Hey! Spotted our Save Bulli ED bumper stickers

Hey! Spotted our Save Bulli ED bumper stickers – sponsored & distributed by the family of Syd Atkins http://ow.ly/i/TvUs http://ow.ly/i/TvUw

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No spin and no smoke and mirrors — the Save Bulli Emergency Department role is clear

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

Media release : 28 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#13

No spin and no smoke and mirrors — the Save Bulli Emergency Department role is clear

In today’s Mercury, officials of Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) invited the Save Bulli ED group to “help thrash out the details” of changes to Bulli Emergency Department which would remove both the lifesaving services of the ED and the overnight emergency services.

On 29 July, the Save Bulli ED Group was endorsed by the community at the Save Bulli ED Rally to lead the community’s fight to keep the Bulli Emergency Department open — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — and to work with the ISLHD towards this aim, including an upgrade of the facilities for the service that exists at present.

The Save Bulli ED Group stands for just that, to SAVE the Bulli Emergency Department – there’s no smoke and mirrors, no spin.

If the Emergency Department is lost at Bulli, with the Emergency sign removed, as mooted by Ms Noort in the Mercury today, this will not be the fault of the community, or the group leading the Save Bulli ED campaign — it will be a decision, and in our view a grave mistake, that will forever rest with the ISLHD Board and the bureaucrats who are advising them.

“The Save Bulli ED Group is happy to work with the ISLHD to develop a best practice model for retaining a level 2/3 Emergency Department at Bulli, and to assist in any submissions or proposals to lobby the government for funding to support that goal,” said Alison Fettell, convenor of the Save Bulli ED. “We have experienced writers, researchers, editors, sociologists and health administrators in the group who would be happy to contribute these skills to keep the ED open.”

“However, we have not been given a mandate from the community to concede to or help design anything less than an operational 24/7 Emergency Department. It would be remiss of the group and a betrayal of the community to help plan a downgrading. Officials say it isn’t a downgrade, but they admitted in the Mercury today that they plan to remove both lifesaving services and the overnight emergency services — if that isn’t a downgrade, what else would you call it?”

The community have spoken loud and clear on the need to retain the ED 24/7, and the ISLHD have been presented with the wishes of the community on a number of occasions. 

On behalf of the community, the Save Bulli ED Group will be presenting a formal submission in response to the ISLHD Service Plan directly to the Board in the hope that the community’s voice is truly heard, their endorsed model seen and properly considered, and their much loved and needed Bulli ED saved.

________________________________________________________

Media contacts:        

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor
Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor

Meeting with health officials – shifting sands, and no answers to key questions

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

Media release : 23 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#12

Meeting with health officials – shifting sands, and no answers to key questions

Members of Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) met today with health officials from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).

Save Bulli ED Group asked searching questions about the future of Bulli Hospital Emergency, but very few answers were forthcoming.

Recently, in the face of massive public opposition, the health district had dropped the “Urgent Care Centre” proposal for Bulli Emergency Department. The latest draft health service plan had no mention of this term.

The community had hoped this meant a shift in thinking. “We had all really hoped that the health district had changed its mind. Based on their letter to the Mercury on 15 August, we thought plans to downgrade Bulli Emergency Department had been replaced by a commitment to retain the service at its current standing of a Level 2 Emergency Department in the NSW Health network, albeit at reduced hours,” said Caroline Colton, co-convenor of Save Bulli ED Group.

“But we found it was just a change of name. They still want to downgrade it. It’s so very disappointing,” said Caroline.

The only shift by the ISLHD was to rename their proposed model.  Michelle Noort from the ISLHD said at the meeting, “The community has made it clear they won’t accept the term ‘Urgent Care Centre’ …. so we are now calling it ‘Emergency Primary Health Care’.”

“The health district was still unable to explain how this plan would impact on the community,” said Caroline. “There was no detail. We asked if both doctors and nurses would be present. We asked what kind of treatment would be available. But they couldn’t tell us. So with a submission due on 31 August, we will just have to respond in a very broad way as there has been no detail given at all.”

“As a community group we had hoped to take the details of what is planned, for example what level of service will operate at Bulli, back to our community,” said Caroline. “But we don’t know any more than before.”

