Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2013

Campaigning against cuts

Rotherham NHS - 'scams' and cuts

Unison NHS workers on strike against huge cuts in the Mid-Yorkshire Trust hospitals, photo Iain Dalton

Unison NHS workers on strike against huge cuts in the Mid-Yorkshire Trust hospitals, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

"Hospital goes into intensive care" claimed the Rotherham Advertiser. Before Christmas Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust announced it has to make 50 million cuts. Now it admits that in 2011 it 'lost' 684,000 in an email scam!

They've also paid private financial consultants nearly 3 million over the last three years. An IT system for patient records, costing 50 million to install, still doesn't work. The chief executive who proposed the cuts including downsizing the hospital and 750 job losses, then retired on a 250,000 a year pensions package.

Now the interim chief executive has been replaced by an American Healthcare company boss who has been hired by a management consultant who is allegedly being paid 2,500 a day!

The new Trust board took a 68,000 full page advert in the local paper to reassure the public and staff that the Trust can "meet all payroll and creditor obligations". The Trust chairman can only say that Rotherham hospital is like a "distressed child in need of a hug"! You couldn't make it up.

Rotherham Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), took a petition with 3,000 signatures against the cuts to the Trust governors last month, having made links with the hospital Unison branch. They are organising a public meeting with a speaker from the Mid Yorkshire NHS admin and clerical strike, to help give staff the confidence that they can fight back against the cuts.

Alistair Tice

South London - hidden costs of NHS butchery

Marching to save Lewisham hospital, 26.1.13 , photo Paul Mattsson

Marching to save Lewisham hospital, 26.1.13 , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

After Con-Dem health secretary Hunt agreed to butcher services at Lewisham hospital and others within the neighbouring South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) two surgeons at QE11 hospital in Woolwich have already been declared 'surplus to requirements'.

Lewisham hospital is due to have its A&E and maternity services removed over three years. But figures released by Private Eye suggest that the cost of preparing the hospital for Trust boss Matthew Kershaw's plans could be 56 million.

On top of that 21 million is the estimated cost of plans to expand capacity at surrounding hospitals that are already under attack or overstretched. 47 million is earmarked for 'transitional costs'. 207 million to write off SLHT's immediate debts. That's 331 million already.

Longer-term spending plans include clearing up SLHT's 'excess' PFI costs at Bromley and Woolwich, starting with 23 million and rising every year until 2031. So the total costs would be nearly 750 million.

Most of the financial problems stem from PFI. If the cost-slashing Tory government decides that PFI companies cannot be allowed to lose out, promised replacements could well give way to further attacks on services, jobs, pay and conditions.

Cuts threaten the health service, its staff and users. We should step up the opposition with mass action to save our NHS - with trade union strike action at its heart.

Roger Shrives

Trusts hit staff pay

Around 1,000 staff at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, including nurses, stand to lose 600 a year through removal of the recruitment and retention premia agreed by the National Pay Review Body and implemented as part of the Agenda for Change agreement in 2005.

The Trust justified the cut by saying they no longer have to incentivise staff to recruit them, so the payment is no longer needed. They claim loss of pay will protect patients and jobs.

Trust Chief Executive, Lisa Rodrigues, says costs must be managed with 'forensic precision'. Ms Rodrigues did not apply the same rigour when the premium was introduced. Many nurses were told their posts did not attract the payment, when in fact it was a contractual right.

As for protection of patients, the Trust's own information show staff motivation at one of the lowest levels in the country. It's time for a democratic NHS that protects both service users and staff, and rejects cuts to jobs and services fuelled by a privatisation agenda.

Sharon Mitchell

Homeless protest cuts

Demonstrating for the homeless, Leicester, photo Steve Score

Demonstrating for the homeless, Leicester, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

On 2 February, homeless people protested in Leicester as the Labour council plans 2.2 million worth of cuts to the homeless service. This could lead to 200 hostel beds being lost and other vital services to the homeless being cut. Homeless people sat on cardboard with placards to show what the city centre will see much more of - if these cuts go through.

