Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics 2012 - We Love OUR NHS

Thanks to Nurse Kate and Danny Boyle of course !

Olympic NHS Nurses Tweet Pics - Liberal Conspiracy

NHS Nurses Pic - Liberal Conspiracy
Sunny Hundal

You saw the NHS nurses at the Olympics ceremony last night… but what happened afterwards? Horse McDonald @horsemusic

They returned home of course, many of them decked out in their brilliant costumes. Some went out drinking afterwards.

Naturally, Twitter was ablaze with their pictures. Here is a selection.

(pics via various sources, including NYT)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sean Geraghty 1936-2012 - NHS Workers Debt of Honour

Sean Geraghty (1936-2012)

Fleet Street Electricians Leader


NHS Solidarity 1982


Rodney Bickerstaffe, In 1982 General Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees remembered how much his support for the NHS pay Campaign in 1982 meant. 


"He (Sean) was always ready to help everyone," Bickerstaffe said. "Solidarity was a key part of his make-up. It wasn't only just the nurses, but also other health workers who knew that he would always be there whatever the cost. Everyone knew that he wasn't in it for himself but that he was there to support others, especially those who were most vulnerable. There was terrific respect for him throughout the movement."



Fleet Street Solidarity Strike 1982

Full COHSE support for Sean Geraghty
Full Confederation of Health Service Employees (COHSE The health care union)) backing has been pledged to electricians' leader Sean Geraghty who faces a fine and heavy legal costs after his members held up the Fleet Street printing presses on 11th August 1982 in support of the NHS pay campaign during the 9-13th protest week of action.

Sean Geraghty, secretary of the London Press Branch of the Electricians Union (ETU), was fined £350 for contempt of court and ordered to pay court costs after his 1,300 members disobeyed an injunction obtained by the Newspaper Publishers' Association (NPA) to stop the threatened twenty-four hour strike on 11 August. 1982.
COHSE has offered to pay the fine and contribute towards the costs, expected to be a massive £10,000, incurred after a court appearance lasting only a few minutes.
The NPA brought the case against Mr Sean Geraghty for breaching the injunction. Under the 1980 Employment Act, the courts could have sent him to jail and he still faces prison if he fails to pay the fine by October. The electricians' branch has yet to decide whether the fine should be met.

Hundreds of NHS workers marched from St Bartholomew's Hospital in London to the High Court in New Fetter Lane on 13 August 1982, the day of the hearing.COHSE members from Regions 5, 6, and 8 were well represented both outside the court and at the Department of Health & Social Security’s London headquarters at the Elephant and Castle, where demonstrators joined the vigil organised by London health staff for the week long protest.

Although COHSE initially expressed concern that the Fleet Street action would distract publicity from the health staffs' case, COHSE General Secretary Albert Spanswick described the electricians' stoppaqe as a wonderful gesture of solidarity' and warned at serious action' would result if Mr Geraghty was imprisoned

Sean Geraghty addressing supporters outside the New Fetter Lane High Court;

The threat under new anti trade union laws to jail Sean Geraghty, led to a surge of support for the campaign. Unquestionably, had he been jailed, the industrial action in response would have significant from the unions.
The diminutive, softly spoken, 46 year old Dubliner. Sean Geraghty, who worked at the Daily Mirror became a household name, celebrity and working class hero overnight.

However, the Tories anti trade union Law had been especially drafted to ensure that their could be no Martyrs, for the movement to organise around.

The right wing Electricians Union were also not happy with this act of solidarity and tried to break up the branch ad discipline Geraghty.

It has to be said that the COHSE leadership unlike NUPE had to be pushed into support for Sean and the strike fearing a right wing backlash and a TUC keen to remain in dialogue with a Conservative government it did not understand.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

NHS Direct staff stage "Work-In" at Nottingham to defend Patiet Care

East Midlands NHS Direct staff have been joined by colleagues in Cornwall as they stage a "work-in" to expose problems with the replacement 111 service being rolled out from August.

Nursing and Health advisors providing NHS Direct helpline services to Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire are reporting for work in their own time to take calls to highlight the valuable work they do and ensure that patients get the best possible quality of service on the NHS's 64th birthday.

Staff are deeply concerned about the affect the change will have on patients and on health services. The new 111 service has far fewer nurses taking calls - 75% of calls to NHS Direct are currently taken by a nurse, under the new 111 service only 17% will be. NHS Direct has two qualified nurses to every health advisor – NHS 111, has six health advisors for every nurse.

The 111 service will not clinically assess patients, or give them access to emergency dental or contraceptive advice. People suffering mental health problems from patients engaged in self harm or depression will not longer be able to get the help they need by calling NHS Direct. This will lead to more patients being sent to A&E, GP surgeries and more ambulance 999 call outs, and could see longer waiting times as these health services are pushed to breaking point.

UNISON has also repeatedly requested that the Department of Health publish the findings of a report undertaken by Sheffield University into the new NHS 111 service which we believe highlights the likely impact on A&E and GP Services.

Sandra Maxwell, UNISON NHS Direct Nursing Convenor, said: “UNISON nurses and health advisors will be taking action on 5th July 2012 (NHS Day) - the 64th anniversary of the founding of the NHS - to urge the Department of Health to stop rolling out the 111 service until it has been fully evaluated. It must also come clean and publish its evaluation of the NHS 111 service.

“Those living in rural areas seeking advice on injuries they have had or their child’s illness, will have little option but to travel long distances to attend A&E, when advice previously given by a qualified NHS Direct nurse may have resolved the issue.”

Michael Walker UNISON National Officer, said: “UNISON has repeatedly called on the Department of Health to publish the Sheffield University evaluation into the NHS 111 pilot services and to undertake formal public consultation on the closure of NHS Direct, with the public, GP's and health professionals. Despite a legal requirement, this has not happened to date.

“UNISON is particularly concerned that the new 111 service has fewer nurses available to take calls and therefore unqualified staff will be unable to carry out vital “clinical assessments”. This will inevitably lead to a huge increase in people turning up to A&E departments, to ambulance call outs and more patients being referred to GP surgeries.

UNISON estimates that 50 extra patients a day could present themselves to A&E departments and 1,000 extra ambulance call outs (costing £800 a time).

As staff in Truro took the same action in soludarity, Michelle Goodman UNISON Nursing Rep at Truro said: "We feel passionately that as nurses we need to let the public know what is happening at NHS Direct and in particular the loss in access of emergency nursing advice under the new NHS 111 signposting service"