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Jo McCarron spoke at today's Board Meeting of the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, where health bosses approved recommendations to shelve plans for a Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital.

Jo expressed her disappointment and frustration at the CCG's disregard for residents' views.

She made clear that the CCG has failed to convince anybody that effective urgent care close to home can be delivered without the MIU. She warned that unless the CCG proves that its proposals would improve urgent care across the community, the promise of an MIU will have to be honoured. The fight to make sure residents' views are heard must continue.

Click here to read the CCG's plans to deliver urgent care services at local surgeries instead of at Cossham. 

Jo's statement in full:

"My priority, working with the Labour team and the Save Cossham campaign group, has been to make sure residents’ views are heard. 

"It is disappointing that the Clinical Commissioning Group appears to have ignored the overwhelming call for the Minor Injuries Unit that was promised, despite all the hard work that has gone in to making sure the strength of feeling was known.

"Over the last six months, the CCG has failed to get across why they don’t think an MIU is needed and why urgent care services could be delivered more effectively without the MIU. 

It feels as though they haven’t even tried to engage properly with residents.

They repeatedly stalled, delaying their decision and giving no indication as to their thinking.

They came to public meetings but couldn’t answer questions and gave no explanation of the proposals they were developing or the approach they were taking.

They held an ‘engagement event’ at which the Save Cossham residents group were told they woulnd’t have an opportunity to comment.

They emphasise in the report that the CCG has “a duty to…provide services that are equitable to all, evidenced based, of high quality and make the most effective use of the resources available” – what about their duty to listen to the people they are supposed to serve?

And all this follows their decision to downgrade the services we were promised as part of a community hospital at Frenchay.

The result is that residents were told they would be listened to but feel they have been ignored.

They simply have not been persuaded that the MIU isn’t needed. 

Of course if what is being proposed would provide more effective urgent care across the community, I would welcome it and so would local residents.

But after the community hospital was downgraded at Frenchay, the fear has always been that once again promised services will be downgraded.

Residents need to be convinced that urgent care will be delivered effectively.

Firstly they need an answer to the fundamental question, which the Labour team has already put to the CCG: if people in Kingswood have a minor injury, where should they go?

The CCG says in its report that urgent care will be provided not at Cossham but at other local facilities, but we still don’t know where these facilities will be.

And we need to know how urgent care is meant to be delivered effectively at these facilities:

How will clinicians access the x-ray and plastering services mentioned in the report?

What hours will urgent care be available?

Where will people park in an emergency?

Secondly, residents need to be able to make a judgment for themselves.

The CCG must not make a decision until it has given residents that opportunity, and its decision must actually reflect residents’ views as they use the system that will be piloted.

It is simply not acceptable to backtrack on a promise without approval from those who the promise was made to.

It is important that the CCG meets with local residents as a matter of urgency to explain its plans, answer questions, and at least start to build some of the trust that has ebbed further and further away over the last six months.

I do welcome that in the report the CCG offers to meet with the Save Cossham Campaigners."

 

"It is simply not acceptable to backtrack on a promise without approval from those who the promise was made to" - Jo McCarron on the CCG's decision to shelve promised MIU

Jo McCarron spoke at today's Board Meeting of the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, where health bosses approved recommendations to shelve plans for a Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital....

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Jo McCarron ran a Big Draw art project for Year 5 pupils at her old primary school, Hanham Abbots, as part of the Big Draw Festival, a series of events throughout October run by the national Campaign for Drawing.

The theme for the day was ‘Small World, Big Ideas’ and was about the world around us and sustainability. Jo’s project involved pupils working on 40 separate ‘jigsaw’ pieces, which they then put together in the playground to create a large, colourful collage of a forest scene. Jo also recruited other local artists Maria Danishvar Brown, Laura Izaguirre and Domenico Alecci, who worked with pupils on separate projects about sustainable living.

The Campaign for Drawing was launched in 2000, by the Guild of St. George, to commemorate its founder, the Victorian writer, philosopher and artist, John Ruskin. The campaign aims to raise the profile of drawing as a tool to help people see, think, invent and take action. Its long term ambition is to change the way drawing is perceived by educationalists and the public. Campaign for Drawing has patrons which include Quentin Blake, David Hockney and Andrew Marr and each year runs the Big Draw Festival, the biggest drawing festival in the World, where events take place across the UK to celebrate drawing.