The 'Streetlife' action group was formed by homeless people to campaign against the proposals. Leicester council's own homelessness review predicts that by the end of 2012/13 the council will have dealt with over 2,350 households facing homelessness, almost 20% up on the previous year.

It makes no sense to cut these services. If enough council accommodation existed to rehouse the homeless permanently then maybe the number of hostel beds could be cut - as that isn't the case, these cuts are crazy. There will be protests as long as Labour keeps passing on government cuts.

Steve Score

Who's defrauding who?

A young single mother claimed income support while working but after the court case she will be better off, because she hadn't claimed everything she was entitled to.

Joanne Gibbons made a legitimate claim in 2010 for income support. She later got a job with the NHS trust, and then a clothes shop, without informing the DWP. Someone tipped off the DWP and she was brought to court.

If her wages were taken into account she was being overpaid 66 a week. But officials examining her claim realised she should have been claiming child benefit and tax credits totalling 130, ie 64 more than she got in benefits.

Her defence solicitor told magistrates: 'she would have saved the government money if she had continued the fraud'. Magistrates accepted this argument and although Ms Gibbons got a 12 month community order she does not have to pay back the 3,140 she was originally charged with obtaining illegally.

2 billion a year in income support alone goes unclaimed, with billions more in other benefits, because people don't know their entitlement, Through lack of information this young mother fell foul of the system and was criminalised.

Paul Gerrard

Fight or stand aside!

At a Salford against Cuts meeting, 60 people heard staff and service users put the case against cuts to vital frontline services. Calls for councillors to refuse to implement cuts, or stand aside for those who will fight them, were vigorously applauded.

Two years ago people gave Labour councillors, with their promise to 'protect the vulnerable', the benefit of the doubt. No longer. A resolution was passed unanimously, calling for a mass campaign by Labour councils to defeat the cuts, but saying that if they fail to do so Salford against Cuts will encourage and support council candidates who will.

Matt Kilsby


About 200 people from council unions, students, service users and socialist campaigners lobbied Birmingham council Labour group on 4 February against the massive cuts they are proposing. The main call was to oppose all cuts and for Labour to set a 'needs budget'.

Earlier some protesters had occupied the Council House balcony and unfurled anti-cuts banners. They were allowed to stay there and even had police protection! Councillors used a side entrance to avoid having to meet protesters. The budget setting meeting on 26 February will also be lobbied.

Clive Walder

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 13 February 2013:

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

'Save our A&E' - Defend the NHS

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Big business culture kills

Socialist Party news and analysis

GCSE U-turn shows all Gove's 'reforms' can be stopped

Smash the blacklist - not the unions!

Victory over 'workfare' sanctions

Horsemeat scandal: good for profit, bad for health

"Fully funded" social care plan - still needed

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

15 February 2003: A million on the streets to stop the war

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning against cuts

TUSC: 'No cuts' candidate in Eastleigh

Nottingham: Campaigning for comedy without misogyny

Support the fight for a socialist alternative

Socialist Party 2013 national youth and student meeting

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison region calls for general strike

Care workers fight cuts in pay and conditions

Workplace In Brief

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Martial law ends ferry workers' strike

Reviews and readers' comments

Low pay + high prices = debt misery

Film review: 'No' - an exercise in rewriting Chile's history

Spielberg's Lincoln by Tony Mulhearn


Home   |   The Socialist 13 February 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

triangleDerby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes


triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

triangleReaders' comments

triangleEveryone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke


triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: House the homeless - take over the empty homes

trianglePandemic homeless

triangleGeneration eviction


triangle"If you think bus and rail services are crap, sign our petition to take them back"

triangleOrgreave injustice - 35th anniversary march and rally


triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended


triangleBarnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Further education set for industrial action over pay



Thousands march to Reclaim Pride


Youth Fight for Jobs

Jobs and homes for all



Sheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure



Fight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights


East London

East London resident fighting eviction again



Barnsley 'Big Green Space' protest



Youth Fight for Jobs is officially relaunched



Selling the Socialist



Scottish socialist breaks running record



Flood devastation in Europe


Bin workers

Bexley bin workers strike for better pay



New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now



Public sector pay - Prepare for action!



Government departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021