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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 November 2016

Stop the Tory cuts

Hands off our NHS!

The People's March for the NHS, London, September 2014, photo Bob Severn

The People's March for the NHS, London, September 2014, photo Bob Severn   (Click to enlarge)

Sean Brogan, Exeter Socialist Party

Exeter will be the scene of a major county-wide demonstration by campaign groups against the huge government cuts to the National Health Service (NHS) On 3 December.

As well as billions of pounds of cuts - rebranded as "efficiency savings" in England - the Tories' misnamed 'Sustainability and Transformation Plans' will force through billions more cuts, with closures to A&Es and other hospital services.

Okehampton, in west Devon, will lose its community hospital. In the south, Paignton will see its hospital close. In the east the proposal is to close Honiton hospital.

The district hospital at Barnstaple, in the north, will lose its maternity and stroke services, leaving a pregnant mum a trip of over an hour - and that's on a good day. These - and many other cuts - mean the loss of hundreds of beds and the downgrading of services.

This is all part of a grand plan to replace these massive losses with 'social care'! The latter is supposed to be supplied by local authorities. But central government grants to local authorities have been cut by a third. And in the recent Autumn Statement there was not a whisper of extra funding for this vital service.

In South Devon, the 'preferred' private group to provide this service has been found to be totally unable to meet this care. It was inspected by the Care Quality Commission and they found a raft of failings: failure to turn up at clients' homes; no idea of the clients' care plan; not listening to clients and their relatives; staff untrained and demoralised as they rush from one client to another.

In the rest of Devon, those who have attended 'consultation' meetings are beginning to see how inadequate all the 'options' are as set out in glossy reports. There's a public groundswell to oppose cuts and closures and to reject the proposals, as they have more to do with money-saving than our health services.

In the background to the cuts sit the vultures of the privateers. The NHS in Devon is already sending patients for operations in private hospitals in Torbay and Exeter.

Virgin is poised to take over even more health services. This is putting the profit motive before our needs. How much longer will it be before we pay for GP appointments?

Those with the wealth can already jump queues for operations taking place in our NHS hospitals. Once we lose our community hospitals we will never get them back!

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In The Socialist 30 November 2016:

Castro dies

Fight for workers' democracy in Cuba

Socialist Party news and analysis

Time to fight low pay

Hands off our NHS!

Hunger strikes, suicides - end detention now

Women bear 85% of benefit cuts

Fight to make letting agent fee ban reality

Hospital admissions for malnutrition rise threefold

Them & Us: Autumn Statement special!

What We Saw

What we think

Brexit spin: demand a real workers' exit

Housing crisis

The housing crisis - a toxic issue for the Tories

Homelessness - capitalism is destroying people's lives

Fight the cuts - victims of domestic abuse depend on it

Workplace news and analysis

London Crossrail workers walk out

Durham teaching assistants determined to win

Strike action across London and South East rail network

Protest to demand pay rise for Sheffield

Young workers in Leeds socialise and mobilise at Unison young workers gig

The fight in Labour

Support the campaign to readmit expelled trade union militants

Conference to debate TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections

Labour Party branch votes for reselection

Southampton Labour councillors vote through more cuts

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Sheffield for sale!

Hands off HRI charts way forward

Reclaim the Night solidarity march

Repeal the 8th protest for abortion rights

Leicester playground protest

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Readmit expelled socialists: a proven record of fighting back

The Socialist Inbox

International socialist news and analysis

Spain: militant struggle by Students Union succeeds


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