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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 October 2019

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

Barry Hospital, photo Jaggery/CC, photo Jaggery/CC

Barry Hospital, photo Jaggery/CC, photo Jaggery/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Beth Webster, Cardiff West Socialist Party

"That was challenging and uncomfortable" - the Cardiff and Vale Health Board chief executive's closing remark at a public engagement meeting on NHS cuts in Barry, South Wales.

The health board proposes moving care out of acute hospitals and into the community by replacing rehabilitation wards like the Sam Davies with a 48-hour short-stay ward, and then discharging patients home to await assessment for further community care.

But with the chronic shortage of community services, people will inevitably bounce back into acute hospital beds, also already under immense pressure.

After an hour's presentation from the health board, which one attendee described as "like being sold a timeshare," attendees had to revolt to force an open discussion and allow the full extent of opposition to be heard.

There was widespread anger at the health board's whitewashing of bed cuts as an 'improvement' to elderly people's services. One of the senior clinicians supporting the plan attempted to justify bed cuts by saying that "having beds creates demand"!

Also highlighted at the meeting was the shocking treatment of the Sam Davies staff: the health boards have scarcely engaged with them or their union, Unison. The health board has said only that workers are "likely" to find jobs at other hospitals, despite the distance on infrequent and expensive public transport.

Sam Davies staff, with support from Unison, have launched a petition, signed by around 10,000 people so far. There was a march and rally in Barry on 5 October.

As said in the meeting, the health board should be fighting for more funding from the Welsh Government to improve services rather than close them.

That health board executives on six-figure salaries can tell communities like Barry they can no longer afford vital NHS services and staff is an absolute disgrace.

Nothing highlights more clearly the necessity of health workers and communities running the NHS under public ownership and democratic control - and the support a health union-led campaign to reverse NHS cuts would have across Wales.

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In The Socialist 9 October 2019:


What we think

Brexit theatrics continue

Syria: Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds


News

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

Asda workers protest callous bosses

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough


Labour and workers' rights

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week


Obituary

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019


Workplace news

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Sainsbury's strikers win

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

Lincolnshire health visitors strike


Chinese revolution

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'


International socialist news and analysis

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Selling the Socialist

York freshers success


Reviews

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


 

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