Synopsis of appraisal of Sustainable Transition Plans, (STP’s)


STPs five-year plan? Is the IOW within one of 44 areas identified as the geographical ‘footprints’? , No;

(the smallest area covers a population size of 300,000 and the largest 2.8 million).

A named individual has been chosen to lead the development of each STP.

STP areas identified by wikipedia include the South:

Kent and Medway; Sussex and East Surrey;Frimley Health;Surrey Heartlands;Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; Devon; Somerset;Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire; Bath, Swindon and Wiltshire; Dorset; Hampshire and the Isle of Wight; Gloucestershire; Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West.

Most representatives come from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS trusts and foundation trusts, but a small number of STP leaders come from local government.

Questions for local leaders to consider in their plans, covering three headline areas:

  • developing new models of care;
  • improving health and wellbeing;
  • improving efficiency of services.

Leaders have been asked to identify the key priorities for their local area to meet these challenges and deliver financial balance. While the guidance focuses mainly on NHS services,

STPs must also cover better integration with local authority services.

The original deadline for submitting plans to NHS England and other national bodies was the end of June 2016, but most plans will now be further developed and re-submitted by October.

The plans are likely to be assessed and approved in phases.

STPs represent a shift in the way that the NHS in England plans its services. While the Health and Social Care Act 2012 sought to strengthen the role of competition within the health system, NHS organisations are supposedly now being told to collaborate rather than compete to respond to the challenges facing their local services.

Can we believe that privatisation isn’t the real plan or motive?

This ‘shift’ reflects a growing consensus within the NHS that more integrated models of care are required to meet the changing needs of the population. In practice, this means different parts of the NHS and social care system working together to provide more co-ordinated services to patients – for example, by GPs working more closely with hospital specialists, district nurses and social workers to improve care for people with long-term conditions.

It also shows that the growing financial problems in different parts of the NHS can’t be addressed in isolation. Instead, providers and commissioners are being asked to come together to manage the collective resources available . In uncertain terms, financial targets for NHS services for their local population are to be applied to local areas by NHS England and NHS Improvement. It shows that with the absence of Government funding that has created the present crisis, local authorities, communities, volunteers and private agencies have been asked to step in.

The timescales set by NHS England to write STPs are tight.

Leaders of NHS providers, for instance, find themselves under significant pressure from regulators to improve organisational performance.

The carrot is the opportunity to integrate health and social care services more closely and to provide a platform for improving population health. Whether or not these ambitions can be delivered is yet to be seen. This first depends on what gets written in the plans, and then – more importantly – on whether their aims can actually be delivered in practice.

There are some reasons to be cautious about the kind of benefits that will be delivered. For example, concerns have been raised that leaders have focused their efforts on plans for reconfiguring acute hospital services, despite evidence that major acute reconfigurations rarely save money and can fail to improve quality too (and in some cases even reduce it).

STPs are a new way of planning and providing health services of local populations.

Developing credible plans will require the NHS to work in partnership with social care, public health and other local government services, as well as third sector organisations and the local community. There has been no time for public involvement in the plans so far.

The task of developing a plan may be challenging for some areas; making it happen will be altogether more difficult. It is said that performance management in the NHS will be brought in.

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Islanders support petition against NHS underfunding and understaffing

Isle of Wight residents queued up on Saturday to sign the Labour Party petition against underfunding and understaffing of the NHS by the Conservative Government.


Islanders support petition against NHS underfunding and understaffing


Signing a petition

Jim Moody shares this latest news from the Isle of Wight Labour Party

Last Saturday (26 November) Ryde Labour members were joined by other Labour Party members from around the Island to help launch a nationwide campaign under the slogan ‘Care for the NHS’.

On a cold day, shoppers in the centre of Ryde gave a warm welcome to leaflets and petitions campaigners brought to their attention. Older Labour hands joined with recent recruits to give out over a thousand leaflets and collect several hundred signatures to a local petition demanding more resources for the NHS.

The worst NHS deficit ever
People were appalled to hear that nationally we now have the worst NHS deficit ever, and that four million are on waiting lists in England alone. Many of those signing had themselves experienced the disgracefully longer waits in A&E and for GP appointments.

Unsurprisingly, people queued up to sign the petition against deliberate Tory underfunding and understaffing of the NHS.

