Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/705/13821

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

TUSC


 

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

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

NHS:

triangleUprising to save the NHS!

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Health:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

triangleTories wreck our NHS

triangleOne in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts

Gloucestershire:

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"?

Cuts:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

Privatisation:

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2