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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2017

'Black alert' NHS: demonstrate 4 March

NHS workers marching in Manchester, 4.10.15, photo Sarah Wrack

NHS workers marching in Manchester, 4.10.15, photo Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

'Jane Turner', Social care worker

The NHS is in crisis. In just one week of January, 23 hospital trusts declared 'black alert', meaning they were unable to guarantee patient safety.

This figure is increasing, and expected to rise further with the cold weather, which normally results in a spike in emergency admissions for broken limbs and breathing problems.

People are having long waits for ambulances as they are delayed for hours, waiting with patients in A&E car parks because emergency departments are full.

On New Year's Eve in Fareham, Hampshire, a woman in her 80s waited seven hours for an ambulance after falling. In Kent I saw reports of a woman waiting three hours for an ambulance lying face down in a car park after being hit by a car.

I work in social care, which is also vastly underfunded. Despite this there is pressure to divert available home care and nursing home beds to facilitate hospital discharges.

This leaves many vulnerable people who live in their own homes and so are 'not a priority' waiting for weeks or months on waiting lists. Inevitably many of them end up in hospital.

I find it frightening that NHS trusts are unable to guarantee patient safety. I find it shocking that the Red Cross, an organisation normally associated with international aid, has found it necessary to declare a "humanitarian crisis" in the fifth largest economy in the world.

So we need to support the national NHS demonstration on 4 March. We need to campaign to scrap the PFI debt, reverse the funding cuts, and bring all privatised services back in-house. We need to fight for the NHS with everything we have, because people are really suffering now.

Save our NHS demo

Saturday 4 March - 12noon, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9EZ

called by Health Campaigns Together

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In The Socialist 18 January 2017:


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