Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/495/2618
Sussex must fight back against NHS cuts
TWO OR three of West Sussex's accident and emergency (A&E) hospitals are threatened with downgrading, with privately-run Urgent Care Units being set up. This would leave Brighton's Royal Sussex as the county's only A&E hospital and even this will include a privately-run 'minor treatment centre'.
Phil Clarke Chair, Brighton Keep Our NHS Public
A public consultation on this 'reconfiguration' of hospitals will begin shortly and a wet but well-attended demonstration on 30 June helped to raise public awareness that the privatisation of our NHS is driving these changes.
Many services will be centralised to Royal Sussex County in Brighton, a hospital that has already had much of its A&E provision privatised. Staff are still bracing themselves for job cuts this year.
On top of that, the PFI-built New Princess Alexandra Children's Hospital is beginning to pay rent to its private builders even though it is still not ready. Mental health services across Sussex will be made into a foundation trust - another form of privatisation.
Despite overwhelming public support for a publicly owned and publicly run health system, the Labour government is determined to bring the market into the NHS so profit decides. This process, if not halted, will signal the end of the NHS as a public health system.
Keep Our NHS Public in Brighton will continue to support the hospital workers and raise the arguments against privatisation. We will now be working towards the national demonstration called by UNISON on 13 October.
In The Socialist 12 July 2007:
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Tales from the council chambers
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party events
Socialist Party review
International socialist news and analysis