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The government's increasingly desperate attempts to defend their record on the NHS have become less and less credible over the last year. This is partly due to in
creasingly effective local and national campaigns and partly to the crisis in hospitals, primary care and social care has forced more and more of those involved to speak out against the damage being caused by austerity. But many of those who are being damaged have no voice. Poor people, disabled people and the chronically ill have fewer opportunities to make their case as their benefit and treatment rights become eroded. NHS staff are generally gagged in one way or another. Exit can be the only escape leaving the NHS still weaker and now less and less able to recruit staff from overseas.

Large national demonstrations and industrial action by junior doctors, nurses and others have made the strength of feeling around the country quite clear, to the extent that even the Conservatives have got worried enough to promise the outlines of a new financial deal this summer. But will it be too late? Certainly it will be insufficient to undo the damage inflicted since 2010. Meanwhile the stress on services which affect the need for healthcare becomes more and more acute. The unspupported costs of Social Care (which is subject to means tested charges) is driving local authorities to bankruptcy.

Another threat is the developing reorganisation into Integrated Care Systems (previously known as Accountable Care Systems) which threaten to become Accountable Care Organisations. In our local area the Integrated Care System covers Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Bassetlaw as well as Sheffield. (See posts below.) Increasing pressure from campaig
ners and within the Labour Party is deterring local councils to sign up to these in case they become vehicles for further cuts and privatisation.

Across South Yorkshire resistance is building to the threatened implications of the ICS for local services and South Yorkshire Save Our NHS have formed a political party to stand in the Sheffield City Region Mayoral election on May 3rd 2018. See also Barnsley Save Our NHS.

NHS21END_(Small)NOT KILLED OFF YET. Campaigning does work whether on the streets, in the press or, increasingly in the lawcourts. The government's high-handed tactics are being subjected to an increasing number of judicial reviews. At national level these have forced a public consultation on Accountable Care Organisations starting in May 2018.

Cartoons by Samantha Galbraith @sgalbraith47

For more national information see Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public


April 14th 2018 11.45 Regional Demonstration to Save the NHS Leeds

April 25th
Soviet Healthcare via Targets: Are Governments Bringing it into the NHS? Roco 2pm or 7pm

April 28th Sheffield Demonstration against proposed closure of the Minor Injuries and Walk-in Centres (see main website for details)

June 27th The NHS is 70 - but what is its life expectancy? Festival of Debate / SSONHS panel discussion and social. Roco 7pm - 11 pm.

June 30th Health Campaigns Together march for the NHS in London See main wesbite for details.

SSONHS planning and information meetings are generally on the first Monday of the month, except for bank holidays. They are usually at 6pm at the United Reform Church. Chapel Walk/Norfolk St S1

To contact us email


In 2016 abnd 2017 we worked with Sheffield Festival of Debate and other colleagues to promote realistic discussion of the issues facing the NHS. On 4th May 2017 we had a lively meeting debating the future of hospitals and in 2016 we mounted an exhibition on NHS privatisation to coincide with a play, A DUTY OF CARE about Labour and the healthcare market. On 22nd November 2016 we held a panel-led debate on the future of the NHS with local NHS leaders, academics and campaigners. We also held a public meeting on 4th July 2016 to celebrate the NHS anniversary, discuss the STPs, the implications for privatisation in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and the consequences of the EU referendum result.

In March 2016 we held a successful workshop Taking Back Our NHS

We supported the Junior Doctors throughout their action because we felt they were being unfairly treated and were being treated as the advance guard for Hunt's uncosted, unfunded and misconceived ambition for a 7 day NHS. (For one of our supporter's views at the beginning of the dispute see this column in the Sheffield Star

For our questions to 2017 General Election candidates and canvassers about the NHS see our
website campaign page

2016 8th-22nd November Exhibition on NHS privatisation How come we didn't know by London photographer Marion Macalpine
Theatre Delicatessen, The Moor

22nd November SSONHS Festival of Debate event
Why is the NHS Under so much pressure? How can we save it for future generations?
Speakers included Dr Tim Moorhead, Chair, Sheffield CCG, Kevan Taylor (Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust) and Professor Sarah Salway (University of Sheffield, Public Health) + local campaigners

Taking Back Our NHS SSONHS workshop

Saturday 12th March 2016, 10am - 2pm


Tuesday 22nd September, 7pm screening of Sell Off, attended by well over 100 people.

