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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 September 2006

Campaign to stop Hewitt's cuts

NEW LABOUR Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt is telling people not to worry about the National Health Service. She says that threats to close down hospitals, wards, sack staff and privatise large parts of the NHS are not cuts and that the service is still run on the "values of the old health service" - "We are not privatising or marketising the NHS," she claimed.

Few NHS staff would agree. At Nottingham City Hospital, part of the merged Nottingham University Hospital Trust, 1,200 jobs are threatened. A nurse there, speaking anonymously for fear of victimisation, told JEAN THORPE of Nottingham Socialist Party, that things had never been so bad at the hospital - even when Thatcher was prime minister.

"We're facing massive job losses, bed and ward closures. Morale is rock-bottom and staff are having to compete against their colleagues for jobs. When Patricia Hewitt visited the hospital last week, the roads on the hospital campus were swept and cleaned up.

"That infuriates me when there aren't enough staff to clean the wards! I was one of the staff picked to hear Hewitt speak. I asked how she could guarantee quality patient care with these job losses - she could not answer.

"A patient slipped past security into the meeting. When he put his hand up to ask a question, he was told there was no more time. The meeting demanded he should speak but again Hewitt couldn't answer his question.

"I don't know the full extent of the cuts but I have heard that a respiratory ward is up for closure and half the senior staff jobs in the respiratory directorate, plus half the beds in a health care for the elderly ward.

"What is also disgusting is the proposed change in pay protection. Currently staff at City Hospital get five years' pay protection and three years at Queen's Medical Centre. One proposal from management is that pay protection is reduced to three months!

"We are doing all we can to build for Saturday's march which, if that doesn't defeat the cuts, will just be the first step in a campaign to stop these plans."

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In The Socialist 21 September 2006:


War and occupation

Iraq: Will bringing the troops home bring stability?

Is a lasting peace possible in Lebanon?

How can the Palestinians win national and democratic rights?

What's socialism got to do with it?

Will the US attack Iran?


Socialist Party NHS campaign

March to save the NHS

Campaign to stop Hewitt's cuts

Hinckley - marching to save our hospital

The Socialist Party says:


Youth and Education

Parents fight school cuts

The 'IPOD generation' - worse off

Why we joined the Socialist Party


Global Warming

Can capitalism solve the problem of global warming?

Fighting to save jobs


Socialist Party workplace news

Merseyside firefighters take to the streets

Quote me happy? You must be joking!

NHS Logistics: Striking against privatisation

TUC papers over the cracks


International socialist news and analysis

52,000 vote WASG against cuts policy

Right victory punishes Social Democracy


 

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