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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2015

Damning report on unsafe NHS staffing levels delayed by Tories

NHS staffing cuts. Ward photo Yuya Tamai, scissors photo Wikimedia Commons, both Creative Commons, composite James Ivens

NHS staffing cuts. Ward photo Yuya Tamai, scissors photo Wikimedia Commons, both Creative Commons, composite James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

'Heather', NHS nurse

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) - guideline setter for NHS procedures - allegedly held back a vital report on Tory instructions.

Nice did not publish damning research on NHS safe staffing levels - after health secrretary Jeremy Hunt apparently intervened.

Problem

Inspectors at two-thirds of NHS hospitals have identified low staffing as a problem.

No nurse will be fooled by any attempt to conceal grim statistics on the NHS staffing crisis. We work through our breaks and on our days off to clear the caseload.

Delaying publishing results by "rolling the Nice research into work by NHS England" shows this government wants to hide the effects of its attacks.

Nice is an organisation under pressure. It agreed to delay the report on the ridiculous assertion that it would be "confusing" - made by a civil servant working for Hunt.

Nice now expresses concern that releasing its bleak staffing figures will "generate public interest". Somehow this is meant to impede NHS improvement. It's a disgrace.

The NHS belongs to all of us. It is right and proper that those of us who work in and use it should be kept fully informed of all developments. It is difficult to imagine how safe staffing can somehow be divorced from attempts to improve the NHS.

Cowardly

Nice's failure to respond to Freedom of Information requests, and its retreat before the government, are cowardly acts. They are not in the public interest.

Tory attacks are supported by the overall failure of unaccountable statutory bodies like Nice to stand up for the best interests of patients. The Socialist Party campaigns for the NHS to be fully nationalised under the control of democratic committees of workers and patients.


Cutting the cord

Hospital departments which care for newborns are dangerously understaffed. Premature baby charity Bliss has found 64% of neonatal units have too few nurses. 70% of intensive care units hold more babies than is safe. And two in five units don't support parents of premature babies with mental health specialists.

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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.
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In The Socialist 21 October 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike to save the NHS

Hands off tax credits

1% owns more than half the world's wealth

Damning report on NHS staffing levels delayed by Tories

Labour MP refuses to back strike

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party features

Corbyn campaign: Opportunity for raising socialist ideas

How can workers resist capitalist cuts and closures?


International socialist news and analysis

World economy: 'biggest danger to capitalism is capitalism'

Germany: refugee crisis and the fight against the racist right

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

For a fighting, socialist Unison general secretary, back Roger Bannister

Hull's Labour council in aggressive bid to remove all union convenors

Welsh Government should think outside 'the Box'

Determined mood at Napo conference

Sports Direct action over sacking

Rally opposes the Tory trade union bill

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Organising to defend Corbyn's anti-cuts mandate

Help fund the fight for socialism

Huge support for the Wales March for Homes


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Former war hero fighting for the future: a pensioner speaks out

'Britain First' - tiny and violent


 

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