Jo said,

"Helping to get more people doing art and being creative is one of my favourite things as an artist, and I’m especially pleased to be able to give something back to my old Junior School. Art is so important for children. It helps them express themselves and understand the world around them. 

"A few years back, I was involved in the Big Draw project at another school in Kingswood, Redfield Edge in Oldland Common. The theme was dreams and aimed to teach the children about the nature of abstract art. They had great fun then and I think the pupils at Hanham Abbots really enjoyed the project this year.

"It is crucial that creative subjects are recognised as an important part of education. Everything around us has been designed and has only come about as a result of creative thought."

Jo McCarron runs art project with pupils at her former school in Hanham

Jo McCarron ran a Big Draw art project for Year 5 pupils at her old primary school, Hanham Abbots, as part of the Big Draw Festival, a series of events...

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Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to delegates at Labour's Annual Conference in Manchester about the importance of rebuilding trust following a series of broken NHS promises locally and nationally.

Jo was moving a motion submitted by Kingswood CLP and Bristol North West CLP reaffirming Labour's commitment to protecting our health service - the motion passed unanimously by delegates.

Here is the full text of Jo's speech:

"I am Jo McCarron, CLP delegate for Kingswood, Bristol, and standing to be the next MP for Kingswood.

It is a huge honour to be moving this motion on behalf of everybody who wants to save the NHS from Tory destruction.  

Let me tell you what’s been happening to a couple of hospitals in my area.

A few years ago, Cossham Hospital was under threat of closure. But after a hard fought campaign, not only was it saved – we secured a £19million refurbishment from the last Labour Government. This was thanks to the hard work of residents, Labour councillors, and the former Labour MP, Roger Berry.

It was testament to what can be achieved when we pull together. 

But do you know, when Cossham Hospital re-opened there were two empty rooms. The Minor Injuries Unit was missing. It was promised, but it’s nowhere to be seen.

But luckily we have an amazing group of campaigners – the Save Cossham Group. Together we have been working to make sure local people are heard.

I have been blown away by the team’s hard work and determination. And even more than that, by the public response to our petition at street stalls, on the doors and at the meetings and rallies we have called. 

Last week the Save Cossham Group and I presented the petition, with 16,000 signatures.

So it’s clear, people in Kingswood are passionate about their local health services.

But this isn’t only about health – it’s also about broken promises.

There had been another promise that nearby Frenchay hospital would be protected as a ‘community hospital’.

Since then a raft of the services that were supposed to be delivered were scrapped – that, despite the Conservative MP, Chris Skidmore, saying he had already made sure the community hospital would be delivered. He said it was job done. I guess he’s hoping nobody will notice that most of Frenchay has actually closed.

People feel betrayed, ignored, let down. Uncertainty and betrayal isn't good for anybody's health.

What’s at stake above all is trust, and not just in Kingswood but across the country. People’s faith that promises count for something, that they won’t be taken for a ride.

Do you remember David Cameron promising that his number one priority was the National Health Service?

Well I think he might need a reminder.

He said he would stand up for the NHS.

Well, the reality is that his Government has piled pressure on our health service

- Cutting thousands of nurses

- Slashing social care for the elderly and vulnerable

- Closing walk in centres

- Wasting billions on a reorganisation no professional health body wanted and no-one voted for 

The result is patients waiting longer for treatment, longer for GP appointments, longer in ambulance queues.

And now we have Conservative MPs talking about charging patients. Is that their plan to ease the strain the health service is under? Attacking the basic founding principle of our NHS.

Free at the point of use. Available to all.

David Cameron’s NHS promises have counted for nothing.

The truth is, that is bad not just for the Tories, but for politics as a whole.

Labour has a plan to rebuild our NHS,

Repealing the Health and Social Care Act, that diverts money for health care into private company profits.

Investing in frontline staff. 8,000 more GPs. 20,000 more nurses.

But people need to know that they can trust us to deliver.

We need to show week-in week-out that we are already making a difference. 

And we are, in Kingswood alongside the Save Cossham Group, and in constituencies up and down the country, fighting to protect local NHS facilities. 

So let's get out and keep up the fight. It’s now or never.

And I say to the Tories – just as surely as you have been closing down walk-in centres, come next May, it will be you walking out the door."

Jo McCarron speaks at Labour Party Conference about our NHS

Jo McCarron, Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, spoke to delegates at Labour's Annual Conference in Manchester about the importance of rebuilding trust following a series of broken NHS promises locally...

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