Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2012

Sell-off setback!

We can save our NHS

Chris Moore, Gloucestershire Socialist Party and Stroud Against the Cuts coordinator

"What a result, fantastic news," said one email from a local NHS worker after Gloucestershire anti-cuts campaigners won a High Court victory against NHS privatisation.

Plans to transfer over 3,000 NHS staff, nine community hospitals, ten health clinics, district nursing, health visitors and many other services to a Social Enterprise Trust (SET) or Community Interest Company (CIC) have been scuppered. This is the first time such a legal victory against NHS privatisation has been achieved.

County-wide campaign

A huge campaign across the county, including a demonstration of over 500 in Stroud, one public meeting of 350 and two others of over 100, petitions, protests and continual leafleting of workplaces, town and city centres and sporting events, laid the basis for the legal challenge.

A 76-year old former railway worker, Michael Lloyd, supported by Stroud Against the Cuts, launched a Judicial Review against NHS Gloucestershire primary care trust's decision to outsource its 80 million a year contract to a private body.

Throughout the whole process NHS management have tried to claim that keeping services within the NHS was not an option. Staff were given no opportunity to oppose the transfer. There was no public consultation.

Services were due to be transferred in October 2011, but now they have been forced to start a new consultation process, including the option for services to remain in the NHS. Staff and the public will get the opportunity to have their say.

Staff consultation

Health trade unions must demand genuine staff consultation, with the outcome binding on management. Elsewhere staff, when asked, have overwhelmingly rejected such proposals.

A mass campaign to pressure management is now needed. The trade unions must take a lead on this, including threatening strike action if necessary.

This should be part of a national strategy to fight all NHS privatisation and cuts. As a matter of urgency, unions should call and campaign for a national demonstration.

Last year in Shropshire, South Bedfordshire, Sandwell and elsewhere health trade unions successfully campaigned against transfer to social enterprise. But recently 20 primary care trusts handed staff and services over to Social Enterprise Trusts (SETs) or Community Interest Companies (CICs).

CICs are private limited companies, run as a business to make a profit. After a few years private sector sharks can compete for contracts, gobbling up the CIC minnows. Last September, Central Surrey Health, a flagship social enterprise, lost out in bids for a 500 million health services contract to Assura Medical a private healthcare company 75% owned by Virgin. In Hull, private companies stepped in months after the social enterprise contract was signed.

Yet Gloucestershire health managers told staff they were 'committed to NHS values'. Staff were also told NHS terms and conditions would be preserved. But protection under Tupe (transfer of pay and conditions) rules is much weaker than staying in the NHS.

One local nurse said it would amount to a 4,000 pay cut. Unison obtained a Department of Health letter confirming transferred staff will be given new contracts that are hard to protect. Cornwall council broke promises to transferred NHS staff on pay and pensions.

The SETs scheme was initiated by the previous Labour government. In 2006 then Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said it gave "the ability to create wealth and employment and could play a greater role in future in the delivery of public services".

The Con-Dem government wants to dismantle the NHS, through SET/CIC, 20 to 30 billion cuts and the Health and Social Care Bill that would remove all barriers to privatisation. Yet it was Labour that introduced one of the bill's core policies, Foundation Trusts. Labour simply wants to 'tone down' the bill.

Our NHS is not safe in the hands of any of the main political parties. The public and health workers are prepared to fight to defend our NHS, but a national lead from health trade unions is desperately needed.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 15 February 2012:

Fighting the cuts

Fight Austerity

Building the battle for pensions

Update: pensions battle - Build for the biggest possible action on 28 March

Students to walk out 14 March

International socialist news and analysis

Greece erupts as government and 'Troika' impose new savage cuts

Syria: Anti-regime protesters facing ferocious repression

Kazakhstan: Workers' leaders under threat of abduction or arrest

Socialist Party review

Another attempt to assassinate the legacy of Leon Trotsky?

NHS campaigning

Private hands off our NHS!

We can save our NHS

Llanelli marches to save hospital

Socialist Party news and analysis

More murky doings in Murdochland

Them & Us

Socialist history

The battle of Saltley Gates

Socialist Party workplace news

Stagecoach South Yorkshire - management getting desperate

Workplace news in brief

Readers' comments

Should socialists support the Green Party?

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist councillor leads fight to restore EMA

Racism in football back in the headlines



Home   |   The Socialist 15 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleSave our NHS

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally


triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangleTyneside to protest against A&E and walk-in cuts

triangleNHS cuts kill!


triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: What can we expect from the new government?

triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: What does the new American president mean for us?

triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: What is a "Trot"?


triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!


triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers


North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice