Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1010/27958
Socialists and campaigners protest Leicester NHS cuts
Andrew Walton, Leicester Socialist Party
Leicester Socialist Party, as part of Save Our NHS Leicestershire, is protesting against plans to cut intensive care beds at the general hospital.
Across the country, the sell-off of NHS land has increased dramatically. 718 sites have been deemed "surplus to requirement", compared to 418 two years ago.
As services are cut, hospitals are selling off land to private developers to make ends meet.
These one-off payments are not going to be adequate to ensure our NHS is funded properly. Costs in the NHS are rising far more quickly than any funding 'increases' the Tories might try and boast about.
The biggest financial problem facing the NHS is 'private finance initiatives' which, give private companies the opportunity to take over the running of hospitals.
Cleaning and catering were sold off first, resulting in an increase in superbugs as private companies cut corners.
NHS privatisation has gathered pace since, with the introduction of the Tories' Health and Social Care Act, selling off NHS services to "any willing provider".
In Leicestershire, plans for local NHS services over the next five years include the "reconfiguration of Leicester city hospitals from three to two acute sites". What does this mean for Leicester General Hospital and why are intensive care beds being targeted as part of the cuts?
The loss of intensive care beds will be the first step toward downgrading the general hospital as an acute hospital, with other services, such as renal and urology, also removed.
Leicestershire NHS Trust is going ahead with these cuts, without even the pretence of a public consultation, such is the pressure they are under to cut services.
The threat is part of a wider process of privatisation, underfunding, and cuts which has affected every part of the NHS over the last forty years.
We welcome Jeremy Corbyn's announcement that he would end private companies being awarded contracts. The Socialist Party would go further.
We say the health unions urgently need to mobilise their members to protect our NHS, and we would renationalise the NHS, with no compensation for fat cats.
- Come to our 'save our NHS' public meeting - Saturday 29 September at 2pm, Hansom Hall, Leicester Adult Education Centre, LE1 6QL
In The Socialist 19 September 2018:
Labour Party conference
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
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