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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 November 2016

Secret hospital closures: bosses must come clean

Health workers and campaigners marching against cuts at Whipps Cross Hospital, east London, photo by Paul Mattsson

Health workers and campaigners marching against cuts at Whipps Cross Hospital, east London, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Gleaden, Lambeth Socialist Party

NHS England has secret plans for closing A&Es and even a whole hospital, according to an investigation by the King's Fund think-tank.

NHS England has told local health managers not to reveal plans or engage with the public, instead relying on an expensive team of management consultants to organise the restructuring.

Leaks show that Merseyside alone plans to 'merge' four hospitals to cover a 1 billion shortfall. This is all in order to close the huge funding deficit of the NHS - 2.45 billion just this year.

This deficit comes from a steady decrease in government funding, as well as the outrageous costs of the 'internal market' system, and 'PFI' financing. Scrapping PFI and creating a truly nationalised health service would cut out the need for competing health providers, saving billions leeched off by the private sector.

The recent wave of spending reviews have been misnamed 'sustainability and transformation plans' (STPs). When translated from Tory to English, that means further privatisation and spending cuts.

This is to justify lucrative sell-offs like the recent 700 million NHS contract for Virgin Care. The public outrage contracts like this provoke meant NHS England specially advised its managers on how to block Freedom of Information requests on STPs.

Scheming

A fully publicly owned NHS under democratic workers' control and management would have no room for scheming management teams.

The government hopes that by hiding spending cuts, it can stop burgeoning grassroots campaigns from gaining traction. Campaigns like #HandsOffHRI in Huddersfield, which the Socialist Party has played a key role in.

Earlier this year, #HandsOffHRI mobilised the biggest demonstration Huddersfield has seen since 1918. We link essential campaigning like this across the country to the need for an anti-austerity mass workers' party based on socialist policies.

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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.
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In The Socialist 16 November 2016:


It's Socialism or Trumpism

Trump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

Lessons for Britain: Trump victory shows the right can't beat the right


Socialism 2016

Socialism 2016: Electrifying and powerful weekend puts socialism on the agenda


Socialist Party workplace news

Mass prison officer walkout over health and safety

Durham teaching assistants strike: 2,000 walk out

London Underground: RMT wins victory

Steel workers' pensions under threat again

Deliveroo couriers get organised

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Support the campaign to readmit expelled socialists

Secret hospital closures: bosses must come clean

1.5trn household debt - nationalise the banks!

Court win against bedroom tax not enough

Super-rich investigated


Socialist Party youth and students

Students and workers unite and fight!


Privatisation and the 'race to the bottom'

Privatisation and the 'race to the bottom'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton Labour must bin Tory cuts!

Cumbria: Stop axing care home places

TUSC vindicated in censorship protest

Bristol campaigners demand anti-austerity alternative


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

A Street Cat Named Bob: tale of neglect by capitalism

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

triangleCommunities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

Hospital:

triangleDispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

triangleAdding demands to the weekly claps

triangleISS workers' pay victory

triangleDispatches from the front: PPE chaos goes on

Closures:

triangleFurther protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

triangleCoronavirus and school closures: what needs to be done now

trianglePCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

Socialist:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

Health:

triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

PFI:

triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

Huddersfield:

triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

Government:

triangleSchools aren't safe

Virgin:

triangleBail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Privatisation:

triangleNHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

Hospitals:

triangleUS private healthcare system in meltdown

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