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From: The Socialist issue 933, 25 January 2017: Organise to beat Trumpism, austerity and capitalism

Search site for keywords: Cornwall - Socialist - NHS - PFI - Drug companies - Virgin - Elderly - Profit - Budget - Healthcare - Finance - Health - Hospital - Privatisation

St Austell: STPs attacked

NHS campaigners protesting outside Tory conference in 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS campaigners protesting outside Tory conference in 2014, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Rooney, Cornwall Socialist Party

"My son was assessed four months ago but is still waiting for a carer," a mother told a packed consultation meeting - the St Austell leg of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) public relations tour. The meeting on 16 January brought Cornwall NHS bosses face to face with a tide of discontent which has the potential to grow into a significant movement.

Others among the 80-strong crowd highlighted the need to end rationing of adult services. While St Austell Socialist Party pointed out the need to end the haemorrhaging of NHS funds to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) parasites, such as Virgin Healthcare and the drug companies.

We challenged the bureaucrats to end privatisation and PFI contracts in Cornwall but the answer was evasive. The range of concerns brought up - from the closure of Fowey Community Hospital, to the recent scandal of elderly abuse at a private-owned St Austell care home, to the miserable working conditions of homecare workers - illustrates what a mess NHS services are in Cornwall.

The people of the county can have no confidence in the STP process. Buzz words such as "transformation" and "integration" and "sustainability" are fooling nobody.

The three objectives, we were told, were to improve health and well-being, improve quality of service and increase financial stability. None of those objectives can be reached if millions of pounds are cut from the budget and the drain of funds for overpriced capital projects and profit-driven services continues.

Over the next few weeks St Austell Socialist Party will be publicising the 4 March national demo in London.

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