On the positive side, further statistical data on ED presentations was provided by the ISHLD to the Save Bulli ED Group who will now work on analysing that data and prepare submissions on behalf of the community.

“We are preparing a submission on the Illawarra Shoalhaven Healthcare Services Plan by 31 August. We have also been invited to submit directly to the ISHLD Board by mid September,” said Caroline. “We do appreciate these opportunities to put forward the community perspective and will argue to retain the E.D. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

Denise Farrier of Austinmer agreed. “At the end of the day we need to maintain the Emergency Department we already have and plan for its upgrade to meet the needs of our kids and their kids,” she said. Denise is one of many to join the fight since the Save Bulli ED Rally on 29 July.

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Media contacts:     

Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor
Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s Healthcare Services Plan 2012-2022 can be found at http://www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ISLHDHCSPDraftforconsultation15thAug2012.pdf

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Media Stories generated :

Illawarra News : Save Bulli ED Meets with Health Officials – still no answers to key questions

ABC Radio Illawarra : Bulli Hospital talks continue

The Bulli Times : A rose by another name ? The Battle for Bulli ED continues

“We’re trying again!” – residents to meet with senior health official in an effort to clarify plans for Bulli before community comments due

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

Media release : 22 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#11

“We’re trying again!” – residents to meet with senior health official in an effort to clarify plans for Bulli before community comments due

Tomorrow, Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) will meet senior health bureaucrat Michelle Noort to seek assurances on the future of Bulli Emergency Department. The Save Bulli ED Group hopes to find out enough detail to enable the community to respond to the draft Illawarra Shoalhaven Healthcare Services Plan for Bulli. Public comments on the plan are due by 31 August.

“We were extremely pleased to read in Prof Denis King’s letter to the Mercury that he was now committed to retaining emergency services at Bulli Hospital,” said Caroline Colton, co-convenor of Save Bulli ED group. “That’s a major breakthrough. Up until the day of the public rally to support the hospital, the health district was proposing an urgent care centre (UCC) at the Bulli ED site. It is a tribute to the Illawarra community that all references to a UCC have now been completely removed from the latest health plan.”

Community resistance to reducing emergency services in the Northern Illawarra has been strong and unrelenting. The community has rejected anything short of maintaining the current 24-hour, 7 days a week, Level 2 Emergency Department. Over 500 people braved the winter winds to attend a protest rally in late July, over 12,000 people signed a petition organised by Ryan Park and many residents from all over the Illawarra have written letters to local newspapers and members of parliament.

At a recent meeting with Prof Denis King and MP Lee Evans, Save Bulli ED were offered a further small concession on opening hours. Previously, the health district wanted to cut the present 24 hour service to 8 am to 8 pm, but the health district has now mooted a slight extension of 7 am to 10 pm.

“While it looks like the health district is giving a little ground, there are several unanswered questions,” Caroline said. “We need answers, so that the community can respond to this ‘Plan’:”

  1. We have heard on the grapevine that it won’t be called an ‘Emergency Department’. But if it is truly an emergency service, why wouldn’t it be called an ‘Emergency Department’? Is something less than the current Level 2 Emergency Department intended?
  2. What will the staffing be? Will it be both doctors and nurses? We need both to adequately staff Bulli Emergency Department!
  3. Has the community been heard on the issue of opening hours? We need 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Accidents can, and do, happen at any time!
  4. Where is the 2012 triage data for Bulli E.D.? Why has this been withheld?

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Media contacts:         

Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor
Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s draft Healthcare Services Plan 2012-2022 can be found at http://www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ISLHDHCSPDraftforconsultation15thAug2012.pdf

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Media Stories generated :

The Bulli Times : Battle for Bulli’s emergency department gains momentum

Full transcript of August 16 2012 NSW Parliament Hansard including Bulli Hospital

Fighting for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department at NSW Parliament House with Ryan Park MP for Keira

Full transcript of August 16 2012 NSW Parliamentary Hansard including Bulli Hospital upgrade debate in NSW Parliament Legislative Assembly : http://t.co/Cvbcim7R

