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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2015

Featured letter: health service

All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike

Health workers, photo by Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Health workers, photo by Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

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?

Pressure

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!

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In The Socialist 18 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

How to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity

We can defeat the Tory cuts!

Tories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Councils won't spend a penny

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

The end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?

How can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?


International socialist news and analysis

Paris terror attacks


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors: first strikes in 40 years

Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs

Historic London bus drivers' agreement

Reinstate sacked CWU reps

Pro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members

Support for Roger Bannister in Unison election

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments and reviews

All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike

A day in the life of a Game retail worker

Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"

Robert Tressell's characters are all too real to me

My struggle for an income I can live on


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour bans union activist

Thousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism

Strike to save Lambeth libraries

Gaining momentum in Lewisham

Anger at care home closure


 

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Related links:

NHS:

trianglePortsmouth Socialist Party: How can the NHS be defended from the Tories?

triangleNottingham hospital black alert

triangleTories raid 1bn from NHS facilities budget - unions must act

triangleChatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

Unions:

triangleNHS - build the fightback

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

Strike:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

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Doctors:

trianglePrivate profit out of our NHS

triangleNHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

Health:

triangleTragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

Cuts:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

Hospitals:

triangleNorthern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback

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