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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 October 2016

East Mids heart unit under threat

Protest and strike to save our NHS

Join the national demo on 18 March

Campaigners marching to save the East Midlands Heart Unit, photo by Steve Score

Campaigners marching to save the East Midlands Heart Unit, photo by Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, Leicester

Glenfield congenital heart centre in Leicester saves children's lives. No wonder there is so much anger at NHS England's threat to stop children's heart surgery there. It is the only place in the whole of the East Midlands that carries out these operations.

My son was one of 332 children who had heart surgery there last year. Yet NHS England's main reason for ending this surgery is that they now require 375 operations a year.

They ignore the fact that Glenfield is increasing its capacity and is likely to meet that arbitrary target soon anyway, and the fact that it has been praised for its "excellent outcomes".

The closure plan has been strongly opposed by patients' families and campaigners. The campaign has also been backed by Unite the union regionally, the Midlands TUC, as well as local trades councils and union branches. A combined total of 60,000 people have so far signed either the online petition or a paper version.

Real motives?

If NHS England's arguments don't add up, what are the real motives? They deny it's about money. But is it a coincidence that this is happening at the same time as the government demands 22 billion in 'efficiency savings' - cuts - from the NHS?

Many local campaigns are springing up to save NHS services and hospitals. We need to pull these all together and it needs union backing. Let's unite to stop the Tories taking the heart out of the NHS!

Demo details:


Re-open Grantham A&E

Gary Freeman, Unison health service group executive member for East Midlands (personal capacity)

The closure of Grantham Hospital's night-time Accident and Emergency service was supposedly for three months. But as predicted by campaigners, there are now rumours of a further extension of this.

There has been huge public opposition to this closure, with weekly protests. 3,000 people marched through the town in September.

The nearest A&E department is 25 miles away. Lincolnshire is a large rural county with poor transport links. Time lost means lives at risk.

Campaigners believe there has been a deliberate attempt by the trust to underestimate the needs and usage at Grantham A&E to justify its closure.

It is also happening against the backdrop of new NHS cuts in the government's 'Sustainability and Transformation Plans'.

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In The Socialist 26 October 2016:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Protest and strike to save our NHS

Health campaigners announce national NHS demo

Hundreds march and rally to defend Tyneside hospital


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Related links:

Leicester:

triangleLeicester NHS protest

triangleNorthern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback

triangleHeart unit rescued by campaigning saves baby with pioneering surgery

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

Strike:

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

triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

Protest:

triangleProtesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleBrum care workers protest council attacks

NHS:

triangleStop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

triangleWe can win the fight for the NHS

Grantham:

triangleUprising to save the NHS!

Midlands:

triangleBrutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

Children:

triangleTragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

East Midlands:

triangleSave Glenfield Children's Heart Centre! Save our NHS!

Cuts:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

Health:

triangleNHS - build the fightback

Lincolnshire:

triangleRMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

Hospitals:

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

Hospital:

triangleYork socialists head resistance to NHS outsourcing

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