Extract from Hansard covering Bulli Hospital Debate only : https://savebullied12.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/bulli-hospital-upgrade-parliament-august-16-2012.docx

Fighting for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department – outside NSW Parliament House with Dr John Kay – MLC – The Greens

Read who said what :

  • Ryan Park
  • Lee Evans
  • Noreen Hay
  • Gareth Ward
  • Andrew McDonald

Acknowledgement to Bevan Shields for providing link to Hansard to Save Bulli ED

 

Fighting for Bulli Hospital Emergency Department to be kept open 24 x 7 x 365 days / year

“You tell them, Ryan! – Bulli Emergency Department must be saved!”

Save Bulli ED Group logo

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

 Media release : 14 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#10

“You tell them, Ryan! – Bulli Emergency Department must be saved!”

On Thursday 16 August at 3:30 pm, Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department Group (Save Bulli ED Group) will be on the spot in NSW State Parliament, protesting outside and then watching closely as the debate on the future of Bulli Hospital unfolds.

The debate in the lower house was instigated by Ryan Park, member for Keira, who gathered 10,000 signatures from concerned residents in support of increased funding.

“I don’t know if they’ll let us show our Save Bulli ED placards in Parliament,” said Alison Fettell, Save Bulli ED Convenor, “but we’ll be there in the public gallery, urging our politicians to LISTEN to the community on this issue!”

Over the last week more reports have emerged about the great need for a fully functioning Emergency Department at Bulli Hospital. There have been heart-wrenching stories about major incidents up in the north that required immediate life saving care, as well as reports about the life-threatening bottle neck that is Wollongong Emergency Department.

“The community in the northern Illawarra has the Bulli Emergency Department that is capable of saving lives and taking the burden off Wollongong. Why should we lose this essential service?” said Ms Fettell. “We will continue to fight to ensure this service is maintained to an appropriate level and kept open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” she said.

The Save Bulli ED Group is making representations to all level of government and across all political persuasions in the hope that common sense prevails. “Our meeting with our elected representative Lee Evans was disappointing,” said Ms Fettell. “He would not commit himself to supporting his southern constituents on this critical issue.”

Representatives of the Save Bulli ED Group will protest on the steps of State Parliament at 3.30 pm on Thursday 16 August to make their voices heard before Ryan Park has his debate on Bulli Hospital on the floor of Parliament at 4 pm.

“All residents are welcome to join us on the steps of Parliament.” Alison said.

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Media contacts:

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor
Ms Kerrie Anne Christian, Co-convenor

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Note  – The Save Bulli ED Group formally submitted the community’s six resolutions to Lee Evans, member for Heathcote at his offices in Engadine, on Thursday 9th August.

The six resolutions, which were agreed on at a packed rally of over 500 people in Bulli Masonic Hall, had a strong focus on the community’s demand for the retention of the 24 hour, 7 day a week doctor-led Emergency Department at Bulli Hospital.

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Media Stories generated :

Illawarra Mercury : The fight for Bulli’s after hours heats up

Illawarra Mercury : Family in plea to save Bulli Hospital

Illawarra Mercury : What’s next in battle for Bulli ED?

Wave FM News : Skinner a no-show for Bulli Hospital debate

The Bulli Times : Battle for Bulli Hospital goes to Macquarie St

Event : Hospital 10,000 Signature Petition Debate – NSW Parliament – August 16 2012

Event Notification : Time to show support for Bulli Hospital ! Bring those placards along to NSW Parliament House to the Debate on the 10,000 signature petition on Bulli Hospital :

Where – at NSW Parliament Macquarie St Sydney

When – Thursday August 16 2012 at 3.30pm.

Local Supporters at Bulli Hospital – May 2012

Ryan Park, MP for Keira,  initiated the petition with NSW ALP Opposition Leader John Robertson in September 2011. By April 2012  10,000 signatures had been collected. The petition calls for support for upgrading Bulli Hospital as follows :

Bulli Hospital needs urgent upgrading to improve and expand services. Failure to improve these vital services will result in a reduced level of health care available to residents.

The undersigned petitioners ask that services at Bulli Hospital be upgraded and improved for the local community.

