Thrive LDN is a citywide movement for mental health, supported by the Mayor of London and led by the London Health Board.
We hope to see broad representation across the borough including from the council, NHS providers and commissioners, businesses, local people, carers, voluntary and community sector, faith groups, schools and social landlords to discuss how collectively we can work together as a borough to improve mental health and wellbeing and reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health. Anyone living or working in Brent with an interest in improving the happiness of the borough is very welcome. The event is free and light refreshments will be provided.
You can sign up here – LINK
After controversial national changes to the NHS, Brent contributed to a major independent review led by top lawyer Michael Mansfield QC.
The Independent Healthcare Commission for North West London, led by Mr Mansfield, spoke to lots of residents and considered hundreds of pages of evidence and the final report has now been published.
The main findings are highly critical of the process of reorganising NHS services across North West London, including closing down Accident and Emergency centres at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals, and concentrating more services in other hospitals, including Northwick Park.
The report shows how wrong it was to shut these centres before it had first improved other services designed to relieve pressure on Accident and Emergency services. I’m also concerned that there isn’t a proper recognition of how quickly the population is growing, and how much NHS provision we really need. It’s important now that we learn those lessons, and focus on supporting Northwick Park and other NHS services in helping local people remain healthy. In future, any such changes need to be designed in greater collaboration with local councils.
There’s been quite a lot of mud-slinging, negative campaigning, in the lead up to May 7th, from all political parties I must add, but polling day has finally arrived so it’s decision day for you and I will positively lay out the case for voting Labour referring to two key policy areas.
The first decision you need to make is whether to go out and vote or not. For me it’s simple, we have a moral duty to vote and it is one of the few opportunities for you to have your say on the direction of travel for your country. Politics matters and it is election outcomes that led to the creation of the NHS and the introduction of a national minimum wage.
All political parties lay out a manifesto and Labour’s sets out a clear vision to take the whole of society with us and support the next generation to succeed and deliver a NHS that is fit for the 21st Century.
You have between 7am and 10pm to vote.
Supporting the next generation and the NHS and caring for our elderly is a key issue raised on the doorstep by residents so I have picked out key promises from the Labour manifesto on these areas.
invest £2.5 billion more than the Conservatives to recruit 8,000 more GPs, 20,000 more nurses and 3,000 more midwives
guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week join up services from home to hospital, with a single point of contact for all
who need it give mental health the same priority as physical health, with a new right to access talking therapies repeal the Government’s privatisation plans, cap profits and put the right values back at the heart of the NHS end time-limited 15 minute social care visits and recruit 5,000 new home-care workers to support people in their home
introduce a new gold-standard Technical Baccalaureate for 16 to-18-year olds protect the entire education budget from early years through to post-16 education guarantee all teachers in state schools will be qualified appoint Directors of School Standards to drive up standards in every area
cap class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds ensure all young people study English and Maths to age 18
Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three and four-year-olds, and ensure all primary schools guarantee access to wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm
Double paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase paternity pay by more than £100 a week
The full manifesto is here
Today, Shadow Secretary for Health Andy Burnham gave hope to all in the country with his and Labour’s vision for the future of health and social care provision.
I was delighted to attend the launch of his Whole-Person Care policy review which outlined the parameters in which Labour was seeking to take health and social care in the future.
In 1997, the scandal was waiting lists. People in this country were dying while they waited for operations and because of that, meeting targets became a priority area of focus for the Labour administration. But the challenges that faced the sector at the end of the last decade and is becoming ever more apparent now requires a shift in priorities.
Andy Burnham argued for wholesale integration of Health and Social Care. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 was condemned and he pledged to repeal it if Labour came back into power. In fact, the whole discussion abut the Act itself ended up being all about Health and had a ‘we’ll deal with the social care bit later’ approach.
