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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 February 2017

No cuts, no closures, save our NHS!

Marching to Save the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

Marching to Save the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party and Save Glenfield campaign

The NHS is in crisis. Hospitals cancelled a record number of urgent operations last year, mainly because of bed shortages. One in six A&E departments faces closure or downgrading because of NHS cuts.

So you would think that NHS England (NHSE) would want to defend its success stories like the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre at Glenfield Hospital - especially when it got 'outstanding' and 'good' ratings from the Care Quality Commission only in the last couple of weeks.

Despite NHSE claiming its proposal is nothing to do with austerity, the background to the threatened closure is 22 billion of cuts in the NHS budget (England) that are being imposed by the Tory government.

Excellence

Thousands of children's lives are saved by the expertise of staff there. Children born with heart defects could need treatment into their adult lives. To close it will have devastating effects across the region and beyond.

But NHSE's proposals do not add up! It says Glenfield doesn't carry out enough operations, yet the hospital is on track to reach its target number. They say it's about achieving 'standards', but Glenfield has been praised as having "excellent outcomes". It is the leading UK centre for certain treatments.

A massive campaign to save Glenfield has been built - including patients and their families, clinicians and many other people.

Trade unions have also given their support - in particular, Unite, whose general secretary Len McCluskey will be speaking at 11 February demo (see below).

Recently, school students in 25 schools across Leicestershire and beyond took part in a day of action for the heart unit with the support of staff. They came to school wearing red, made posters and placards.

Assemblies were held explaining what the heart centre does and the democratic right to protest. Material was sent home to parents.

130,000 people have signed our petition, either online or the paper version, over the last six months.

We want to make our feelings felt on Saturday 11 February, when we will be marching again through the streets of Leicester demanding the centre is saved. Last October over a thousand marched - we want more this time!

Many of us will be following this up by going as a Save Glenfield contingent on the national demo to defend the NHS on 4 March.

March to Save Glenfield Children's Heart Centre

'It's Our NHS' national demo

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Related links:

Leicester:

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Organise, strike, resist to smash austerity

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Tories Out! - How Labour's left can win

triangleOverflowing Corbyn rally in Leicester

triangleSocialist Party Congress 2017 reports

triangleGlenfield heart unit: "Children will die" angry parents tell NHS England

Closures:

triangleCarlisle HCT demo warns against cuts and closures

trianglePCS DWP conference 2017

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: A socialist health policy

triangleCorbyn pledges freeze on 'STP' health cuts

Cuts:

triangleLiverpool's 1983-87 socialist council - power to the people!

triangleBenefit cap defeat for government

triangleNHS secret cuts plans exposed

NHS:

triangleTo join the struggle to save the NHS

triangleKick out the Tories to save the NHS!

Children:

triangleStudents 'skirt' school uniform issue!

Hospital:

triangleBarts Trust NHS workers vote for action over pay

Protest:

triangleWhat We Saw

Trade unions:

triangleTrade unions must organise mass movement to kick out the Tories

Len McCluskey:

triangleUnions call for action after Grenfell

East Midlands:

triangleHeart centre closure consultation 'farce'

Midlands:

triangleTories win West Midlands mayor - the complete failure of the Labour right

Socialist Party:

triangleWest Cheshire Socialist Party: Workers' control and nationalisation explained

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