Save Bulli ED is encouraging Northern Suburbs residents to rally outside the NSW Parliament On august 16 2012 at 3.30pm – with placards of support for Bulli  hospital.

Prior to the Debate in the Parliament, it is hoped that Bulli Hospital supporters will be able to speak outside Parliament House with Lee Evans MP for Heathcote, Ryan Park MP for Keira, John Kay NSW  Greens MLC and Drew Simmons NSW State President Australian Democrats & Candidate for Heffron.

The Petition goes beyond the current campaign being waged to Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department from being downgraded, by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Board, to an Urgent Care Centre open from 7am-10pm only.

Community Resolutions on Bulli ED Presented to Member for Heathcote

Save Bulli ED Group logo

Save Bulli ED Group

https://savebullied12.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/SaveBulliED
http://twitter.com/SaveBulliED

 Media release : 10 August 2012    Bulli ED 2012/#9

The Save Bulli ED Group formally submitted the community’s six resolutions to Lee Evans, member for Heathcote at his offices in Engadine, on Thursday 9th August.

The six resolutions, which were agreed on at a packed rally of over 500 people in Bulli Masonic Hall, had a strong focus on the community’s demand for the retention of the 24 hour, 7 day a week doctor-led Emergency Department currently operating at Bulli Hospital.

Lee Evans’ response to our representation was to state that, “Bulli is run down and needs a lot of money to bring it up to scratch.”

Convenor of Save Bulli ED Alison Fettell quickly offered her support to Mr Evans’ stating, “We’re on your side, we want to fight with you to get more money for Bulli and its ED”.

“Mr Evans”, she said “ if you could communicate this need to state Health Minister Jillian Skinner, you would have our wholehearted support.” However, Lee Evans was doubtful as to whether he could ask for money. “You are our state member and we expect you to represent our community’s interests,” she urged.

Save Bulli ED’s Caroline Colton & Alison Fettell outside Lee Evans Electorate Office in Engadine

Also in attendance at the meeting, on the invitation of Mr Evans, was Professor King the Chair of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).

When Alison Fettell asked Professor King “if you were to receive dedicated funding to upgrade Bulli ED, will you confirm to us today that you will make that upgrade happen?”  The Professor’s response was non committal.

The Save Bulli ED Group were assured, at the meeting, that the service that will be provided at the Bull ED site will be free to the public “I have never ever indicated that it would be anything other than a fully funded public service,” said Professor King.

Professor King also gave ground on opening hours. At a presentation to the community on March 19th this year, ISLHD indicated that their proposed Urgent Care Centre would operate from 8 am to 8 pm. But at yesterday’s meeting, he offered a slightly extended model with opening hours from 7am -10pm.  This adds an additional three hours to the original proposal, a small but important win. That leaves only NINE HOURS TO GO to secure a 24 hour service,” said Caroline Colton, co-convenor of Save Bulli ED.

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Community Resolutions from July 29 2012 Public Rally at Bulli Masonic Hall

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Media contacts:

Ms Alison Fettell, Convenor
Ms Caroline Colton, Co-convenor

________________________________________________________

Media Stories generated :

The Bulli Times : Evans presented community’s demands on Bulli Hospital

The Bulli Times : No support for Bulli’s ED at this stage : Heathcote MP

Interview – Dr Jacky Davis shares UK experiences of attacks on public hospitals & NHS with Save Bulli ED supporters in Australia

Dr Jacky Davis, is a strong advocate of the UK NHS Public Health System which is currently under attack (see people’s comments). Save Bulli ED Co-convenor, Caroline Colton, interviewed Dr Davis as part of her presentation :  “I just can’t get my head around this” to the Save Bulli ED Public Rally on July 29 2012.

