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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 October 2020

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Save Our NHS Leicestershire on a national NHS demonstration in London 30 June 2018

Save Our NHS Leicestershire on a national NHS demonstration in London 30 June 2018   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, Save Our NHS Leicestershire co-chair

When Boris Johnson falsely announced his government would build "40 new hospitals" at Tory conference a year ago, it turned out that in fact only six trusts were to get much delayed routine investment.

One of those was Leicester, promised 450 million for hospital "reconfiguration". The Save Our NHS Leicestershire campaign has been warning ever since that these plans involve the effective closure of one of the hospitals, in an area that serves over a million people.

The Leicester General Hospital is to be closed as an acute hospital, but will have a few non-acute services on site. Most of the land will be sold off for 'redevelopment'.

On this basis, the public consultation, which began on 28 September, has gone to great lengths to avoid the word 'closure', in order to disguise what is really happening from the public.

Socialist Party members play an important part in the campaign, established to continue momentum after the victory of the Save Glenfield Children's Heart Centre campaign (see 'Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS' at socialistparty.org.uk). The campaign is producing material, both physical and online, and planning events to explain what is happening.

You may wonder whether the middle of a pandemic is the right time for NHS bosses to begin a public consultation. No face-to-face public meetings or engagement can be carried out, excluding a large part of the public. The 1,700-page consultation document does not mention coronavirius or take account of the needs resulting from future waves of pandemic.

The plans might be OK if there was sufficient expansion of capacity and the number of beds to cope with a rising and ageing population, but there isn't. NHS bosses say the rest will be absorbed by an expansion of services in the community, but there are no details or explanation of where the money will come from for that.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 7 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

Contact tracer speaks out: privatised system 'in chaos'

Under the microscope


Workplace news

Unison: Hugo Pierre's fighting programme to transform the union

Equity 'Panto Parade' demands more support for arts workers

Tate strike suspended

Ikea day of action

York couriers' strike


News

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

Spooks step up surveillance of left

Probation Service: 'angry, frustrated' staff need fighting lead


Students

Cardiff student protest demands: 'refund our fees!'

Southampton students oppose unjust collective punishment


Black History Month

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'


International

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens - step up the fight for socialism

'Frozen conflict' reignites in Nagorno-Karabakh enclave

Germany: "Heroes" strike to demand a pay rise


Campaigns

9,000 for education by Netflix

Free Siyanda Mngaza

Leicester: Don't let them close our hospital

Waltham Forest: Council picks over 60 sites for mass gentrification

Say no to finance capital-backed luxury tower block in Enfield

Socialist Party: Campaigning for the NHS

Final total: 73,586 raised - now let's do it again

Defend Bracknell Community Services


Readers' opinion

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

The Socialist Inbox


 

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