Forum Topics

National Health Service breakdown and privatization: "Sustainability and Transformation Plans"

I'm deeply concerned that in the build up to the General Election there has been little discussion about the disastrous changes to the NHS being proposed by the local Sustainability and Transformation Plan, the "North West London STP" which covers 8 boroughs from Westminster to Hillingdon. These plans for the 44 "footprint" regions of England and Wales have been made in a secretive manner, with very little public information and are nothing more than plans to slash, trash and privatise our NHS.           But most worrying are large private healthcare companies and their lobbyists, such as Virgin Care and American healthcare companies including UnitedHealth, the previous employer of Simon Stevens CEO of the NHS, which will chase the UK's expenditure through the NHS using the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This pressure will inexorably lead to the American model of healthcare management which causes 50% of personal bankruptcies each year in the US. All the STPs call for "Accountable Care Organisations/Systems", a term which Americans recognise only too well. This system with low fixed budgets will be screwed down so that it does not meet the public need and it will turn the health provision in England and Wales into a two tier health system where the rich will pay and the rest of us will be left with a very poor, minimal NHS, like the American Medicare/Medicaid system.         I would urge all readers to contact their candidates and let them know that the public will not stand for the destruction of the NHS and all MPs must reject the STPs and reject the move to Accountable Care Organisations. These "new models of care" will end the NHS as a comprehensive service that provides the full range of care to all who need it, free at the point of need and fully accountable to the public (private companies will hide their waste as well as their profits).               Readers can find their candidates on the website.

Una-Jane Winfield ● 2549d0 Comments ● 2549d

Cygnet Players present Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Cygnet Players are proud to present Dirty Rotten ScoundrelsFrom Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th February 2017At John McIntosh Arts Centre, London Oratory School Theatre, Seagrave Road, London, SW6 1RXPerformances nightly at 7.45pm with a 2.30pm Saturday matineeTickets £16 (£14 concessions) can be bought from the Cygnet Players box office via telephone on 07941 448 689, via email at or via Book by Jeffrey Lane | Music and lyrics by David YazbekBased on the film "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" written by Dale Launer, Stanley Shapiro and Paul HenningThis production is presented by arrangement of Music Theatre International (Europe) All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI the show Two con men, a beautiful woman and the elite of the French Riviera collide in this sexy and irreverent farce. Based on the 1988 MGM film starring Sir Michael Cane and Steve Martin, this hysterical comedy features a delightfully jazzy score by David Yazbek (The Full Monty) and was nominated for a staggering 11 Tony Awards. Be transported to Beaumont Sur Mer and its decadent underworld, as two seasoned swindlers attempt to hoodwink a millionaire heiress. As the pair compete in the true art of the con, they discover there is only room for one of them. Sophisticated, suave with a good dash of mischief, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is set to be the finest night out of 2017 - Secure your ticket today!

Cygnet Players ● 2701d0 Comments ● 2701d

12 & 24 hour Spinning Marathon! Calling all spinners & cyclists!

The Starfish Spinning Marathon is back - with a twist!Take on the challenge. Your way.The epic thigh busting team event is back for its 4th year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Qualified instructors from the Pedal Studio will lead back to back Spinning classes.  With pumping tunes and fierce competition this will be a weekend to remember. Teams must clock up a total of 12 or 24 hours but it’s up to you how you take on the challenge....So how can you get involved and how does it work?Here’s how the team set up works:Option A:  The ultimate 24 hour challenge, 6pm Friday 27th- 6pm Saturday 28th February Option B: New for 2015, 12 hour challenge 6am – 6pm Saturday 28th February Teams can have 2 – 10 members. The team decides how to make up its hours and can either cycle together as a group or as a relay.You can enter as a team or those of you who would like to participate but don’t have the time to gather a team can still take part in this awesome event. Just choose to do a single or multiple classes over the 24 hour period and we will find you some shiny new teammates. There is no sign up fee and a fundraising target of just £50 per person. And don’t forget - everything from the Putney Pedal Studio space to the Popchips is donated so every penny raised goes to improving the lives of vulnerable kids in South Africa. To register please email or call Stephanie on 020 7597 3797.

Jessica Francis ● 3392d0 Comments ● 3392d

Singers wanted for choirs!

SEEKING TENORS & BASSES!The Hammersmith based ADDISON CHAMBER CHOIR and the ADDISON JAZZ ENSEMBLE are each looking for a couple of extra Tenors and Basses for the 2015 season. Some sight reading skills are helpful and an informal audition is required.The CHAMBER CHOIR have a large repertoire but have become particularly known for their high quality performance of music by a wide range of contemporary composers, many of whom have written pieces especially for the choir. Concerts include our own and others e.g. the Brandenburg Festival and the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and a performance at Kings Place later this year.  The Music Director is David Wordsworth.The JAZZ ENSEMBLE sing jazz standards, occasionally pop, and pieces written especially for the Ensemble by the talented Jill Jarman.  We perform in the Addison Jazz concerts and in the Brandenburg Festival.Bursary - a bursary to attract and retain young singers who demonstrate talent and wish to join may be available on application.  The bursary covers all fees and music for one year and is conditional on committing to singing at all performances during the year.Rehearsals are held at the Polish Centre in Hammersmith, London W6 0RF. Chamber Choir on Wednesday evenings 6.30pm-7.45pm, Jazz Ensemble on Monday evenings 6,30pm-8pm.  We’re a very sociable choir and there are plenty of opportunities for meeting like minded friends! There are also two Addison unauditioned larger choirs for people of all abilities: the Oratorio Choir and the Jazz Choir, should these be of interest.To arrange an informal audition or for more information, contact Julie Davies our Membership Coordinator on 07531 447960, or email us at , or see our website

