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:


triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleSave our NHS

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally

triangleBranson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

triangleSave Glenfield Children's Heart Centre! Save our NHS!


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

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleWhat we saw


triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting



Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

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



December 2017

November 2017

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