I can’t keep quiet

December 12, 2010

I know I said I was logging off and I don’t really have much time to blog  but I just can’t keep quiet. The student protests and the associated violence, the vote to triple tuition fees and of course the fact that our very own (MP) Lynne Featherstone, the right honourable member for Hornsey and Wood Green broke her pre-election pledge to us and voted FOR a tripling of tuition fees is simply too much for me to take in silence.

So I’m back and I will have the odd rant on this blog. I must admit I am not sure what exactly can be done but I might figure it out as I blog along. If not maybe all blogging will achive is to stop me from developing stomach ulcers. I hope something good will come of it.

Re-opening this blog is another one of my spur of the moment decisions. I was inspired by watching this video.

As the Metropolitian police has successfully deterred me from taking to the streets  to make my voice heard- I’m not letting neither my six months old nor myself being charged by a horse or hit over the head with their police batons – blogging seems a safe alternative for a young mother who is worried about the future of her child and his generation.

And for all those of you who want to get involved I’d like to suggest the Haringey Alliance for Public Services as a good place to start.

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Just a quick one to say that MP (and Under-Secretary of State for Equalities) Lynne Featherstone has thrown her weight behind our campaign.

Many of us have received a letter from her which included a copy of the letter she had sent to Tracey Baldwin, Chief Executive of Haringey Primary Care Trust on our action day.

In her letter Lynne has asked Haringey PCT to:

  • Establish the post of specialist breastfeeding midwife in Haringey on a permanent basis (widening the remit of a review on breastfeeding services to include the possibility of a permanent post would be welcome)
  • Make the timeline of any review Haringey PCT undertakes regarding this matter publicly available
  • Consult service users widely during any review and make the conclusions available to the general public on the PCT website
  • ask if Haringey PCT plans to receive UNICEF baby friendly accreditation  for its’ community health care facilities and if so what the timeline and the budget is for this undertaking
  • Commit further resources to ensure that all mothers in Haringey can access the breastfeeding support they need on a regular basis including establishing a breastfeeding support group in Wood Green N22 in addition to existing support groups
  • Make all future plans to improve (or reduce) the breastfeeding support in Haringey publicly available
  • Widely and publicly consult service users regarding a significant change to breastfeeding support service provisions in Haringey
  • Well, we are all waiting for Tracey Baldwin’s reply…

    Lynne’s won !

    May 7, 2010

    While we don’t yet know what’s happening with our government there has been no change for us in Hornsey and Wood Green.

    Our old MP is our new MP: Lynne Featherstone.

    She has fought hard against the closure plans of the Whittington A&E and just a few days ago told me that “eternal vigilance” would be needed to ensure that the promises not to close the Whittington 24-hour A&E would be kept.

    So once the dust has settled we’ll be looking to her to help monitor the situation and make sure that the Whittington is truly safe.

    Just saw on BBC London news that Labour has won the Local Council election in Haringey.

    The Ham&High is organising hustings with the four main party candidates for Hornsey & Wood Green

    When?  Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7 pm

    Where?  Greig City Academy, High Street, Hornsey (entrance in Hillfield Avenue), N8 7NU

    Please note: The event now starts at 7 pm, not 8 pm as originally advertised. If I hadn’t double-checked last night I would have turned up at 8 and missed out on all the fun.

    Me and my mates of the Noel Park North Residents Association will go along to ask questions.

    You can also e-mail editorial@hamhigh.co.uk in advance with questions. I have just done it and asked – you guessed it – about the Whittington. Will post the answers here !

    Click here for more details about the event.

    Fantastic News !

    After Caroline Lucas, Nick Clegg is now the second political party leader to say that he would not let the Whittington A&E  close !

    Nick Clegg said:

    “I support the campaign to save Whittington A&E. Decisions about local services should be taken by locally accountable bodies. I would not let North London Central NHS close this A&E. I oppose all proposals made by unaccountable bureaucrats which threaten local services.”

    This is a real boost for the campaign to save the Whittington ! Read more on Lynne Featherstone’s blog

    Two down (Lucas and Clegg), Two to go (Cameron and Brown) ! 

    I really don’t see why Cameron and Brown could not make similar promises – unless of course they support the Whittington A&E closure and the way the process is conducted.

    Let’s ask them now ! E-mail Cameron and Brown. And please contact your local Conservative and Labour parliamentary candidates on this issue, too.

    It’s great to see that our pressure has an impact !

    Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that the Chair of my local Residents Association (Noel Park North Area) has written to all three main party leaders and asked them for their committment to halt the current process to close the Whittington.

    I have e-mailed my MP Lynne Featherstone about it and asked her if she could personally raise the issue with Nick Clegg.

    She told me that: “Our Health Shadow Sec of State, Norman Lamb, has already said if we are in power we will stop this process dead in its tracks. In fact – it couldn’t happen under our proposals as we don’t accept these unelected quangos who are putting forward these proposals and who will make the decisions. We would have democratically elected and accountable health boards – who I cannot imagine proposing such dreadful measures. If they did – they wouldn’t be in office long!”

    This is of course brilliant news and Norman Lamb’s committment is clear. Much clearer than what we’ve so far heard from Mike O’Brien (Labour) or Andrew Lansley (Conservative).  Both of them have promised to look into the issue (review, evidence gathering…whatever they have called it) post-election. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Who are you trying to kid? We need a firm committment BEFORE the election. It is difficult enough to trust politicians as it is. Some kind of vague promise to look into an issue after an election is not going to fly with us.

    So all credit for Norman Lamb for speaking out so clearly. BUT I still think this is not going far enough. Cabinet positions can be easily lost and what role will Norman Lamb play in a hung parliament..mmh..maybe not a very significant one…So if we want to rest assured that the Lib Dems are firmly on our side the only way is to hear it from the man himself: Nick Clegg !

    So I wrote back to Lynne and asked her again to raise the issue with him in person. To be honest I can’t imagine any reason why Clegg wouldn’t want to back up the statement of his Shadow Health Minister in public…it would put the minds of so many local residents (including pregnant mummies like me) at rest. So let’s see what Lynne says. I’ll let you know.

    If you want to hear it too click here to e-mail Nick.

    When hanging out on mumsnet I saw that Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party is going to be live on mumsnet.

    When? Tomorrow (Friday) at 1 pm

    Where? Here

    I know that  the Greens are only a small party and that the statement “should your party form the next government” is purely hypothetical but being live on mumsnet is the most accessible I have seen any party leader in the last few weeks.

    So I posted my Whittington question to her (see below). I really hope she will answer it…I’ll be on mumsnet tomorrow lunchtime. Will you?

    Hi Caroline,

    What is your position on the proposed closure of the A&E and maternity services at the Whittington hospital in North London ?

    If you oppose it would you be prepared to give us a firm commitment – if the Greens were to form the next government –

    to halt with immediate effect the current process to close the Whittington A&E and maternity and ensure that all future plans are evidence-based, transparent, made publicly available and subject to extensive and meaningful public consultation

    not to close any A&E and maternity unit in North London until alternatives are firmly in place, have been sufficiently tested and proven by independent analysis not to have any adverse effect on the treatment of patients

    So far no party leader has signed up to this publicly. I hope you will lead the way !

    I have just noticed that someone filmed the by now infamous public meeting with Rachel Tyndall and Richard Sumray in Hornsey two weeks ago.

    Here is a clip with the clinician I mentioned in my earlier blog post.

    NHS bosses are trying to assure us that the plans for closure are clinician-led, but the only clinicians willing to speak in support of the closure planes are the ones like her….oh dear, oh dear, oh dear …..