Dr Jacky Davis – passionately fighting for UK NHS public health system

Caroline

1.  Jacky – what is going on in the health care system that citizens have very little awareness of?

Jacky

All healthcare systems are under strain because of aging populations, bigger range of more costly treatments, increased expectations. We all face these problems, but combined with global financial difficulties, they are being used as an excuse to undermine traditional health care systems. Those systems that are publicly funded are particularly attractive to transnational corporations who want to get their hands on billions of public money . They see our systems as the pearl in the oyster if only they can prise it open. So publicly funded systems everywhere – UK, Canada, Australia – are being targetted by these companies. Politicians can’t do this up front as our health systems are popular with voters so they dress it up with words like patients choice, increased efficiency, as well as threats about the problems we face, saying we simply cant go on like this. In fact the biggest problem we face  is the onslaught by the private sector who are turning efficient and cost effective public services into fragmented and expensive private services with profits going to share holders instead of back into front line care

Caroline

2. Is awareness growing through local people fighting for their district hospitals and Accident & Emergency Departments (A&E’s) in particular?

Jacky

Politicians have been very careful about how they presented these developments to the public, dressed up as being better for patients,more efficient and  innovative and so on so naturally it has taken a while to understand what is being done in our name. In the UK private corporations like Virgin operate behind the logo of the our National health Service so patients dont even know their care is now being delivered by these transnationals. But when people see their local services under threat then they understand what they are about to to lose and these local campaigns are very important. And through local campaings people see the  bigger picture and thats how national campaigns begin

Caroline

3. How does privatisation affect doctors?
Jacky

We can only predict what will happen to doctors as the process is just getting underway here. As private companies take over the public service health workers including  doctorss are being seconded to these companies with loss, in the long term of their national T&Cs and pension schemes. At the same time core treatments, which have always been free, are being reduced and doctors are being set targets about how many patients they can refer to hospital, asked to reduce their consultation times and so on, in other words interference with their clinical judgements. We dont know yet whether we will end up like the US system where so much of doctors time is taken up with paper work and fighting for their patients right to have treatment.

Caroline

4. In Australia, hospitals run by local autonous community boards have been put forward as an alternative model to hospitals managed by the health bueaucracy – what has happened to hospitals in England who have followed this model?

Jacky

Hospitals in England have been forced to become autonomous Foundation trusts, whose only duty is to balance the books. Many are already in financial difficulties, crippled by the debts of PPP (Public Private Partnership) projects forced on them by politicians, These PPP contracts have proved a disaster, we pay 10 x the value of  what the public sector gets, and hospitals are simply crushed by their debts. Three have recently gone into receivership and we have no idea what will happen to the staff and patients. At the same time these hospitals now have to compete with each other which makes it very difficult to exercise the traditional cooperation which benefitted patients

Caroline

5. What are the implications for national health planning and things like preventative medicine when corporations like SERCO takeover health services?

Jacky

We’re very concerned about large contracts being awarded to companies like Serco and Virgin whose core business is winning government contracts. They then have to put together the package, perhaps with no previous experience. Weve seen community services including childrens services awarded to these companies, and they have little or no experience in these fields. And of course if they fail they will have to be bailed out just like the banks because you can’t let public services fail, they aren’t like mobile phone companies. It really is a case of privatise the profits and socialise the risks, we’re seeing it here already. As for joined up thinking about long term  planning and public health, that looks as though it will be another casualty. How can it be otherwise when the health service is now all about competition – you need collaboration not competition in order to plan for population health and that’s exactly what we won’t have now

Caroline

6. What is your message for the people of the Illawarra? (in a brief statement)

Jacky

My message from our campaign to yours is to fight locally but think nationally. Its really important to fight for local services, the people who make these decisions which destroy our public services get where they are via the ballot box and we can get rid of them in the same way. At the same time this is a national and international issue, we’re all facing this vandalism and privatisation of our public services and we need to work together.  We must alert the public to the threat, persuade people that we can fight this, its a political and ideological decision to privatise and outsource public serives.
I wish you the best of luck with your fight, we will win because we can’t afford to fail.


Caroline Colton Save Bulli ED Co Convenor : “I just can’t get my head around this” – featuring contributions from UK’s Dr Jacky Davis


Thanks to Dr Jacky Davis for sharing these thoughts with the supporters of Save Bulli Emergency Department

You can follow Dr Jacky Davis on Twitter for more information on threats to the UK NHS system – and see how it compares to our Australian experiences.


Fighting to Save Bulli Hospital Emergency Department