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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 January 2013

Heatherwood hospital campaign shows determination

Eighteen months ago a group of activists met to discuss how best to resist plans by NHS bosses to close our local hospital.

The campaign has involved anti-cuts activists from Bracknell, Ascot, Windsor and Slough, drawn from local trade unions and political groups.

We have collected 23,000 names on our petition, which opposed the closure of Heatherwood or any of its services and we produced a People's Consultation which nearly 3,000 local people signed up to. This opposed all closures and demanded that the hospital remain an NHS hospital.

We organised three days of action with rallies and marches through Ascot. We have saturated the local press with our literature and letters and one local paper has supported our campaign.

Come rain or shine we have been out on the streets with leaflets and petitions, always receiving an enthusiastic response from the local community.

We defeated the original plan to close the hospital and sell the land. At a public meeting of around 500 people at Ascot Racecourse the NHS bosses presented their plans to close the hospital.

Every speaker from the floor, including hospital staff, expressed total opposition to the plans. The closure plans were withdrawn at that stage. We celebrated this victory while being aware that this was only a partial success.

We can win

The NHS bosses came back with plans to close a number of services at the hospital including the birthing centre, the rehabilitation ward and the minor injuries unit.

A bitter battle has been conducted against these plans over the last few months. We defeated a 'pre-consultation exercise' but this was ignored by the Trust and they pushed ahead with the consultation which concludes at the end of January.

While we are not assured of victory, we have shown that with a fighting leadership involving the whole community, we can challenge cost-cutting policies.

Terry Pearce, chair of Defend Our Community Services and member of Save Heatherwood Hospital Campaign

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In The Socialist 30 January 2013:


Socialist Party NHS news & campaigning

NHS workers resist cuts

Privatisation: Bleeding the NHS dry

Heatherwood hospital campaign shows determination

East Midlands: Campaign forces retreat on ambulance station closure

Life as an NHS worker: bullying and stress


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cameron takes a gamble by threatening EU referendum

Austerity's utter failure

Taxing words from Cameron?

Aaron Swartz: a fight to free information

Them & Us


Fighting the cuts

Southampton councillors have a choice ... Don't vote for cuts!

Hull councillors ready to vote No

Brighton's Greens vote for cuts in workers' allowances

Labour meltdown in Stoke-on-Trent continues; and Unison withholds funding

Stop Sheffield children's centre closures


Workplace news and events

Twelfth day of strike action by Tyne and Wear metro cleaners

DfE strike ballot

London teachers call for strike action against Performance Related Pay

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party review

Fired up by Fire in the Blood - a story of big business cruelty and neglect


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jumping through hoops for a job

Shrewsbury 24: What is the government hiding?

Wales conference - confidence in socialist ideas

Server appeal: Members provide a huge boost to our resources

Socialist Party National Congress 2013


 

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