Ryde shoppers “obviously cherish the NHS”
Jim Moody, Secretary of Ryde Labour party branch, said,

“We were very pleased at Ryde shoppers’ positive reaction to what we had to say. They obviously cherish the NHS and want to save and improve it for themselves and generations to come. In Labour’s view, the Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Sustainability & Transformation Plan would be disastrous: no wonder there has been little publicity about it until recently.

“Beyond the havoc the Tory government has already visited on the NHS locally and nationally, we see this STP as a further attack on Islanders’ health. St Mary’s losing beds, patients sent off Island, not enough GPs or dentists – we the majority have to stand together for an NHS that is fully staffed and funded.

“If we don’t, we’ll end up with an empty NHS shell – and profit-making private health insurance for those who can afford it.”

A full local service for St Mary’s
Demands included in the Ryde Labour petition are that St Mary’s Hospital be funded so it provides and expands a full local service and that GP and dentistry services on the Island are safeguarded and improved.

Importantly, it calls, too, for greatly increased resources for the rundown community mental health services. It is a priority of Labour policy that mental health services are brought to parity in all respects with other health service provision. The petition also rejected the government’s poorly funded Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability & Transformation Plan for failing to meet the needs of Islanders.

More details on this question can be found at the Labour Party Website

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Poem quoted by Fidel

For this freedom that is the right of the youth
For this freedom
As beautiful as life itself
We will have to give our all
If necessary
Even our shadows
And it will never be enough.

Music Composition Click:

Even Our Shadows

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Greek public sector workers stage strike against new austerity reforms:

Greek public sector workers have gone on a nationwide strike to protest against the austerity measures planned by the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to secure bailout loans from its international lenders.

On Thursday, doctors, teachers as well as municipality workers joined the one-day industrial action, organized by the main public workers’ union, ADEDY, in a show of protest against labor and pension reforms in addition to asset sales by the government.
A separate 24-hour strike was also called by seamen.

The strikers joined by pensioners marched through the streets to the parliament building, waving flags, beating drums and chanting slogans such as “Tax the rich.”

They also carried banners that read, “Our needs are above their profits” and “No more cuts!”
ADEDY said in a statement, “Workers and the poor are always the ones to pay the cost of the crisis.”
“(A government) elected to stop the austerity slide is now carrying out neo-liberal policies in their entirety,” the public servants’ union added.

The Thursday strike is a prelude to a nationwide strike called by private sector union GSEE, Greece’s largest, scheduled for December 8.

Simultaneously, a parliamentary committee on Thursday started debating next year’s public budget, which includes increasing taxes to boost government revenues.The new budget envisages around a billion euros increased government income from extra taxation on items including cars, fixed telephones, pay TV, fuel, tobacco and beverages.

Public spending on salaries and pensions will also be cut by 5.7 billion euros in 2017.

Unions are also angry about government plans to raise over two billion euros next year by selling state assets, including regional airports and power plants.

Despite pre-election promises to end austerity, Tsipras signed up to a bailout deal with Greece’s foreign creditors – the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – in July 2015 and agreed, in return, to adopt a set of new austerity reforms in an attempt to keep the debt-ridden country afloat.

The deal was signed despite a referendum earlier that year, in which Greek voters said a resounding ‘NO’ to such a bailout agreement.
Currently, the Athens government is at loggerheads with its lenders over unpopular labor reforms required as part of Greece’s second bailout review. Talks between the two sides were suspended on Monday amid their disagreements.

Athens wants a swift conclusion of its second assessment to qualify for more debt relief early next year.
Finance ministers from the main EU states are to meet IMF negotiators on Friday in an effort to reach an agreement on the Greek bailout early December.

25 Nov 2016 – 07:59 by WDNF

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Comandante of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz passes away:

Photo: Archivo

“Dear people of Cuba:

It is with deep sorrow that I come before you to inform our people, and friends of Our America and the world, that today, November 25, at 10.29pm, Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz passed away. In accordance with his express wishes Compañero Fidel’s remains will be cremated. In the early hours of the morning of Saturday 26, the funeral organizing commission will provide our people with detailed information regarding the posthumous tributes which will be paid to the founder of the Cuban Revolution.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!”

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CONSTRUCTION Workers Occupy Crossrail Offices in Central London

Construction workers take over Laing’s HQ in central London over pay and union rights fight

by Steve Sweeney

CONSTRUCTION workers occupied Crossrail offices in central London yesterday in an ongoing dispute over pay and industrial relations.

