Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/910/23207
From The Socialist newspaper, 13 July 2016
Fight back is on to save NHS heart services
Jamie Score after his heart operation at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester photo Steve Score (Click to enlarge)
A massive attack has been launched on NHS congenital heart services in England. Patients, families and health workers will not accept it and we will fight back. As a parent whose 15-year old son had open heart surgery only seven months ago at one of the threatened units, Leicester Glenfield Hospital, I am furious.
NHS England has announced that three hospital trusts in Leicester, Manchester and London will have to stop complex surgery on people born with heart problems. Five other trusts will have to stop providing other heart services and procedures.
Four years ago the NHS nationally tried to 'centralise' services and were defeated by campaigns and legal challenges. The medical arguments they put forward are flawed and it is the billions of pounds of 'efficiency savings' (read cuts) required of the NHS by this government that are really behind it.
Leicester Glenfield heart unit is one of the best and has pioneered certain treatments in this country.
The care and support they gave my son was fantastic and makes you proud of the achievements of the NHS. Kids need their friends and family around them when they have long stays in hospital, centralisation would mean greater distances to travel for family as well as for appointments for the child.
Leicester had the first Ecmo (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine in the country - allowing patients, especially children and babies, to survive heart or lung failure. It now has 50% of the country's paediatric capacity.
The children's heart service is much loved, with charity fundraising providing many of the facilities including Ecmo. A battle now has to be launched. The trade unions should play a key role alongside NHS staff, patients and families.
Leicestershire Against the Cuts is holding an emergency planning meeting on 13 July to discuss the campaign. We want to save the unit in Leicester, but we also want to avoid the attempt made last time by the NHS nationally to play one hospital off against another.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - 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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- 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 special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 13 July 2016:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Child poverty rises by 200,000 in a year
Welsh Assembly to scrap 'right to buy'
Nine-month prison sentence for fleeing ethnic cleansing
What we saw: Angela Eagle Facebook meme
Them & Us
Fight racism: for jobs, homes and services for all
Police racism still lethal in Britain
Majority support migrants staying - fight hate crime
What we think
Step up the campaign to back Corbyn's fight
Tory coronation is attempt at stability that can't work
Chilcot Iraq report: More piles of evidence against the blood-soaked war for oil
Socialist Party workplace news
Angry prison officers walk out over reforms
New threat to impose junior doctors contract must be met with strike action
Vote Chas Berry for Napo national chair
Unite policy conference 2016: Blairite coup, Trident and cuts dominate opening days
Workplace news in brief
International socialist news and analysis
Spain: Disappointment for left in re-run general election
CWI in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Thousands mobilising to #KeepCorbyn
Why I joined: "I no longer felt isolated from politics"
Fight back is on to save NHS heart services
Sales of the Socialist through the roof since the referendum
The Socialist 13 July 2016 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook