Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/922/23825
East Mids heart unit under threat
Protest and strike to save our NHS
Join the national demo on 18 March
Steve Score, Leicester
Glenfield congenital heart centre in Leicester saves children's lives. No wonder there is so much anger at NHS England's threat to stop children's heart surgery there. It is the only place in the whole of the East Midlands that carries out these operations.
My son was one of 332 children who had heart surgery there last year. Yet NHS England's main reason for ending this surgery is that they now require 375 operations a year.
They ignore the fact that Glenfield is increasing its capacity and is likely to meet that arbitrary target soon anyway, and the fact that it has been praised for its "excellent outcomes".
The closure plan has been strongly opposed by patients' families and campaigners. The campaign has also been backed by Unite the union regionally, the Midlands TUC, as well as local trades councils and union branches. A combined total of 60,000 people have so far signed either the online petition or a paper version.
If NHS England's arguments don't add up, what are the real motives? They deny it's about money. But is it a coincidence that this is happening at the same time as the government demands £22 billion in 'efficiency savings' - cuts - from the NHS?
Many local campaigns are springing up to save NHS services and hospitals. We need to pull these all together and it needs union backing. Let's unite to stop the Tories taking the heart out of the NHS!
- Saturday 29 October
- Assemble Victoria Park, Leicester from 11am
- Ending in a rally in Jubilee Square at around 1pm
Re-open Grantham A&E
Gary Freeman, Unison health service group executive member for East Midlands (personal capacity)
The closure of Grantham Hospital's night-time Accident and Emergency service was supposedly for three months. But as predicted by campaigners, there are now rumours of a further extension of this.
There has been huge public opposition to this closure, with weekly protests. 3,000 people marched through the town in September.
The nearest A&E department is 25 miles away. Lincolnshire is a large rural county with poor transport links. Time lost means lives at risk.
Campaigners believe there has been a deliberate attempt by the trust to underestimate the needs and usage at Grantham A&E to justify its closure.
It is also happening against the backdrop of new NHS cuts in the government's 'Sustainability and Transformation Plans'.
- Join the protest Saturday 29 October, 11am at St Peters Hill, Grantham
In The Socialist 26 October 2016:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Corbyn & Labour
Jarrow March for Jobs 2011
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party comments and reviews