
Graham (PS1XV) [413] It's that whole thing about they're never gonna come for me. ... [tape change]
Steve (PS1XR) [414] has been for , that has actually been the case, has been the problems in terms of actually getting nurses to actually come out and doctors and pharmacists to actually come out publicly.
[415] Erm and quite understandably to be honest, because the fear of their jobs.
[416] I worked at as a nurse and there's, actually there's a lot of pressure going on there as [...] will [...] back up [...] .
[417] What I would say is there are instances that have been happening around the country in the last year, where both doctors, G Ps, and nurses have actually said, you're not doing that.
[418] You're not closing this hospital, you're not closing these wards.
[419] And what's actually happened was the College Hospital [...] .
[420] What they did was the nurses and the doctors took over the ward.
[421] They said, you're not closing us down.
[422] We're running this ward.
[423] The patients themselves kept the management out, and the rest of it.
[424] And that ward stayed open.
[425] There are those possibilities, and that is something that we should be arguing for.
[426] But in a sense it's not just the people round this table and the committee should be arguing for this, it's actually the people in this room.
[427] It's the people, I mean the people in this room know a great deal more people than I do on my own for example.
[428] Or a group of us do on our own.
[429] And that is where I think we should actually be pushing.
[430] We should actually be pushing saying for those Health Ser Service erm workers and also people in the public [...] who are not doing that, not a case of, we don't want you to and this is a case against it, although that's strong.
[431] It's actually saying, we're not prepared to let you close down our hospital and our services any more.
Jeff (PS1XT) [432] Can I, can I just erm ... add a question.
[433] Is erm [...] what are they doing?
[434] The only thing is what we can do is like everything else.
[435] As I said before on Thursday, that the idea is that the people outside there, the public, are the ones that are important.
[436] When it comes to an announce the fact that we're gonna have er er council elections, ... how many people come out and vote for your councillors and put them in?
[437] How many voted ... to put, smack the Conservatives, and don't worry about politics I'm just using it as an example, in the face.
[438] They came out and they voted.
[439] How many come out and vote for the MPs when it comes to, when it comes to the er elections?
[440] How many millions come out?
[441] Now what we're saying is, this is your hospitals.
[442] This is your Health Service.
[443] Here [...] here is a petition.
[444] Please sign the petition for your, for your Health Service.
[445] Get around.
[446] Send your letters.
[447] How many people are gonna do this out there?
[448] Will the B B C, they will do it.
[449] Please tell them to get their petitions, not just get down and get millions, like you go out and vote, to protect your Health Service as and your hospitals.
Steve (PS1XR) [450] I [...] .
[451] Got you, George.
Ida (PS1XX) [452] Yes.
[453] Erm I just want to comment and then erm [...] .
[454] I represent I think, along with my colleagues here, the you know the pensioners' movement.
[455] And there's nobody needs hospital or health treatment more, more than the pensioners.
[456] And yet for, for a long time now whether it comes to dental payment, paying for dentists, opticians, now they're talking about prescription charges and, and that sort of thing for not just myself, not just us, but for children as well.
[457] We're being attacked on all sides, quite frankly.
[458] And [...] as well as the closing of, of, of er certain hospitals.
[459] Er I'm one of those people that took a two year ... er low pay rise, to put me into the Health Service when my husband was ill.
[460] And we had two years with no [...] pay rise.
[461] My father was also one of those er people that contributed a penny a week along with about thirty five thousand miners in this area, to pay for .
[462] And so [...] is not theirs to give away at all.
[463] It's ours even before the National Health Service was brought in.
[464] I think one of the problems we face is that the campaign for is coincided with the campaign to save the pits.
[465] I think it's suffered from this.
[466] You know, because [...] tremendous publicity quite rightly the thing given to the campaign to save the pits.
[467] And I'd like to think that you now start to think, not in terms of, in terms of other hospitals, but to get a coordinated campaign throughout the country on this particular issue.
[468] Because I mean th there's more teaching hospitals in London going an and right throughout the country.
[469] Why cannot we g get the same response [...] on the question of hospital closures er as we did er against pit closures.
[470] I'm not saying that you know would successfully [...] we drove back millions of people supporting us that would never support us if you go into one particular matter alone or one particular hospital closure alone.
[471] And I think it is so very important that we try to do that.
[472] Now the MPs can help in coordinating this.
[473] They could play an outstanding role in, in giving the information and coordinating this.
[474] Also now that we've got UNISON the one union I think they can help [...] but I do think that's what needs to be done, because they're doing the same with the hospital as, as now doing with the pits even after the closure campaign.
[475] And closing them piecemeal, thinking they can get away with one at a time.
[476] And I'd like to ask the panel, what possibilities there are of getting a nationwide campaign listing all the hospitals that's under threat?
[477] And I think [...] .
[478] Listing all [...] and developing this national campaign.
Steve (PS1XR) [479] Yeah.
[480] I'm, I'll go and bring Alan in.
[481] To answer that question and that [...] .
Alan (PS1XY) [482] [...] Health Services [...] .
[483] We've actually debated the issue before this week.
[484] And [...] the T U C to launch a nationwide campaign probably September October time to tie with the Chancellor's autumn statement, for a mass rally in London for about the time of the autumn statement.
[485] We would hope that by doing this we'd actually mobilize the whole country to get down into London and to protest at the House of Commons against the closures in the Health Service.
[486] So that's all being looked into [...] [something smashes]
Alan (PS1XY) [487] Sorry about that.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [laugh]
Alan (PS1XY) [488] So we haven in September October there will be a massive rally in London to save our Health Service.
