Karen Reissmann: John Leech MP in drag?

‘We all have the right to fight NHS cuts.’
Karen Reissmann campaign
‘…this is about investment not cuts.’
Manchester Mental Health & Social Care Trust Chief Executive, Sheila Foley

On the rare occasions when chief executive Sheila Foley has been bothered to defend her organisation she’s insisted, ‘…this is about investment not cuts.’ But given the trust’s hamfisted attempt to silence its critic, it’s no surprise that the Karen Reissmann campaign is winning the battle to label Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust’s ‘Change in Mind’ programme an attack on the NHS.

Mental health is the NHS’s poor relation. But cuts to services in Manchester, even in the heavily indebted third worst performing trust of its kind, would appear to go against the flow of recent government initiatives. Last month saw the government commit to providing access to psychological therapy for everyone who needs it: a first. Today £31m was allocated to removing children from adult mental health wards.

Reissmann, a member of the revolutionary socialist SWP, acknowledged this apparent contradiction in her speech to the Stand Up For Journalism rally, joking that at least you knew where you were with an anti-NHS Tory government.

Nevertheless, there are echoes of Lib Dem MP John Leech’s Christie Hospital campaign. And with Sheila Foley holidaying in Dubai, the scaremongers have the floor.

3 thoughts on “Karen Reissmann: John Leech MP in drag?

  1. Worth a little story methinks?

    facebook failure Leech won’t apologise for Christie Hospital Hoax

    The Trust have most obviously messed everything up bad stylee. Morale is horribly low anyway. They have not sold their own plan very well. This was AGREED by the Unions. And involves £3 MILLION GROWTH and 42 extra jobs I think it is.

    There needs to be a negotiated settlement as soon as Foley gets back from her extraordinary beano.

    Some components might be:

    Karen strictly bound over to keep the peace for 12 months.

    Unison to follow arrangement as other branches of no press statements except authorised by peace loving people.

    Trust clear out – preferably including axe for Foley, but probably keep her there as quid pro quo for reinstatement.

    MCC – who have been scrutinising MHT merrily for MONTHS – to step up the action from Board Level and take a little more care in public statements. I suspect Basil Curley may have been slightly out-of-contexted in the MEN report last night.

    The current dispute is helping NO ONE whatsoever. Certainly not the service users or patients. Certainly not the workers.

  2. The MEN report Chris refers to is Councillors split over strike.

    The debate has split on party lines with Lib Dems and the Green backing Karen Reissmann and Labour backing the reforms.

    My guess is that Reissmann would not accept the compromise Chris suggests. I suspect she genuinely believes in what she is doing and would prefer to go down as a martyr to the revolution (I don’t intend that as a joke).

    I still believe she should have a right to speak out and would like to have seen her exercise that right in the context of an open debate. Unfortunately, the trust appears to lack the required maturity for that to happen.

  3. I agree Stephen. As things stand KR is presumably allowed by the part of Unison she is in to make whatever statements she wants to. But that is not necessarily in the interests of the class, the workers, the users, the city or anyone.

    Agreements to have designated spokespeople who are more strategic exist elsewhere in the Union though. The Union could make that commitment and then as a good and disciplined trade unionist KR would stick with it obviously.

    This is not Grunwicks. It’s not the Miners. It’s not about to bring New Labour down. But it is harming the users and the workers and some reputations that don’t deserve to be harmed.

    It’s the wrong battle at the wrong time in the wrong way. It is a growth budget for goodness sake. And Unison and other TUs agreed to the plans according to my information.

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