Campaign to save the NHS

On Saturday 3rd March Tower Hamlets Labour Party will be campaigning to save the NHS.  Sign our petition here:
The Government is planning the biggest reorganisation of the NHS since it began in 1948. It is unnecessary, unwanted and damaging. 
For Tower Hamlets it means massive upheaval – at the same time as the NHS is asked to meet huge cuts targets there is a proposed merger between our hospital services at the Royal London and Newham and Whipps Cross, and primary care commissioning is turned upside down, with the abolition of our award winning Primary Care Trust. 
We are proud of the Labour record on the NHS, and of Labour’s investment in the new Royal London hospital building and innovative services such as the Barkantine centre.  We will fight to keep vital local services in Tower Hamlets, and fight to save the NHS. 
Tower Hamlets GPs have written to David Cameron to ask him to drop his Bill.  This weekend the people of Tower Hamlets will come together in a mass day of action to let David Cameron know that we want to see this botched top down reorganisation of the NHS stopped. 
Get involved. 
Please let me know if you can spare any time at all, even half an hour, to help out on one of our street stalls.   You’ll be able to find us – we’ll have red balloons, stickers, petitions and leaflets.  Jim Fitzpatrick, Rushanara Ali, John Biggs and councillors will all be out campaigning to save the NHS. 
Saturday 3rd March, 11am – 2pm
Street stalls in:
Watney Market
Bethnal Green road – outside Tescos
Whitechapel road – outside the tube
Chrisp Street market. 
We are also holding a short rally, with speeches at Chrisp st at 12.15 – the media have been invited. 
Please do get involved – the more people volunteer, the more signatures we can get to let Andrew Lansley know that Tower Hamlets opposes his  botched NHS reorganisation.  Email rachaelsaunders(@) if you can help out, or text 07799 417580. 
Please sign below to support our campaign. 

Tower Hamlets GPs call on David Cameron to Drop the Bill

The Tower Hamlets clinical commissioning group, led by GPs, has just sent the letter below to David Cameron calling on him to drop the Health and Social Care bill. 

Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group
2nd Floor Alderney Building
Mile End Hospital
Bancroft Road
London E1 4DG
27 February 2012
The Right Honourable The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister 
The Board of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group ask you to reflect and to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill.
Supporting improvements in the quality of patient care is our passion and focus. We support a strong role for clinical involvement in commissioning decisions that lead to better health outcomes for our patients. We do this already in Tower Hamlets.  An Act of Parliament is not needed to make this happen.
Tower Hamlets Primary Care team has a long tradition and reputation for innovation and commitment to partnership working with patients and managers. We make the best of any challenges that come our way. Innovations include real improvements in the health of our patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes, the highest childhood vaccination rates in London, and an exemplary local out of hours service, delivered by our GPs and highly valued by patients.
We work in partnership with the community, hospital, local authority and community organisations, to improve and integrate services for the benefit of our patients. It is against this background that we represent the views of our local GPs in asking you to withdraw the Bill.
You are familiar with the submissions on the long-term implications of the Bill made by our professional representative organisations, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association. We share their concerns.  We add to that our own experience. Clinicians, patients and managers in Tower Hamlets are determined to improve health and well-being, but your rolling restructuring of the NHS compromises our ability to focus on what really counts – improving quality of services for patients, and ensuring value for money during a period of financial restraint.
We care deeply about the patients that we see every day and we believe the improvements we all want to see in the NHS can be achieved without the bureaucracy generated by the Bill.
Your government has interpreted our commitment to our patients as support for the bill. It is not.
Dr Sam Everington
Chair, NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group
c.c. Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health

Somali Friends of Labour

Rushanara Ali’s contribution to the parliamentary debate about Somalia is worth a read – the debate was held in advance of the conference hosted by the UK government on the future of Somalia later this month. 

Last week I was in a cafe with Rushanara and leading members of the newly launched Tower Hamlets Somali Friends of Labour, discussing what needed to be raised in this debate. 

Rushanara, along with Alun Michael and other MPs, launched a national Somali Friends of Labour late last year. 

Following on from the national launch at Westminster some local Labour supporters,  led by Abdirashid Hirad and Amina Ali, came together to launch a Tower Hamlets Somali Friends of Labour, intended to provide a space for local people to come together to ensure that the Somali community has a strong voice inside the Labour Party, and to support the Labour Party at election time.  It’s inspiring to see that the priorities and needs of Rushanara’s Somali constituents for their mother country are already being heard in parliament.   
For me, the launch of Tower Hamlets Somali Friends of Labour was a hugely important step in rebuilding our democracy in Tower Hamlets.  All too often small groups that shout the loudest are the ones who get their voices heard in local decision making.  This group sees a broad base of Somali people in Tower Hamlets, from across the borough, different professions and backgrounds, unite to make their voice heard, with the Labour Party as their political home. 
We had a public launch in Bethnal Green, with Nicky Gavron AM mobilising people to vote for Ken and speaking about the vital issue of housing policy – her thoughts about the event are here. 
Jim Fitzpatrick MP also spoke, alongside fellow councillors Motin Uz Zaman and Bill Turner – Cllr Siraj Islam also attended. 
A few pictures and links to further information about Tower Hamlets Somali Friends of Labour below. 
Tower Hamlets Somali Friends of Labour Facebook Group
East London Advertiser coverage

Rachael Saunders, photo by Dan McCurry


Amina Ali and Rachael Saunders – photo by Dan McCurry

Motin Uz Zaman, Nicky Gavron, Amina Ali, Rachael Saunders