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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2013

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Cuts, PFI and big business to blame

Andy Bentley
Caerphilly march for A&E, photo Becky Davis

Caerphilly march for A&E, photo Becky Davis   (Click to enlarge)

Local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters and Socialist Party members were out in Stafford on 16 February, campaigning over the future of Stafford hospital.

The national media and government attempt to blame nurses, doctors and other staff for the horrific deaths of between 400 and 1,000 patients. Individual acts of neglect and cruelty should of course be investigated but the real blame for this disaster lies elsewhere.

For more than three decades Tory, Labour and now Con-Dem governments have pushed big business practices into the NHS.

To become a Foundation Trust in 2005, Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust needed to comply with financial targets set by the Labour government. It had to 'overcome' a debt of 10 million while forking out more money on a private finance (PFI) deal to build a new entrance.

This was paid for with 160 job losses in 2006 on top of the 100 that had already been cut. But this 'successful' outcome for the Labour government and financial rulers proved to be a disaster for many patients.

Stafford Hospital is also 'saving' money by keeping its A&E closed at night and encouraging people to travel to the University Hospital of North Staffs which is between 40 minutes and an hour away.

Over 200 people signed our petition in just two hours, incensed at the way nurses, doctors and other hard-working staff at the hospital are being pilloried in the press and elsewhere.

TUSC in Stafford will be standing at least four candidates in May's local elections: Jim Reading, a teacher and NUT rep at a Stafford school, John, a Stafford NHS employee, Stafford disability activist Josie, and Scott Wilson, an ex-Labour Stafford councillor.

We will be standing against government and council cuts and privatisation, but also to defend Stafford hospital and its hard-working staff.

We will be fighting for:

If you are interested in standing in Stafford as a TUSC candidate, want to help our campaign or just find out more call/text 07845 893 607.

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


In The Socialist 20 February 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Toxic Tories - Time to fight their cuts and lies

Government on the back foot after workfare ruling

Stop social cleansing: Cap rents, not benefits

Food adulteration - government cutbacks and capitalist profits

Self-regulation: 'Like having the burglars install your locks'

Bosses take tax liberties

Action needed to end caste discrimination

Free trade agreement means NHS privatisation

Them & Us


Southampton feature

Fighting for a real alternative to cuts

Councillors' contempt exposed


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Democratic Socialist Movement conference

Kazakhstan: Vadim Kuramshin faces 12-year jail sentence after appeal denied


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS branch supports 24-hour general strike call

Prison officers protest outside parliament

No pay cuts at Thera!

Tyne & Wear metro cleaners up the ante

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Cuts, PFI and big business to blame

Coventry: 'We need to fight now to save our services'

Getting organised can change things for low-paid workers

Caerphilly says 'bring back our A&E!'

Save our Services demo in Newcastle attracts 3,000

Carlisle: Demands to 'tax the rich' hit a nerve

London NHS

Socialist Students holds first North West conference

Nepal: The forgotten revolution

Socialist Party campaigning news


Socialist Party review

Review: "It's time to take over the banks"


 

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