Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/501/3114
Manchester cuts maternity services
HALF A million objections, millions of £s in "consultation", an "independent" review and a few months for Health Secretary Johnson to think it over... and the upshot is what the bosses wanted anyway.
Hugh Caffrey and Lynn Worthington
Care for premature babies will close at most Greater Manchester hospitals, save only over-night or stabilisation cots, and be concentrated at three "super-centres". Cuts to maternity services will only profit private companies who own NHS buildings and who, before long, will probably run the "super-centres".
Destroying vital mother and baby services will eventually affect every family in Greater Manchester. It is unlikely there will be as many beds in the "super-centres" as there are in hospital units now. Every privately built facility we know of has meant less beds.
Most people will have to travel far further to get to hospital. The government talks about helping pregnant mums, but these government-sanctioned cuts put mothers and babies at risk.
Premature baby charity BLISS has exposed how too few beds too far apart already means the tragic loss of day-old lives. With too few staff and services further reduced, this will only get worse.
Privatised hospital cleansing services and deregulated 'public' transport means people take longer to travel further, to be at risk of super-bugs like MRSA when they eventually get to hospital.
Patients and the wider community need to organise as part of a mass movement to save what's left of the health service, and fight for its rebuilding.
The unions should be organising staff to fight against cuts. A lead from the unions on the 3 November national demonstration would give staff the confidence to oppose management bullies, and inspire communities to back them.
Socialist Party NHS leaflet
Socialist Party members, like many others, are building the November demonstration. But not one Manchester councillor or MP has fought these cuts. That's one reason why we want to contest next year's council elections in Manchester. We need a political alternative to the three main parties, to give a campaigning lead on issues like stopping the NHS being destroyed.
Socialist Party leaflet pdf (500K)
In The Socialist 13 September 2007:
War and terrorism
Workplace news and events
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International news and analysis
Socialist Party review