[489] Thank you.
Gwen (PS1Y0) [490] I think basically what I'd like to say today is that I personally agree with what Ida's saying that it is an attack on the Health Service, and it is the greatest achievement that the Labour Party has done in history in my opinion.
[491] And I believe that the Labour Party should be at the front to save er our Health Service including the holidays er not the holidays, including the hospitals, including er keeping hospitals within the Health Service.
[492] And, and I'm against any Trust status which they tend to, to go because I believe that the beginning of our campaign that because was talking last year about Trust status it did alienate a lot of people against and said, why should we bother fighting for a hospital what would go Trust anyway.
[493] This er committee is fighting for inside the National Health Service, and I think we should make that clear.
[494] That we're not fighting to save a hospital to go Trust.
[495] It is to stay within the Health Service.
[496] We need more help than we've got.
[497] This committee we started, we, we formed a committee some months ago.
[498] Erm and ... as part of that committee I believe we've not been very successful.
[499] Erm we need to get more organized within ourselves, we need more help before we, we actually and er we're talking about petitions on er signa signatures on petitions.
[500] We need at least forty thousand signatures before we can even attempt to, to do anything with and get publicity round that.
[501] Be because before you can actually present them to Downing Street you need forty thousand signatures at least.
[502] We are nowhere near that amount.
[503] We need people on the streets collecting signatures, we don't need people to just sign, we need your help in , in , in , in and in [...] areas.
[504] And we need a coor coordinating campaign to get those signatures as quickly as possible, so then we can talk about lobbying Parliament, because we can't do it without them.
[505] We need a focus point and that, that needs to be it.
[506] And for us to go forward that is the first major thing we need to do and I'm appealing today that if people can give us two hours on Saturday morning or a Friday afternoon, we need people, we don't need two people on a street corner cos we've done it and it is ... it we don't get the effect we want, because most people walk past us.
[507] Cos while you're getting one signature, twenty people walks by you.
[508] We want ten and fifteen people stood there in the street, you want their T-shirts on because I have never yet had one person say to me, I won't sign it because I think they should shut .
[509] People, no-one wants to see Hospital closed.
[510] But it's, we've got to get them motivated and I'm asking today, you know, we need more help and if you can spare a few hours a week it would be more than appreciated.
[511] And if you can see Jeff after the meeting I'm sure he, he can take your names and coordinate that.
[512] Thank you.
Steve (PS1XR) [513] I'm going to have to ap apologize er to all the speakers on the platform, who've actually got prior commitments er pretty soon after the speeches ... I'll just let Mick speak and then I'm gonna have to close the meeting.
[514] But erm obviously what Gwen said I think we all, we all back up.
[515] If we don't get, if we don't, literally don't get the bodies on the street we don't get ... we're not gonna, win we're gonna lose.
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [516] Well first of all I'd like to
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [sneeze]
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [517] [...] on behalf of the National Union of Mineworkers and offer the full support from the N U M.
[518] I was invited to touch on the historical links between and the mining industry of this area.
[519] It's given miners a lot of service over the years and eased a lot of the er distress of the [...] at work.
[520] Regardless of the pit closure programme ta erm we're in full flight erm at the end of the day we could be looking at a situation with four pits remaining in Nottinghamshire er and to that extent there'll be up to four thousand miners still reliant on the services of , should er remain open.
[521] And er th there will be an increase the ra accident rates that are orthopaedic related er inside the remainder of the pits because we're now seeing the drift towards er longer working hours, more time at the coal face.
[522] And even before the pit closure programme started with the increased competition that was taking place inside the mines, the increased productivity ... erm we've seen a steady rise in the number of back accidents, erm you know spinal erm related accidents.
[523] So miners in Nottinghamshire still require the services that operated in the past.
[524] I'd just like to offer this erm message to Graham [...] back to, to the House of Commons.
[525] It weren't so long back that er John Major, when talking about er [...] benefit, was quite surprised by the fact that er disabled erm claimants had rose by, well it had quad quadrupled in inside the Thatcher years.
[526] I mean it comes as no surprise to me er because of the lack of Health and Safety provision inside the work places and people that remain in work, erm being subjected to longer working hours er inside the industry.
[527] And that's certainly the case inside the mining industry.
[528] Erm but er going back to [...] again, erm because er they're analyzing now erm all benefits so they can reduce the [...] .
[529] When you know what we should be saying to John Major and employers is that it isn't any surprise that er disablement er has increased over the last thirteen, fourteen years.
[530] And er one of the reasons for that is because of the lack of orthopaedic provision being provided and erm th the closure of our oldest part of that.
[531] And the claimants will, will carry on rising while they k keep closing hospitals of this nature.
[532] So I think we can project the closure of and orthopaedic hospitals of this nature into that debate about er new [...] benefits [...] and why, why we, why the Tories are suddenly surprised by the number of claimants.
Steve (PS1XR) [533] All I can say is thank you all for coming.
[534] Erm please give a bit more of the just support we need, we literally, we do need bodies, we do need people to actually come along.
[535] We, we'll meet about once a fortnight er we can actually let people know if er if all [...] you leave names and phone numbers [something falls] or whatever.
[536] [...] the campaign next Friday is it?
Unknown speaker (H4APSUNK) [537] Next Friday, in?
Steve (PS1XR) [538] In here at seven o'clock next Friday is our next meeting.
[539] And it's not designed to be a public meeting for anybody that come along and gives support and help would be more than welcome.
[540] Thank you again for all coming.
[541] Thank you.