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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2012

Save East Midlands ambulances

Andrew Walton, Unison rep, personal capacity

Our local ambulances carry the slogan: "Arriva, in partnership with the NHS". Has the bus company generously lent the NHS some vehicles? No.

Arriva has bought out the East Midlands non-emergency ambulance service, undercutting the 'in-house' bid, but only by assuming that there will be 35% fewer ambulance journeys than at present.

What's left of the NHS ambulance service helps people across the East Midlands. The plans are to cut back 66 NHS ambulance stations to just 13.

Closing all stations in villages and remote areas will mean much longer journey times to reach a hospital for anyone not living in a city.

This plan is being 'consulted on', but this is just a tick-box exercise, not democracy. People are given no real option; NHS bosses know cutting services is deeply unpopular.

These cuts show the real priorities of a market-driven, privatised health system. Today, NHS Trusts have to compete with the lowest bidder and patient care is less of a priority than breaking even in order to attain Foundation Trust status which, like "Partnership", is a code word for privatisation.

After a successful public meeting against NHS cuts, we decided to lobby the consultation meetings. But the health unions should be taking action over this attack, including looking to ballot for industrial action.

This is not an easy option for workers in an emergency service but the unacceptable alternative is to see ambulance services decimated and sold off.

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In The Socialist 10 October 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories promise more pain... Kick out the 'nasty party'!

Labour Party conference - not fighting austerity

Arguing the case for a 24-hour general strike

Birmingham Tory conference demo

'Millions crying out for leadership and for an alternative'

Anti-austerity candidates selected for November contests

No welfare cuts

Health workers must fight attacks on jobs and pay

Politicians line up to attack abortion rights

The hidden homeless - "Sofa surfing is my lot"

Them & Us


Transport feature

Send the transport privatisers packing


International socialist news and analysis

Venezuela presidential election

Greece: escalating the action against austerity

South Africa: 'What are we doing about this government that is killing us?'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Why we're marching on 20 October

More success for Socialist Students

Save East Midlands ambulances

Campaign Kazakhstan: A musical and political evening

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education fortnight of action 13-27 October

Dewsbury fights health service cuts

Waltham Forest: Parents and staff unite against school sell-off

Sunderland anti-fascists stand up against divisive EDL


Socialist Party workplace news

South Wales bus workers receive strong support for strike

Fighting the construction industry blacklist

Workplace nurseries saved in HMRC

Leeds solidarity with Crossrail battle

Mid Yorkshire Health admin staff ballot for strike

Bin workers' strike threat

Workplace news in brief


Marxism

TV review : Masters of Money - Karl Marx

Marx was right!


 

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