Campaigning for GP practices at risk of closure

2nd July Successful SSONHS public meeting addressed by Ray Tallis and speakers from Devonshire Green and Unison.

2nd May SSONHS stall in city centre from 11.30 Come and see us.

The 38 degrees ambulance will also be in Surrey Street at 12pm and conveying the 38 degrees petitions to local Hallam candidates at Wesley Hall in Crookes for 3pm.

25th April - March through Sheffield Hallam, with the People's NHS and 38 degrees

28th February 38 degrees petitioning around Sheffield

22nd November Leafleting in Sheffield City Centre from 12.00 pm in support of the NHS strikers. For A5 and A4 copies of the leaflet which has more information on it see the Campaigns Page at our website

24th November NHS picket lines from 7am to 11am. Rallies at the Hallamshire and Northern General (Herries Road) at 10 am.

We were proud to support the Jarrow to London march for the NHS, organised by Darlington Mums passing through Sheffield on August Bank Holiday Monday. Thanks to everyone for helping and joining in.

24th JULY 2014 Public Meeting jointly with Sheffield Medsin

Is our NHS really in crisis? Behind the headlines and soundbites
Panel discussion led by GPs and health experts from the NHS and universities.

For past activities see our website

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Sustainability and Transformation Plan update

The STPs look like being neither sustainable nor transforming, except for introducing cuts. They're more like castles in the air. At the time of writing the STPs are still mostly secret despite having been submitted on 21st October. Some details of the Sheffield Place Plan were published at the Sheffield CCG meeting on 6th October here.  NHS England have instructed that all local communication about the STPs must be processed through their central communications team.

Some call the STPs the least bad option (Chris Ham here) but campaigners like John Lister of London Health Emergency and Keep Our NHS Public are more scathing.  Campaigners are pushing local Councils not to sign up to the STPs if they involve cuts. Two London Councils decided to publish the STPs anyway in order to bring them into the public domain and, because they involve disputed hospital closures, to seek a judicial review.

Opposing STPs does put cash-strapped councillors in a dilemma because the STPs are a potential source of funds for social care. But to accept this is just making matters worse. The plans need to be part of a proper public debate which must surely but back pressure on Hunt and May to recognise they can't go on pretending that the NHS is managing.  Cracks are appearing all over.  The Chancellor's neglect of the NHS and social care in his Autumn Statement was quite shocking.

Update 28th November

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw STP has been published on the website of South and Mid Yorkshire Commissioners Working Together, the group which is providing administrative support for the STP.  Here you can also find consultation proposals about the reconfiguration of Hyper acute stroke services and children's surgery. (Scroll down for the link to the STP page).

The STP does not involve any immediate cuts in Sheffield but significant changes are hinted at.  The financial strategy is not yet written or agreed.

We have attended a number of local events to challenge assumptions in the STP process but both the STP and the Sheffield Plan are up for approval at Sheffield CCG on 1st December.

Update 10th December

Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group agreed the Direction of Travel of the STP and also approved the outline of the Sheffield Plan.  However at the full meeting of Sheffield Council on 7th December Cllr Cate Macdonald, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said that it was not currently the intention of the Council to approve the STP because of the implications of agreeing the cuts which it implies, both at local and national level.  Hostility has also been expressed within Barnsley Council.  Other Councils up and down the country (including Tory controlled Devon) have also refused to agree their STPs.  The NHS leadership is showing signs that it recognises the process is in trouble, but for the moment it remains the only game in town.  There is likely to be more consultation and wooing of Councils and other organisations but the press seems clear that Theresa May is adamant in her refusal of more money for the NHS despite its increasing desperation.  Expect more trouble and confrontation from many quarters, not excluding staff groups as things become more and more stretched.

The Shaping Sheffield event held on 8th December was notable for avoiding the phrase STP wherever possible (though it was raised by the SSONHS speaker) and it seems likely that the Sheffield Plan (which predates the STP though is based on similar principles) will carry on edging forward under its own branding.