The demonstration saw hundreds of workers from the beleaguered infrastructure project block Oxford Street before a group made their way to Laing O’Rourke’s Crossrail HQ and entered the building.

One of the workers who was part of the occupation told the Star that “the lads occupied Laing’s offices on Crossrail” as they are angry about “the [firm’s] refusal to rejoin the JIB [Joint Industrial Board] national agreement” and “the failure to recognise democratically elected stewards.”

They are that demanding the company enter negotiations with recognised trade unions Unite, Ucatt and GMB and that it stop the victimisation of activists and officials.

The controversial project has seen a series of protests over pay and health and safety, and union activists claim to have been subjected to bullying, intimidation and surveillance at various Crossrail sites.

There have been allegations of blacklisting being used to punish workers who have taken part in action or for trade union activities.

Union officials say they have been refused access to workers, despite a national agreement being in place.

Earlier this week Labour MP Stephen Hepburn tabled an early day motion calling for improved industrial relations on Crossrail.

An electrician and shop steward who was at the demonstration explained: “We’re down here today, it’s not been organised by the unions it’s the lads organising themselves together and we’ve come out because we want a second tier payment and we want meaningful negotiations with our union representatives.”

He pointed out that “under our national agreement we are due a second tier payment if we request it” and called for Crossrail to “come to the table and negotiate.”

The protesters are angry over Crossrail’s refusal to stick to the JIB, which allows for additional “second tier” bonus productivity payments.

They say that Crossrail bosses told them to go back to the contractors, but the contractors say Crossrail is responsible for the payments.

A spokesperson for Crossrail said: “We are aware of this demonstration by Unite the union which is seeking to secure a bonus payment from Crossrail’s principal contractors.”

But Unite regional officer Guy Langston said: “Crossrail and the contractors have attempted to attach the ‘Day of Action’ to Unite and Ucatt which isn’t the case. This is clearly a conscientious decision by workers on Crossrail to tell them they want their unions to negotiate on their behalf.

“We are told by the rank and file that further demos are planned until they get round the table and negotiate.”
A union representative who was involved in the action called it “a wake up call” for management, saying they “have shown nothing but contempt for the workforce.”

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Tata Jaguar Demands Government Investment:

Jaguar Land Rover throws government a challenge

Jaguar Land Rover carsImage copyright REUTERS

Jaguar Land Rover’s chief executive Dr Ralf Speth has laid out a future vision which could see 10,000 new jobs created in the West Midlands.

He said at an industry event that Britain’s largest carmaker by volume would like to double production from 500,000 to one million cars a year.

But it would depend on the government helping to upgrade power supplies and invest in surrounding infrastructure.

The firm would also like a guarantee on access to engineering talent.

A company spokesman said the production target was “very much a want, rather than a will”, but declined to commit on precise job numbers.

The 10,000 figure was mentioned by Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group, which is part of Warwick University. Although it was not confirmed by the company, it was not dismissed either.

The carmaker’s vision comes after the decision of Nissan to move two new next generation models to its Sunderland plant, backed by assurances from the government that it would help to invest in automotive research and development.

Nissan produced almost 477,000 vehicles in the UK last year, while just under 490,000 rolled off Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) production lines, according to industry body the SMMT.

Now it seems JLR has thrown down the gauntlet to the government to match its ambition with big pledges for investment.

Specifically, the company is looking for help with infrastructure surrounding a 60 acre site and provide significant additional power resources.

Lord Bhattacharyya said he was sure “more than 10,000 jobs” would be created if JLR expanded to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries in Coventry.

He said the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, gave his assurances the government would look at the plans very seriously, because “in order to make the batteries and cars we need the power supply, which there is a shortage of in this area”.

“There are challenges, but Coventry and Warwickshire is well placed to help make it happen, and I believe the timing is right,” agreed Jonathan Browning, chairman of the region’s Local Enterprise Partnership.

‘More than day-dreaming’

It is a tantalising vision of huge investment in the automotive heart of Britain.

Can the government match the soaring ambition of one of the UK’s largest manufacturers with similarly ambitious support?

Although the company described this as an aspiration more than a plan, it is much more than day-dreaming.

According to company sources, this vision has been long held by JLR’s boss, but he had chosen not to share it before and the Business Secretary was in the room to hear it.

The message was clear – the ball is now in the government’s court.

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