Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 December 2005

NHS in Crisis

Huddersfield's big demo

"WE'LL MAKE you listen" shouted the front page of the Huddersfield Examiner as it reported on Saturday's 'Big Demo'. The two pages that followed told how the people of Huddersfield took to the streets on 10 December, in a 1,000-strong show of 'people power'.

Vicky Perrin

We were voicing our anger at the Huddersfield and Calderdale Trust's plan to axe hospital services in Huddersfield and to transfer a long list of others to the new PFI hospital in Halifax.

It is clear that that the people of Huddersfield are prepared to fight long and hard to defend their health service. "Huddersfield Trust, hear us shout, hospitals in, directors out!" chanted the marchers on their way from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary into the town centre.

People joined all along the route and came out of shops and houses to sign petitions, take leaflets and show support.

Dr Jackie GrunsellThe campaign, led by local GP and Socialist Party member Jackie Grunsell, has already collected 16,000 signatures on petitions against the proposals (12% of the population of Huddersfield).

The so-called 'consultation meetings' charade held by the trust has only fuelled people's outrage.

The local press quotes one protester: "This is the first time I have ever been on a march. I feel so strongly about this issue. This is about money, pure and simple and we will not accept it!"

In her address to the rally in the town centre, Dr Grunsell made the point that there's enough money for Trust directors to award themselves salaries totalling over 6 million a year and that we could find a simple solution to the problem of the Trust's deficit!

She also called on the trade unions to square up to New Labour's attacks by calling for strike action in defence of the National Health Service. "The tide is turning," she said: "People have made it quite clear they want their NHS left just as it is."

The message from the people of Huddersfield was certainly loud and clear on Saturday. They want the council to hold a referendum on the Trust's proposals and they want the grossly over-paid, un-elected Trust fat cats to do as they're told by the people that pay their wages. They must keep vitally needed specialist services local, where they belong.

There was a good turnout of Socialist Party members from the region and the party showed its high profile in the forefront of the campaign. If the Trust hoped for an easy ride, it was badly mistaken. It should be afraid when it meets on 21 December, very afraid!

Socialist Party says

Coining profits from ill-health

NETCARE, A private healthcare company from South Africa, has made huge profits from the NHS since the government told primary care trusts (PCTs) to put operations out to contract. Netcare landed a multi-million pound NHS contract to perform cataract and orthopaedic surgery.

Roger Shrives

A recent Channel 4 News item showed that an above-average number of patients were left badly injured after the surgery. Pressure was put on doctors to operate when they shouldn't. Drugs were given to lower blood pressure before cataract surgery. There were serious failings in the way Netcare surgeons were recruited and vetted.

Last year, units run by Netcare took over after thousands of cataract operations were privatised from Oxford Eye Hospital. South West Oxfordshire NHS PCT, which holds the area's NHS budget, wanted to "opt out" of using Netcare as the eye hospital could do the work just as quickly at less cost.

A leaked Department of Health memo admitted that each Netcare cataract operation would cost 115 more than it does on the NHS, partly because the surgeons performing it are paid 500,000 a year. But the government said go ahead with the private deal.

After six months of Netcare's contract, the PCT seems to have paid out 255,000 for 40,000 worth of work! Netcare charged for about 500 operations and assessments but only 93 were carried out.

The government already says the NHS is 'overspending' by 620 million. An independent 'think tank' predicts that the government's market-driven health 'reforms' will increase the NHS's financial problems. The King's Fund study suggests that one in five NHS trusts will develop massive deficits as the reforms bite in earnest.

Clearly Netcare and other privatisation schemes don't improve health nor do they save the NHS money! They're coining money out of our ill-health.

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

In The Socialist 15 December 2005:

NHS in crisis

Huddersfield's big demo

Campaign for a new workers' party

Building a voice for Iraq's workers

Montreal conference - Little change on climate change

Ukraine's Orange revolution - one year on

Portuguese workers strike against Blairite cuts

Massive support for Irish Ferries' workers

Stop the job cuts

Confusion over pensions at NATFHE executive

Media giants attack journalists

Rail workers fight bosses' offensive


Home   |   The Socialist 15 December 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHuddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

triangleHuddersfield A&E closure referred to Jeremy Hunt

triangleHuddersfield parties in the park to save hospital A&E

triangleKick out the Tories to save the NHS!

triangleGeneral election: what you thought about it


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts


triangleUprising to save the NHS!

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleNasty party out the Tories


triangleTories wreck our NHS

triangleChatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

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