Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/943/25210
From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2017
Communities and health workers unite to resist cruel NHS cuts
Marching to save the NHS, 4.3.17, photo by Mary Finch (Click to enlarge)
Brent Kennedy, Cumbria Health Campaigns Together
The Tories have already cut doctors, nurses, student nurses and 15,000 beds. Now the government intends a further £22 billion of cuts through its 'sustainability and transformation plans' (STPs).
Underlining these cuts, NHS England chief Simon Stevens wants to abandon waiting time targets for surgery. The British Medical Association said this shows the NHS is at "breaking point".
In my area, North Cumbria NHS Trust and ten others have just come out of special measures, yet this result of the staff's hard work is threatened again by STPs and locally through the misnamed 'Success Regime'.
All the trust's chief executive could offer the staff was years more blood, sweat and tears. But how much longer will these workers' nerves stand this extra strain? They need more resources and more staff now. But after seven years of wage freezes and caps, how can we recruit and retain doctors and nurses?
Meanwhile, more so-called 'bed blocking' will inevitably worsen as the Success Regime closes three 'cottage hospitals' and cuts up to 200 beds, and the Labour/Lib Dem-run county council closes 137 out of 257 care home beds. They are already blaming each other but working hand in glove.
Recently, our council health scrutiny committee met and voted to refer back to Jeremy Hunt, the government health secretary, proposals to close three hospitals, the Whitehaven paediatric unit and probably the Whitehaven consultant-led maternity unit after a year.
But after pressure from the 'clinical commissioning group' they rushed through a second vote and reversed their decision on hospitals and paediatrics.
Four councillors (three Labour) had gone home early (!) and enough others turned coat to betray the people they claim to represent. One of these was Gill Troughton, the Blairite opponent of Jeremy Corbyn, who unsurprisingly lost Labour the Copeland byelection.
We need more protests locally and nationally by health worker unions, NHS campaigners and the wider public to fight the cuts.
All the health and other public sector unions must organise and coordinate strike action to restore living standards, jobs and services.
Demonstrations, strikes and other forms of protest action would give organised expression to the deep mood of discontent against austerity and stop this weak, divided government in its tracks.
Save our NHS march and rally
- Saturday 8 April, 12 noon
- Carlisle city centre.
- Called by Cumbria Health Campaigns Together
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In The Socialist 5 April 2017:
Communities and health workers unite to...resist cruel NHS cuts
NHS SOS round-up
What we think
Fight for a socialist Brexit
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty
Labour group to discipline councillors for resisting Haringey gentrification scheme
Gagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state
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Them & Us
Horrific attack on Croydon asylum seeker
Far right humiliated in London - but trade unions must organise against racism and austerity
What would a socialist food industry look like?
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
TUSC to challenge for the Merseyside 'metro-mayor'
NHS worker to stand for mayor of Doncaster
Socialist Party workplace news
Walkout on three rail networks against driver-only operated trains
Ferrybridge workers protest against 'race to bottom'
Solid Picturehouse picket and protest
Bromley library workers strike against privatisation
Hackney children's inclusion unit forced to strike
Support Len McCluskey and United Left candidates before ballot closes
PCS payday protests
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Homeless due to the housing crisis
Rents up 40% - can't pay, will stay!
Name and shame the worst behaviour by housing associations
International socialist news and analysis
Turkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum
Fukushima nuclear disaster - a terrifying legacy
Justice for Yemen workers
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Financial hardship facing millions of cancer sufferers
The Socialist Inbox
Courageous Ebola nurse Salomé Karwah dies
The Socialist 5 April 2017 |
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