Morna Wheatley ● 3425d0 Comments ● 3425d

Local Hospitals "Require Improvement"

Save Our Hospitals has responded to the CQC's report as follows:Overall, this is a disappointing report, but not entirely surprising.The rating of the A&E at St Mary’s as inadequate bears out what we have been saying for some time: problems in the handover area for ambulances; problems with ambulance turnaround times; worrying issues about early discharge; lack of adequate links with primary care services which would keep people out of hospital.Yet the A&E at Charing Cross, marked for closure, is rated as ‘good’.Why are Imperial planning to move the stroke unit, ‘third best performing stroke unit in the country’ according to the CQC, from Charing Cross to St Mary’s?Outpatient services across Imperial’s hospitals are rated as ‘inadequate’. There are concerns about inconsistent cleanliness, infection control and hygiene across the Trust. There are significant backlogs for elective surgery and major staff shortages in some wards with an over-reliance on agency and bank staff. Bed capacity for some areas is a cause for concern. Save Our Hospitals is left wondering why Imperial Health Trust and the CCG should proceed with the largest reorganisation of the NHS before they have got outpatient treatment – increasingly long appointment and then clinic waiting times – sorted. We are told the aim is to treat more people in the community – but outpatient bookings, key to out of hospital services - at all 3 hospitals has not increased capacity to meet patient needs, nor have appropriate additional links with primary care been established – where these currently exist!The management response to the report is worryingly complacent. The CQC has found some serious concerns which cannot be wished away. Imperial College Healthcare Trust needs to get the basics right before embarking on the major reorganisation that is planned across NW London. Already the closure of two small A&Es in the NW London area has caused Imperial to fall dramatically in the league tables for A&E waiting times. To proceed with the demolition of Charing Cross, the sale of 55% of the land and the building of a mini-hospital there with no acute beds and no real A&E, the demolition of 45% of St Mary’s with a major rebuild there and the closure of the Western Eye Hospital is a serious attack on local health provision.SOH is calling for a moratorium on further reorganisation, for a rethink of the proposals and a new consultation based on clear clinical evidence that that reorganisation will work. From the CQC report it seems that current provision is inadequate and now is not the time to reduce the number of beds and close A&Es and move a world class stroke unit to another hospital.

Una Hodgkins ● 3445d0 Comments ● 3445d

Choose the right care this Christmas

People in Hammersmith and Fulham are being encouraged to choose the right care for their need this Christmas to help ease pressure on NHS services.Many common winter illnesses and injuries, such as colds and flu, can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet containing:-Paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief -Decongestants for cold and flu symptoms such as blocked noses or sinuses-Tablets or liquids to help with heartburn and other digestion problems-Antiseptic wipes for cuts, grazes and minor wounds-Rehydration remedies-A thermometer-Plasters and sterile dressings-AntihistaminesYour local pharmacist can provide professional, confidential advice and treatment without an appointment. You can see a pharmacist for a range of problems including coughs, colds, skin conditions, aches and pains, and stomach complaints or emergency contraception. They may prescribe you with over-the-counter remedies and will be able to advise on medicines that are safe to use with any other medications you are already taking.There are a number of pharmacies open in Hammersmith and Fulham over Christmas. Click on the link below for more information. you’re still unsure which care option to choose, NHS 111 is a round-the-clock phone service, free to call from landlines and mobiles. NHS 111 offers expert advice for situations when you need help urgently but it isn’t an emergency.The telephone team are fully-trained and supported by nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals. If they think you should see a healthcare professional, they will direct you to the correct service for your need, including GP practices that are open at weekends.Dr Tim Spicer, chair of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, said: “During the winter months, an increase in winter illnesses and injuries puts additional pressure on health services, so it’s important to use your NHS wisely.“Self-care is important all year round but can be particularly essential during the winter months. It’s vital to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, and be sure to wrap up warm.“We would also encourage people to check in regularly with any neighbours or family members who might be vulnerable in the cold and the dark.“A&Es come under a lot of pressure at this time, so using services sensibly not only means that you will get the most suitable advice or treatment as quickly as possible, it also frees up emergency services for people with life-threatening illnesses or injuries.”

Louisa Elliott ● 3447d0 Comments ● 3447d

Protests at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust AGM

There were angry scenes at the Imperial AGM. Ross Lydall of the Evening Standard correctly recorded them in his blog of 26th September at most salient parts of his report are:Sir Richard, fighting back against hostility from Save Our Hospitals campaigners at Imperial’s AGM on September 24, told them: “We don’t have any choice. We have a 19th century, 18th century estate on one of our sites [St Mary’s], trying to deliver healthcare to the best possible quality for your benefit.“If we don’t do that we will be in serious, serious trouble. There will be all sorts of problems. We have to rebuild our estate for your benefit, not for mine.”There were gasps of "But why demolish Charing Cross which dates from 1974, and is just 40 years old!"Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, challenged Dr Tracey Batten, Imperial’s chief executive, to guarantee that “there will be no further closures or run-down of services, particularly at Charing Cross, unless and until you can demonstrate there is not a demand for these services”. He added: “Not to do that will be incredibly irresponsible.”Dr Batten said the trust was “guided by our clinicians” in all the proposed changes. She said: “We can only change the number of beds within our facilities when these community services are established. That is the way we need to work.”

Una Hodgkins ● 3515d0 Comments ● 3515d