Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/879/21758
Featured letter: health service
All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike
Derek Marsdon, Hillingdon Socialist Party
I work in one of the biggest and better financed NHS trusts in the country, which incorporates several major hospitals.
When I see politicians in the press and on Newsnight claiming the government is putting £8 billion into the NHS it makes me furious. The NHS has been requested to find £12 billion of cuts - they call them "efficiency savings" - before we are entitled to the £8 billion.
My trust boasts of £36 million of "savings" last year and has a target of £20 million this year. But what has this meant in practice?
Two staff - feeling the pressure, no doubt - decided to go part-time a few months ago. The gap was to be filled by another full-time worker, probably of a lower grade. Over the same time a senior member of staff left for greener pastures, again to be replaced, hopefully with someone of a similar grade.
The replacement of both these staff members has been stopped to make savings.
Bearing in mind that we were already victims of cuts, reorganisation and down-grading over years of government by all major political parties, our staff are literally collapsing. Two people I know are currently off with stress-related illnesses and a third has just been signed off following complaints of severe chest pains.
The skeleton staff that remain are juggling the annual leave so that they do not follow their colleagues. This is not a long-term solution.
The NHS unions should be balloting to join the junior doctors' planned strikes for 1, 8 and 16 December, with emergency cover only. That is virtually what we are providing on a daily basis anyhow!
In The Socialist 18 November 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party features
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Readers' comments and reviews
Socialist Party reports and campaigns