Reflections on the day by Geoff Barr, KONP Devon

Saturday 14th November

Well, it is over now and we ask how it was.

Briefly it wildly exceeded my expectations. More people, more energy, more dedication, more serious confrontation of the issues for campaigners.

I walked in after a drive through the rain and mist to a hall already buzzing with conversation.

But the start time came and promptly we got down to business – no messing.

We had 4 speakers each of whom produced something different and useful for our work. The format of each speaker being kept on a fairly tight leash and immediately facing questions and comments worked well.

Lunch was great then we settled down to workshops. I often dread workshops in which meaningless discussion gives forth pointless conclusions. But I need not have worried, the workshops were well focussed and certainly the one I was in was very well run.

The coming together session then again was strong.

Then off we went encouraged, inspired and with a better understanding of the issues.

Congratulations to all the people who did the hard graft of putting it together. I know that the more work beforehand the better the day works – they must have worked very hard indeed.

The whole thing inspired some of us from Exeter to think about a similar event next year in Exeter. Watch this space.

Best wishes

Special issues in Devon and Cornwall

1. DEVON: Their concern was about the “Success Regime” which had taken over the commissioning function of North Devon KCG due to financial difficulties. They needed to know more about the organisation. They intend to research SR and raise awareness via radio, press and petitions.

2. CORNWALL: They would encourage writing to KCCG re possible privatisation of community services. ( Now out of date).
Those who wanted to get involved with Patient participation Groups in surgeries should contact the surgery. If they are not happy with the response contact Geoff James at KCCG, as he is the board member responsible for PPG’s.

Rik Evans

Workshop on economy vs a people focused campaign as part of future NHS campaigns

Overall it’s true that more campaigning is needed but if a strategy is followed, repeating messages rather than going off at tangents, the messages will be more effective.

A suggested theme for the strategy is that Labour is about people, their friends and their families. Therefore all campaigns should reflect that and focus on human interest and above all, the role of the NHS in the lives and the happiness of our friends and families. Continue reading

Take action

KernowFuturesAt the conference Rik Evans spoke urgently about the need for all of us to take one key simple action:

A letter to your GP saying very clearly that you wish to be treated by the NHS proper, not a private provider.

Geoff Barr, KONP Devon, has since forwarded a very short letter template that we can download and adapt. Continue reading

Health and Social Care Workshop

Points Raised By Other Groups As Well

Applying pressure by attending Board and Scrutiny Committee meetings etc.

Writing to MPs, perhaps in the same way as the leader of Oxfordshire County Council wrote to David Cameron.

Using plain English to get our case through to the public – e.g. by using examples (such as an 85 year old being unable to get out of hospital because of the absence of a care package) that they can relate to. Continue reading