Save our Glenfield, Save our NHS: Report from the national NHS demonstration

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An estimated 250,000 people joined a demonstration in London yesterday to save the NHS, making it the largest of its kind in history. And the Save Glenfield campaigners were there in force!

More than 100 activists from Leicester, including many involved with the Save Glenfield Heart Centre group, attended the demonstration – supported by PCS and Unite who provided coaches.

Chants included “No ifs, no buts, no NHS cuts” and “Save our Glenfield, save our NHS”.

Protestors from other groups asked us about what the “Save Glenfield” campaign was about, before expressing solidarity and joining in with our chants.

One protestor said that, having walked the length of the demonstration, the Leicester contingent was amongst the loudest and most vibrant.

In an unexpected boost, Len McCluskey, the leader of Britain’s largest trade union Unite, name-dropped the Save Glenfield campaign at the closing rally:

“I marched in Leicester… the largest demonstration that had ever been seen in Leicester defending the children’s heart unit that they [the government] are trying to close down. And that’s why today you are the voice of millions and millions of people.”

The march was organised by Health Campaigns Together, a group which aims to bring together the all the many health campaigns which have sprung up around the country for the common purpose of defending the NHS

The Save Glenfield group supports Health Campaigns Together in fighting for a fully funded NHS.

Photos courtesy of Steve Score and Michael Barker

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If you cannot register to attend the Glenfield consultation meeting, this is what you can do.

On Thursday March 9, NHS England will be holding a public consultation meeting to make their case for stopping children’s heart services at Glenfield Hospital.

Outrageously, NHS England have booked just one “public” meeting to discuss their plans. Even worse, the capacity of the venue is just 120 (96 reserved for the public). We plan to attend the meeting and, for those who are unable to book a seat, hold a demonstration outside.

If you have been unable to book a place at the meeting, you can ask to be put on the reserve list. Contact england.congenitalheart@nhs.net or tel: 07789 770037

 

Public consultation on the future of Glenfield children’s heart unit: Join the protest on March 9

NHS England have organised just one public consultation meeting for the whole of the East Midlands to discuss the future of Glenfield children’s heart unit. This is in spite of the fact that, just last week, over 2,000 people marched in support of the heart centre.

Even more outrageously, we have heard that the room booked by NHS England has a capacity of just 120 people! NHS England are clearly trying to limit the amount of opposition that they will face at the meeting.

But we will not be deterred!

The meeting will be held on Thursday March 9, at the Tigers’ ground (Welford Road), Leicester. We want as many people as possible to register in advance for this event.

Our aim is to send a message to NHSE by packing the event, and packing the streets outside.

We were told only 120 people could go, and at one point the option to go as a member of the public/patient disappeared from the NHSE event webpage altogether. We are still not sure if there was a glitch on the page, but until we can get confirmation one way or another, can everyone PLEASE PLEASE continue to register.

NHSE have made it as difficult as possible for people to attend the one event they are offering. Please don’t let them get away with saying no one is interested because not enough people have registered.

We will ensure that our voices are heard one way or another. If the room is filled, then we will fill the streets outside!

We want to gather outside at 4.30pm in order to make a protest!

You can register using this link  https://www.events.england.nhs.uk/nhsengland/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=135420&eventID=591&traceRedir=2

You may have to put something in the “organisation” box in order to proceed. We recommend putting either “heart patient/family of heart patient” or “public”.

Please let everyone you can know about this and even if you don’t want to be in the meeting – come to the protest outside!

More than 2,000 people march to save Glenfield Children’s Heart Unit

Photos courtesy of Sarah Seaton

It has been estimated that more than 2,000 people were at the march to save Glenfield Heart Unit on Saturday. This is in spite of the bitterly cold weather.

Protestors chanted “Save Glenfield, Save Our Kids!” as they marched through the city centre. Cars beeped their horns in support and passers-by cheered.

Many demonstrators came adorned with artwork produced at the Save Glenfield day of action on January 27, in which 25 schools participated across the East Midlands.

At the rally at Jubilee Square, Aidan Bolger, consultant cardiologist at the Glenfield, addressed the crowd:

“Five years ago NHS England tried to close our service down. That decision was taken to court, and it was decided that that decision was unlawful.

“It was also referred to an independent panel and they said it was based on a flawed analysis of their data.

“And yet here we are, five years later, and they seem to be making the same decision; and the same people are behind it.

“We fought it off then and we will fight it off now!”

The people of Leicester should be proud. The high attendance in such adverse weather conditions clearly demonstrates the widespread support for the services at Glenfield.

Let’s continue to build the campaign, and demonstrate to NHS England that Glenfield will not be closed without a fight!

Photos courtesy of Charles Wheeler

Photos courtesy of Steve Score

Artwork produced at the Save Glenfield day of action

Thousands of students join campaign to save Glenfield Heart Unit

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The second march to save Glenfield’s Children’s Heart Unit is less than a week away, and opposition to the proposed closure is growing by the day.


On January 27th more than twenty schools across the East Midlands, and some further afield, threw their support behind our “Have a Heart” day of action.


Thousands of students and staff dressed in red, made placards, distributed leaflets, and generally raised much-needed awareness about the amazing work that is carried out at our much-loved Heart Unit.


This action was also taken up in workplaces across the region, raising thousands of pounds for the Leicestershire-based charity Heart Link — http://www.heartlink-glenfield.org.uk

A number of schools and workplaces that came a little late to the campaign have agreed to set up their own day to raise awareness about Glenfield.


This Saturday’s “March to Save the Heart Unit” in Leicester will serve as a critical reminder to the government that the British public want more not less heart units.

 

Call to arms to save Glenfield children’s heart centre – march with us!

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Saturday 11 February
Assemble 11 am by Victoria Park Leicester
at the corner of Granville Road and Regent Road, LE1 7PA
ending in a rally in Jubilee Square at around 12.45 pm

Facebook event here www.facebook.com/events/1203738996408953


Over a thousand marched last October, and we want more to come this time.

We are still waiting to hear the announcement of the public consultation, which has been delayed time and again. But NHS England and the government need to know that the level of anger at this proposal has not abated. We need people to take to the streets to make their feelings about it visible.

The fact that in six months 130,000 people have signed either the web or paper version of the petition shows how much support the centre has.

The Care Quality Commission has recently given the congenital heart centre good and outstanding ratings, the justifications that NHS England gives for its proposals are wrong. Glenfield has excellent outcomes and is on track to meet the targets for number of operations that have been set. We would lose the skills and unique position has in the entire country for the treatment of heart patients that Glenfield has.

Can you help make the march safe by acting as a steward on the day?
Please contact Heather Rawling if you can help: 07715357609