Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1145/32928

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 August 2021

UK hospitals in danger of collapse

Fight for funding to keep us safe

Hinchingbrooke hospital has weight limits for patients. Photo: Andy Parrett/CC

Hinchingbrooke hospital has weight limits for patients. Photo: Andy Parrett/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Mike Cleverley, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

The NHS is crumbling from decades of underinvestment. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, has its ceilings propped up with almost 200 steel props. Hinchingbrooke Hospital has set a weight limit for patients who can be treated in two of its operating theatres. The West Suffolk hospital, in Bury St. Edmunds currently has 27 of these 'pit props' or 'acrows' supporting its ceilings.

These hospitals, along with some schools and other public buildings, were built between 1960 and 1990 using reinforced concrete planks. It is these planks which are failing. The building method used was favoured by health trusts and local council-funded projects because it is quick and cheap. What was not broadcast at the time was that these concrete planks, and consequently the buildings, had a lifespan of just 30 years!

In 2020, hospital trusts participated in 'Exercise Hodges' that simulated a scenario where a hospital had to be evacuated due to concrete plank failure. The question was raised: "Would other hospitals have to be evacuated if one hospital suffered such a collapse?"

This is far from just a local problem. Hospitals in West Yorkshire, Surrey and Cheshire, as well as several others, are known to be planning for similar events.

The cost of keeping the structure in West Suffolk safe is estimated to be around £70 million. The government says it has given £1,021 million to help hospitals address similar problems. All part of what it says is the 'generous funding' of the UK health care system.

Meanwhile, in my local area of east London, the Bart's Healthcare Trust proposes the demolition of a hospital built over 100 years ago and the building of a new hospital, using similar 'modern techniques', with 81 fewer beds for the post-pandemic era. This project is welcomed by the local Labour council and will be part-financed by the sale of most of the present site to property developers. Not to build council homes to house the 9,000 on the waiting list, but to build yet more flats that local people can't afford.

We need investment in our NHS infrastructure now - to make our hospitals safe, and to meet the growing needs of our local communities. Private companies looking to make a profit cannot be trusted to do this. We need to build a movement of NHS workers and patients, backed up by the wider trade union movement, to fight for an NHS pay rise and a fully public and democratically run NHS.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

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 Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 25 August 2021:


What we think

Afghanistan disaster - Unite to fight for funding for refugees and local communities


Afghanistan

Afghanistan in crisis:

Afghanistan: The Taliban takeover - what are the lessons for the workers' movement internationally


News

NHS Pay

UK hospitals in danger of collapse

University of Leeds students bribed to stay away while staff are under attack

Exam results: grade gap widens


Lessons from Poplar 100 years on

Lessons from Poplar 100 years on


Workplace news

NEU: Oppose the pay freeze with action not just words

Care workers struggle for a pay rise and trade union recognition

Reject the Ministry of Justice pay offer

East Midlands rail strikes continue

Homelessness workers fight for better pay and conditions across sector

Woolwich ferry strikers - the action necessary to win

Liverpool university strike saves jobs


International

Nigeria: Comrade Omomeewa, student leader and socialist campaigner, killed by armed assailants

SNP-Green deal will not deliver for workers and youth

Reflections on the Lebanese tragedy one year on


Campaigns

Biggest in-person socialist event this year!

Ealing by-election: Labour council has not opposed Tory cuts

Why I rejoined the Socialist Party

Councils declared climate emergency - now act like it!

Wales: Gearing up for 9 October youth marches

Liverpool: Stop the arms fair!

Marching for Kashmir's liberation

Donate to stop Tories clawing back crumbs


Readers' opinion

Film Review: Martin Eden

TV review: Revolutionary Love


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 August 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Hospitals:

triangleTory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

triangleSolidarity to the striking workers at Charité and Vivantes hospitals in Berlin

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload

triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload

triangleLeicester private healthcare tragedy

Hospital:

triangleSocial care funding needed now

triangleSolidarity Appeal: Support the Berlin hospital strike

triangleWhipps Cross hospital workers reject the 3%

triangleNHS: Kick out the privatisers, Fight for funding, Build for strike action

NHS:

triangleGPs vote to reject government plans

triangleTories to blame for GP crisis

triangleBarking NHS: "Sorry, please try again later"

Council:

triangleSave Southall youth centre - stop all cuts

triangleSouthampton People's budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

27/10/21

Climate change

COP26: protest for Socialist change to reverse climate chaos

27/10/21

NHS

Tory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

27/10/21

Tories

Public spending under further threat from Tories

27/10/21

Budget

TORY BUDGET CON

27/10/21

Pay

Public sector pay thaw - union fight is on for a real rise and funding

27/10/21

Climate change

Tory climate plans set to fail - socialist planning needed

27/10/21

Sexism

Fighting sexism and harassment, and for a safe night out

27/10/21

News

News in brief

27/10/21

News

Workplace news in brief

25/10/21

Analysis and editorials

How to save the planet

20/10/21

Austerity

People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

20/10/21

Climate change

COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

20/10/21

Socialist

Fight for a socialist recovery

20/10/21

NHS

Tories to blame for GP crisis

20/10/21

Planning

Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999