Open Letter

To all NHS health authorities and bodies in Waltham Forest

As patients and residents of Waltham Forest and adjacent areas, we are seriously concerned by the proposed cuts to the highly regarded Stroke Rehabilitation and Acute Services at Whipps Cross University Hospital.
We are alarmed that Barts Health NHS Trust is attempting to stifle public debate on this potential service reduction.

Throughout 2013, campaigners from We Are Waltham Forest: Save Our NHS have used official channels of communication to various NHS authorities and bodies to promote public engagement with health issues.

It now appears that concerns put to the local Adults and Older Persons Scrutiny sub-committee have resulted in Barts suspending a Whipps union representative from Trust consultation forums over trade union activities in support of staff and local health services. Barts is also threatening disciplinary action for raising concerns in defence of services.

We believe members of the community and elected representatives have the right to talk to and consult NHS workers and managers, and their unions or professional bodies, without fear of individuals being disciplined. Indeed, Waltham Forest CCG has amended its Constitution to incorporate a policy on whistle-blowing, including the statement that ‘the existence of a confidentiality clause does not in any way ‘gag’ – either intentionally or unintentionally – any individual who may wish to raise concerns in the public interest’.

We, the undersigned, are opposed to any cuts to the stroke service at Whipps Cross Hospital. We are alarmed that further service reductions at Whipps are probable given the Trust’s present financial position.

We expect Bart’s to behave in an open, accountable and responsive way towards all the communities it serves.

We ask that your organisation responds to our concerns over transparency both in terms of general principles – now and in the future – and with particular regard to Whipps’ Stroke Unit and the current perceived climate of threat to union reps who raise concerns in the community. We request your organisation details what action it will take according to its role within our local health service.

Yours sincerely

Sign the Open letter to all NHS health authorities and bodies in Waltham Forest

Open letter to all NHS health authorities and bodies in Waltham Forest

As patients and residents of Waltham Forest and adjacent areas, we are seriously concerned by the proposed cuts to the highly regarded Stroke Rehabilitation and Acute Services at Whipps Cross University Hospital.
We are alarmed that Barts Health NHS Trust is attempting to stifle public debate on this potential service reduction.

Throughout 2013, campaigners from We Are Waltham Forest: Save Our NHS have used official channels of communication to various NHS authorities and bodies to promote public engagement with health issues.

It now appears that concerns put to the local Adults and Older Persons Scrutiny sub-committee have resulted in Barts suspending a Whipps union representative from Trust consultation forums over trade union activities in support of staff and local health services. Barts is also threatening disciplinary action for raising concerns in defence of services.

We believe members of the community and elected representatives have the right to talk to and consult NHS workers and managers, and their unions or professional bodies, without fear of individuals being disciplined. Indeed, Waltham Forest CCG has amended its Constitution to incorporate a policy on whistle-blowing, including the statement that 'the existence of a confidentiality clause does not in any way 'gag' – either intentionally or unintentionally - any individual who may wish to raise concerns in the public interest'.

We, the undersigned, are opposed to any cuts to the stroke service at Whipps Cross Hospital. We are alarmed that further service reductions at Whipps are probable given the Trust’s present financial position.

We expect Bart's to behave in an open, accountable and responsive way towards all the communities it serves.

We ask that your organisation responds to our concerns over transparency both in terms of general principles - now and in the future – and with particular regard to Whipps’ Stroke Unit and the current perceived climate of threat to union reps who raise concerns in the community. We request your organisation details what action it will take according to its role within our local health service.

Yours sincerely

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