What he did concede was that the reform that Labour brings in will work with the bodies that he inherits in 2015 if Labour win the next general election. The NHS had already undergone straining top down organisational change under this Tory Liberal Government and it would not be right to make them do it again. Instead, he indicated that there would be a refocus on what these bodies do. Health and Wellbeing Boards should be the main commissioning body and Clinical Commissioning Groups would be advisory. These new Boards were best placed to shape both health and social care provision through one budget.
It would also mean commissioning of adaptations in the same process in recognition that this saves money in the long run and delays the need for expensive care provision because of risk aversion.
At the moment, we are faced with a situation where people have physical needs, mental health needs and social needs, but there is a lack of coordination between the services. One person, three care services. The gaps between them are frankly dangerous.
Council services are being cut to the bare bone and our projections show that in Brent, the budget shortfall because of cuts and rising demand to our social care services by 2020 will be £45 million. The Local Government Association has said that if this area is not reformed then money spent on more ‘popular’ services will reduce around the country by 90%.
A full transcript of Andy Burnham’s speech can be found here – LINK
The Whole-Person Care approach was well received by the audience which stretched well beyond the party faithful and starts a landmark process to truly reform health and social care services for the better.
Here are some interesting articles I have tweeted about this week (in order of latest tweets first)
- New Tory Liberal Government Minister admits that they screwed up on NHS reforms
- Cllr Zaffar Van Kalwala of Stonebridge Ward on Sarah Teather’s betrayal to the people of Brent
- Facts and figures from the national disability charity Scope
- Paralympic Gold medalist says disabled access in London is horrendous
- NHS pay cuts because of local pay rate proposals will lead to exodus of health workers, say nurses
Jeremy Hunt appointment as Secretary of State for Health is bad for the NHS. This article from the Mirror in 2009 explains why – LINK
I am hearing some shocking cases of neglect directly from people who are telling me about their recent experiences with the NHS. I am keen to hear about your personal experiences with NHS services.
Please email your story to Krupesh4Brent@Gmail.com
With the news that we are officially in a double-dip recession period LINK it is becoming clearer that the Tory Liberal economic policies are fundamentally flawed. Yes, they inherited a large deficit, but they also inherited a growing economy.
Cutting too far too fast has recklessly damaged the UK’s good prospects of getting our economy moving again. So far, the Tory Liberals have increased unemployment by
- Slashing jobs in the public sector on the unsubstantiated claim and risk that jobs will miraculously appear in the private sector to make up for the rise in unemployment in the public sector
- Increasing VAT which has an impact on a business’ take home profits, meaning that they have less profit available to employ people and expand
- The VAT rise also impacts on consumer spending and disincentivises businesses
- Scrapping the Future Jobs Fund which equips young people to be work ready. Indeed the long term impact of this has also been ignored by the Tory Liberals. Even if there is a lack of employment opportunities in the country, it is important that these schemes are invested in so that people are equipped with the skills they need and are work ready for when the economy does recover and there are jobs for people to go into.
Unemployment should never be a price worth paying. The immediate and long-term impact of worklessness is far worse than pursuing an aim to get rid of the deficit in four years. The Tory Liberal Government have made this their priority and ignored the impact that this damaging course has on ordinary people.
The VAT rise also had a detrimental impact on inflation. Naturally, it costs more to buy products because there is more tax paid on spending money. This leaves less disposable income to the individual and what’s more, wages are not going up with inflation. People are being squeezed with higher costs and lower income.
This brings me to my final point on the deficit, which has increased under this Tory Liberal administration – LINK
Growth is a key component to tackle the deficit. Without economic growth, it becomes difficult to address the deficit. This has been the Tory Liberal Coalition’s main failure. There is the issue of the Eurozone crisis that the right wing Government will point to. However, slashing public sector jobs with a front loaded approach and the VAT rise are policies of the Government’s own making.
The Tories are out of touch with ordinary people and their stance on the 50% tax rate at this very moment in time is testament to that. The Liberals aren’t bothered about issues such as employment, jobs, the economy, crime and the NHS – this is proven with how easily they flipped their position on these what I consider core issues. They are far more concerned with the House of Lords and the electoral system and appear more principled on these issues than ones that have a more profound impact on people.