Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 December 2007

Warning: NHS cuts seriously damage your health

On the 3 November Save the NHS march, photo Paul Mattsson

On the 3 November Save the NHS march, photo Paul Mattsson

AS THE year ends, the grim reality of privatisation and a market-driven NHS is clear. A report published on 4 December by the government's own health watchdog, the Healthcare Commission, exposes how badly private hospitals and clinics providing NHS services have performed.

Lois Austin

We already know that it costs more to treat someone in a private clinic or hospital than it does on the NHS and this recent report shows that standards are often no better. It stated that "5% of independent establishments failed five or more quality standards".

Mental health patients have had to suffer appalling service from private providers. For example, alarmingly, 17% of these 'providers' failed to meet the required minimum standard for restraining patients safely. Many providers had poor premises and inadequate resuscitation facilities.

A year of devastating cuts to services has also taken a heavy toll on primary care trusts. Their overall performance has deteriorated. More than half of primary care trusts failed to keep up-to-date registers of patients diagnosed by GPs with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Healthcare Commission report stated that "the registers are not being updated and patients are not regularly called back to have their cholesterol or diabetes checked. That means there is a real risk that the person appears as an emergency in the hospital or appears in the surgery fairly ill."

Paediatric services were also found wanting. The Commission found that "in a substantial minority of hospitals, levels of activity, training and emergency cover are so low as to put children at unnecessary risk... and in 18% of trusts paediatric life support was not available to deal with serious emergencies at night".

Ambulance services are also hit by the cost-cutting frenzy sweeping the NHS. The current shake-up of the service will mean that standard double-manned ambulance vehicles can be downgraded to 'solo responders', ie 'fast respond' vehicles with one worker.

In many areas, including London and the East Midlands, ambulance numbers will be reduced and replaced by solo responders. Where two-manned vehicles remain, one of the crew may be an emergency care assistant, not a fully qualified paramedic.

As an ambulance workers' representative pointed out: "We are trying to do things on the cheap and that is never good for patients". He says: "we are already hearing of solo-responders transporting patients, but that is not right as you cannot manage the patient if you are driving".

So another year of privatisation and cost-cutting and all this is the result. But still the response from the health trade union leaders is found wanting. All we have had is one belated national demonstration where we were asked to 'celebrate' the NHS and not fight to save it! Luckily, campaigners from around the country turned it into a more militant demonstration, clearly against cuts and privatisation.

In the new year, we must step up the campaign to link struggles together around the country and build a united movement with a national focus. We need to back industrial and strike action of NHS workers and demand action from our union leaders.

With a fighting strategy, we can ensure that the NHS meets its 60th birthday next July, intact and as a publicly funded service free for all at the point of use.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 13 December 2007:


Defend Tommy Sheridan: End Murdoch's witch-hunt

Tommy Sheridan: End Murdoch's vendetta

Tommy Sheridan perjury charge

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Warning: NHS cuts seriously damage your health

Manchester: Karen Reissmann sacked - and cuts still loom

Post Office dispute

Fight to save post offices

What we think

Interest rate cut will bring no reprieve

Charity begins at the bank

Every fiddle helps

Government's lying statistics

Global Warming

Thousands march against climate change

Socialist Party news and analysis

Sefton's first citizen "cheating the system"

Unite Cardiff schools campaigns

Your new police terror chief

Socialist Students

National Union of Students: Right wing force through undemocratic changes

Leicester students debate tuition fees

International socialist news and analysis

Beijing Olympics under a cloud

China: Mass protests erupt in Shenyang

Extraordinary tape destruction at CIA torture camp

Workplace news and analysis

DWP strike: Fighting the pay cuts

Birmingham city council: Workers boo 'lead balloon' councillors

Action can beat Cadbury closure threat

Newham council sack Unison chair


Home   |   The Socialist 13 December 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

triangleTories wreck our NHS

triangleOne in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts

triangleStrike to save our NHS!

triangleTragic death highlights Chatsworth ward closure risk


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleCarlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

triangleToo much to cross the Mersey

triangleChatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention


triangleMassive failings led to Grenfell Tower fire - Rapid, fully funded action now

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleWhat we saw


triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Justice for Tube cleaners demo



Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike



Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP



Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish



No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!



Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation



Join the Orgreave Halloween rally



Workplace news in brief


Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs



Too much to cross the Mersey


Royal Mail

Set for national strike action



Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice