38 Degrees Skipton and Keighley Groups NHS meeting 17.08.15
Present: Viv, Judith, Simon, Steve, Lynne, Mike, Peter
The point of the meeting was to begin to form an NHS steering group to hopefully represent both Skipton and Keighley .
This initial group consisted of a core of 3 people (Simon, Steve and Lynn) whom Viv invited to get together because of their specific interest in the NHS. Once their presence was secured the invitation was sent out to all members of both groups. The aim being for these people to get to know each other and for Simon to outline his idea for a day’s workshop ‘Save the NHS – Priorities for a Campaign through the regional 38 Degrees’
A workshop designed to discover how we can best campaign to save the NHS, to stop it being privatised so that people have to pay / have insurance to use it (as in America). This is tricky as the NHS is complex, not good at listening to what local people say about its services and privatisation is not an explicit government policy.
Simon has experience of facilitating workshops where everyone in the group has a say (even when people have very different opinions) and then reach a consensus about the best way forward. He is willing to do this for a group of 38 Degrees Skipton and Keighley members, people from other local pro NHS campaign groups and we could invite other experts like David Wrigley.
We discussed various focuses for our campaigning and points we agreed on were
Trying to form alliances with people who are trying to change the NHS from the inside
Working as far as possible with positive aims rather than negatives
Supporting the NHS Reinstatement Bill – which we need to acquaint ourselves with
We agreed that Simon will write a more detailed proposal, including a description of the issues and details of a group planning exercise for this sub group to consider in a few weeks’ time – date not yet confirmed. All members of 38 Degrees Skipton and Keighley Groups are welcome at that meeting. Venue will depend on numbers.
Save the NHS – Priorities for a Campaign through the regional 38 Degrees
The NHS is under the threat of privatisation and outsourcing which will result in a fragmented system
a la US health care
The Tory ideology of privatisation is unfortunately supported by New Labour and their beliefs in the
market as the means to assign public values.
New Labour introduced the Private Finance Initiatives – getting costs off-budget but at high costs
which are now bankrupting the Regional Hospital Boards.
The NHS is now a centralised system ‘similar to the Red Army’ where all decisions are made in
London and handed down and monitored through performance indicators (back seat driving). GPs
and the CGs are expected to make decisions but they have limited authorities over the budgets and
how they are allocated.
NHS managers therefore have limited authorities to ‘do it better’. The former Regional Authorities
had a closer contact with the local hospitals and had regional representation.
The move to decentralise the NHS powers to the Metropolitan areas where it would become part of
the local political domain has been rejected.
So any resistance to privatisation takes place in an institutional context where proxy markets,
indicator-driven performance, Red Army behaviours etc are ‘in place’.
In this situation, how can we build a campaign that resists the privatisation agendas? Options are:
► Join with other regional groups and support their existing campaigns
► Set out own priorities and methods of campaigning
If the latter I propose that we develop our strategy and consensus for action in a workshop that brings
in other campaigners in our region.
I propose that we arrange a one day 6 hour structured group facilitation workshop as follows:
► Session One: Focused Assessment Exercise – solicits participants views of characteristics,
effectiveness and future prospects of key aspects of the NHS. We need to produce an issues
paper for the Workshop with a simple summary of key issues.
► Session Two: Strategic Directions Workshop – solicits participant’s recommendations
concerning key strategies which can be used to support Save the NHS campaigns.
Participants are grouped into “think tanks” to generate a number of practical ideas about what
needs to be done. These accumulated ideas are subsequently clustered and organized into
► Session Three: Proposal Creation – after strategies are defined participants determined 2-4
proposals which are most important to implement the strategy over the next 1-2 years.
Proposals are intended to be very focused, “doable” activities with defined roles and
responsibilities for each activity.
► Session Four: Proposal Prioritization – In this session, which concludes the workshop,
participants were asked to identify preferences their top three choices of proposals. This
procedure generates a cluster of votes for each proposal, from which the top 5-7 are selected
as priority proposals.
Then we have a strategic direction for the Save the NHS Campaign.
The group can be any number but a minimum of 16 is OK. Everything in the workshop is recorded
and reported verbatim.