Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/668/11915
NHS cuts Leeds: Save Yorkshire's children's heart surgery unit
Michael Johnson, Leeds City Socialist Party
Over the past few weeks, dozens of volunteers and activists have taken to the streets of Leeds in an effort to stop the planned closure of the Children's Heart Surgery Unit at Leeds General Infirmary. The closure threat is part of a planned national 'reconfiguration' of the NHS.
The Unit currently provides its services for all of Yorkshire, Humber and North Derbyshire.
If closed, thousands of seriously ill children (with 370 needing to undergo open heart surgery and 40% needing long-term care) and their families will be forced to travel huge distances to the closest heart unit.
Both their physical and mental well-being would be seriously affected by the closure, just from the stress of travelling alone. And this doesn't even take into account the financial costs of travelling these distances would have, not only on the families but also on the NHS!
The Save Our Surgery group is collecting 50,000 signatures. To sign the petition online go to: www.thepetitionsite.com/6/help-to-save-ward-10-childrens-cardiac-lgi/
Save Our Surgery is also asking for people to lobby their MPs and to attend a public consultation meeting on Tuesday 10 May at 3-5pm or 6-8pm at the Royal Armouries (register online at the above website).
However, this is not the only action needed as the closure of this type of service is a clear part of the government's 'privatisation through the back-door' agenda.
We need united mass action to defend the NHS involving trade unions, anti-cuts groups and service users, including building support for a one-day public sector strike.
In The Socialist 27 April 2011:
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