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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2020

Stop Leicester hospital closure

Socialist Party members on the demonstration to save Leicester General Hospital, 16.11.19, photo Leicester Socialist Party

Socialist Party members on the demonstration to save Leicester General Hospital, 16.11.19, photo Leicester Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score, co-chair Save Our NHS Leicestershire

Leicester's NHS bosses seem scared about the 'Save Our NHS Leicestershire' campaign's attempts to put forward alternative views on their proposals to reorganise our hospitals, including the closure of the Leicester General Hospital.

Despite the huge amount of resources they have to put their case, including slick TV ads, glossy brochures with wonderful artists drawings of new buildings, and easy access to the media, they still appear defensive. Letters from local NHS bosses to the local paper and official social media posts have been issued directly attacking our campaign.

They were determined to push ahead with a consultation during lockdown, despite the fact that face-to-face meeting and debate is not possible, and many people will not be able to access their online events. Leicester has been continuously in some form of lockdown since March. Yet the glossy brochures do not answer key questions and obscure some of the reality.

When over 80 acute services are removed from a hospital site leaving a 'campus' with just four services, while most of the land is sold off for housing, it is effectively a hospital closure. But the official material doesn't say that. When there are a totally inadequate number of hospital beds being provided, despite future projected population growth, it is a real cut in the number of beds per head. When they say that services in the community will soak up the extra demand, while not elaborating how that is to be done - or how it will be financed - it is a flawed plan.

The proposals do not account for the lessons of Covid. Future planning has to allow for more space and capacity in our NHS to deal with potential pandemics to come, not less!

The campaign has been active on the streets, produced leaflets explaining our points and put our case to council health scrutiny committees. We have done our best to get media coverage, and have organised a series of online public meetings. Big banners and window posters are going up across the city, county and in Rutland.

The deadline for the end of consultation is 21 December. We are doing what we can in these lockdown conditions to get our message across to the community and into the trade union movement.

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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 18 November 2020:


What we think

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party


News

Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

System failing thousands of children in care

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all


Covid

Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism


Students

Tories student 'evacuation' plan will not work

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?


Schools

Campaign for school Covid safety must continue


Workplace news

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

Optare: Right to strike defended

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

Hackney council parking services brought in-house


TUSC

After Corbyn: TUSC and the fight for working-class political representation


Campaigns

How will Socialism 2020 work?

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

Selling the Socialist

Stop Leicester hospital closure


Youth

Young Socialists organising for our future


Obituary

Obituary: Paul Chettle


Letters

The Socialist Inbox


 

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