The Socialist 31 October 2012
Solidarity with Ford workers - Defend every job
Stop cuts at Dewsbury hospital
Fight to save our NHS!
Dr Jackie Grunsell, Huddersfield Socialist Party
Undeterred by the biting cold, 200 protesters took to the streets of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire on Saturday 28 October, marching from the hospital to the town centre to the supportive hoots of passing car horns on the way.
We were demonstrating against plans by the Mid Yorkshire Trust bosses, to remove consultant-led A&E and maternity services from the hospital, along with related services such as the special care baby unit, intensive care unit, trauma surgery and emergency medical services, among others.
Dewsbury District General will look more like a cottage hospital once they've finished with it!
One of the local MPs condemned the demo as a 'political, anti-government' march, yet we have managed to unite communities across north Kirklees in a battle to defend these services.
The trust seems to be implementing changes by stealth before the consultation has even begun. We heard of a woman in labour being sedated in order to cope with the ordeal of an emergency transfer to Wakefield so she could get the consultant care she needed to deliver her baby safely.
We are calling on the trust to use the £40 million a year spent on a Private Finance Initiative contract to fund the maintenance of services.
This demonstration was just the beginning of a growing campaign. We plan to take our fight to the trust board meetings and demand our elected representatives give their support.
North Tees marches against 're-engagement'
Over 100 NHS workers and their trade union supporters demonstrated outside North Tees Hospital in Stockton on 25 October.
The protest was against the hospital trust's plans to sack and re-engage the whole NHS workforce of 5,500 people on inferior conditions with reduced rates of sick pay (see the Socialist 738).
Members of Unison, Unite, the GMB and the RCN unions, supported by some PCS members, were there with placards, banners and flags. This noisy demonstration was greeted by many 'hoots' from passing motorists.
Alan Docherty, Teeside Socialist Party
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