Workers can beat NHS cuts and sell-offs

At a protest to save Glenfield heart centre in Leicester 8 July 2017 photo Steve Score, photo Steve Score

At a protest to save Glenfield heart centre in Leicester 8 July 2017 photo Steve Score, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Tom Costello, Lancashire Socialist Party

A total of 96 hospitals and service providers have substandard safety in children’s healthcare, according to February’s CQC inspection.

The primary reason the report cites is an all-time low level of staffing, with 36,000 vital nurse positions remaining unfilled.

And the ongoing crisis for kids does not end there. In less than five years, the amount of child psychiatrists has fallen by 7% from 1,015 full-time positions to just 948.

Estimates suggest up to 50,000 children and young people will be losing out on vital mental health attention. Meanwhile cases of young people with anxiety, depression and eating disorders continue to skyrocket.

Last year’s election manifesto from Jeremy Corbyn promised an extra £7 billion a year for the health service. This is a definite step in the right direction.

But any approach to saving our NHS will inevitably have to confront the defining problem: the interference of parasitic private companies in essential public services.

Far from the secure, publicly owned NHS we all want, our health service is being eaten away at by a band of exploitative profiteers backed by the Tories and Blairites.


This crisis is not just a case of underfunding. Underfunding itself is part of a backdoor scheme to dismantle and privatise our health service carried out by successive capitalist governments.

But there has been a radical upsurge in activity to defend our health service from this process, seen in the heroic efforts of workers and communities across the country. From the junior doctors’ strikes in 2016, to last year’s victories against closures in Leicester and Mansfield – where Socialist Party members played leading roles.

A confident, united and dedicated mass campaign could smash this onslaught. The trade union leaders must capitalise on working class anger and build for coordinated action to finish the job off.