Signing the NHS Pledge

Cllr Rachael Saunders and Andy Burnham MP with the NHS Pledge


This week I was at an NHS Pledge event in Westminster with Andy Burnham and other members of the shadow health team, and councillors from across the country.  We came together for a conversation about what we can do from local government to protect our NHS from the worst ravages of the Tory/Liberal Democrat legislative attack. 

I’ll be using the pledge to hold our commissioners, the Health and Wellbeing Board and our care providers to account. 

The pledge is a five-point practical attempt to limit the damage of the NHS reorganisation.  In signing this we pledged to act as patient champions and the last line of defence for Tower Hamlets’ NHS, calling on local health leaders to:

1.            Protect NHS founding values
2.            Prevent postcode lotteries
3.            Guard against longer waits
4.            Promote collaboration over competition
5.            Put patients before profits

Over £19 million has already been wasted on David Cameron’s unnecessary top down reorganisation of the NHS, just in Tower Hamlets.  The last sets of figures also showed longer cancer treatment waiting times for patients in the east end.  This pledge is a tool for us as campaigners to use to protect local services, and,  where necessary, hold providers and the Independent Mayor to account.  The NHS is under severe financial strain.  Much of the impact of the reorganisation is still to be felt.  Labour remains the last line of defence for the NHS. 

·         The £19m waste figure represents the amount set aside for the reorganisation of Tower Hamlets NHS – £19,328,145

•The Joint Health and Social Care scorecard tabled at the Health and Wellbeing Board meeting shows that in 2010/2011 93.3% of patients were treated within 62 days of their cancer screening.  This has now dropped to 79.7 for 2011/2012. The trust’s target is 85%. 

Islam and Leveson

A great community activist I know asked me to feed in to this report which is being submitted to the Leveson inquiry.  Whilst there are elements of this piece of work I might dispute (aren’t there always!) I hope Lord Leveson reads it.  Much of his inquiry has centred on the relationship between the press and the famous or powerful.   It’s not only the very rich or those who hold high office whose lives are corroded by bad journalism.  

Have a read, see what you think:

Community budgets

Services to vulnerable people are being cut and our small businesses are struggling in the Tory made double dip recession.  What we have left is the inventiveness and resilience of the people of the east end of London, which is why I’ll do all I can to support anyone who seeks to give local people a greater say in how public services are run. 
Community budgeting is about bringing service providers in Mile End East and Bromley by Bow together to reshape services around the priorities of local people.  If you’re from the area, please do fill in this survey:

I hope this is the start of something really exciting – protecting our vital services by putting the needs of the people that use them first.