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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/879/21758

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:


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International socialist news and analysis

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Historic London bus drivers' agreement

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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

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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:

triangleBreast cancer screening scandal

triangleRadiographers' union discusses coordinated action

triangleLeicestershire NHS campaign launched

triangleSheffield and South Yorkshire: no to closures - defend our NHS

triangleSheffield Socialist Party May Day meeting

Unions:

triangleLeicester socialists fight poverty-paying sweatshops

triangleMay 1968: Revolutionary explosion as two thirds of workforce join strike

triangleThousands on TUC demo

triangleUse TUC march as launch pad for action on pay

Strike:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: 'Made in Dagenham' Ford women workers' pay strike 50 years on

triangleMay 1968: 'Communist' leaders hand power back to defeated bosses

triangleFirst ever strike at TGI Fridays

Doctors:

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

trianglePrivate profit out of our NHS

Health:

triangleAds won't fix it: fight mental health cuts as well as stigma

Cuts:

triangleCollege staff caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

Hospitals:

triangleNorthern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback

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