First of all, we want to take this opportunity to wish all members, supporters and affiliates a belated Happy New Year and to thank you for your continued support. 2019 was a difficult year politically, but we hope you will continue to fight alongside us in defence of our NHS.
In the eighteen months since we formed, Save Our NHS Leicestershire has made itself felt. In 2018, we lobbied the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Joint Health Overview Scrutiny Committee over local NHS plans to downgrade Leicester General Hospital by removing intensive care beds without any consultation of the public. This resulted in the committee formally recommending that the public should be consulted on such an important development. Leicester South MP and Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth also backed our calls for a public consultation at a public meeting we hosted later in the year.
With the help of our many supporters, we have distributed tens of thousands of leaflets challenging University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust’s plans to reorganise local hospital services – plans which, shockingly, will not create any substantial increase in the number of beds even though local hospitals do not currently have the capacity to meet all local need.
In 2019, we successfully fought to raise our concerns about UHL’s plans within the trade union movement and amongst our political representatives. An open letter written by our campaign was endorsed by 40 candidates standing in the May local elections. The same letter was subsequently backed by twelve trade union branches, representing tens-of-thousands of workers across Leicester and Leicestershire. We have also hosted big public meetings, enabling local people to hold NHS bosses to account, as well as the Leicester Premier of Under the Knife, a documentary about NHS cuts, followed by a Q&A, which was attended by more than 100 at the Phoenix Cinema.
More recently, we intervened into the 2019 General Election to try to do our bit to make the NHS one of the central issues. This included a public rally in Leicester City Centre on November 16 and an NHS hustings in the marginal constituency of Loughborough on December 7.
We have produced regular press releases and letters which have featured prominently in the local press, including the Leicester Mercury, BBC East Midlands and ITV Central, as well more detailed reports on our website. Our campaign has received positive coverage by leading consultation experts at the Consultation Institute and in Ouest France, the mostly widely read francophone newspaper in the world.
This is just a summary of some of the activities we have been involved in (there is much more!), but none of this could have been done without our members, supporters and our affiliate organisations, which include individuals, a wide range of trade unions, community campaigns and political groups across the county.
Save Our NHS Leicestershire has no rich backers. What money we do have is generated entirely through our members, affiliate organisations and public donations.
The price of individual membership is £5 – although of course we would appreciate more. However, we are mindful not to exclude anyone, so if this rate is not affordable please contact us and we can discuss an alternative. Membership entitles you to attend and vote at our steering committee meetings, along with delegates from our affiliate organisations. It is also a concrete way of supporting our campaign.
We recommend that trade union branches and larger political groups pay a minimum of £50 for annual affiliation – again, more is appreciated. We do, however, recognise that financial situations vary greatly. We suggest, therefore, a £20 fee for smaller union branches and political groups. For student and community groups we recommend a £10 minimum fee to affiliate to the campaign.
For any queries regarding these terms, including how to pay, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org