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Ystrad Mynach: Give us back our A&E!
Stop all hospital cuts
Jaime Davies, A&E Needed at Ystrad Mynach Hospital campaign
Many people have been turned away from Ystrad Mynach hospital. One man told me that he took his child to the hospital because the child couldn't breathe properly.
He was then told that nobody in the building was qualified to administer treatment and this meant a further 30 to 45 minute journey to the already over-crowded Royal Gwent.
So it is unsurprising that there was a great feeling of anger and willingness to fight as over 60 people attended a hospital campaign meeting in Ystrad Mynach on 15 January.
The campaign is for a 24-hour doctor-led A&E in the new Ystrad Mynach hospital and is against the 'South Wales Programme'.
We have decided to hold a demonstration on 16 February through Caerphilly, the largest town the hospital serves.
We have made clear that the demonstration isn't an attack on the doctors and nurses working at the hospital but on the way the NHS is being run by the bosses and managers.
The 'state of the art' hospital does not have the services that local people were promised when it was being built.
It is replacing the Miners Hospital in Caerphilly, a hospital that was built out of mine workers' pay and had a functioning A&E (which itself had been cut back to a 9-5 service in recent years).
The Miners was under threat of closure for many years but each time the closure had been stopped by a strong campaign.
One Caerphilly Socialist Party member from the current campaign committee noted that: "The only reason they got away with shutting the Miners this time was because they promised us a 24-hour A&E led by doctors in Ystrad Mynach."
But Ystrad Mynach only has a minor injuries unit - people in the area who need an accident and emergency department can't be treated there.
People from Caerphilly, Blackwood, Bargoed, Ystrad Mynach, Rhymney, Newbridge and surrounding areas have to travel up to an hour further to the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport or Heath hospital in Cardiff.
The 'South Wales Programme' would make things even worse, with only four or five A&Es serving the whole of South Wales (a population of two million).
At the meeting, Lloyd James from the campaigns committee called for links with other hospital campaigns: "If we don't fight united, they will divide us and they will win."
March 11.30am, Saturday 16 February, outside the old Miners Hospital
Clerical staff strike at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust
A further five days of strike action by admin and clerical staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust is set to commence on Monday 28 January.
This follows the breakdown of negotiations with Trust bosses on their proposals to 'downband', (ie cut the pay) of over 350 staff.
The Trust's previous derisory offer of between 18 months and two years pay protection for downbanded staff had been unanimously rejected by Unison and Unite members who work at Dewsbury, Pontefract, and Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.
Despite being informed of this, and of our desire to negotiate alternatives to downbanding, Trust negotiators refused to discuss anything other than protection and did not improve on the previous offer.
Prior to the meeting it had been revealed that three Medical Secretaries made redundant in December had been re-hired via the NHS Professionals agency in January due to unmanageable workloads! This highlights the incompetence of senior management and the ludicrous nature of the proposals made under their 'Admin and Clerical Review'.
The fourth day of next week's strike, Thursday 31 January, coincides with a Trust Board meeting at Pinderfields Hospital at 9am.
There will be a strikers' lobby outside the venue and a Unison/Unite delegation will try to address the meeting.
We welcome shows of solidarity and support from other trade union branches who can make it along.
We hope that our action can act as a beacon to NHS staff around the country facing a similar onslaught on their jobs and terms & conditions.
The stand taken by our members needs to be replicated nationally if we are to successfully defend our jobs and services, and ultimately save the NHS.
Dave Byrom, Mid Yorks NHS Unison branch chair (personal capacity)
Lewisham hospital in south London is also facing big cuts, including the closure of its A&E. Demonstrate 12 noon, Saturday 26 January, Lewisham roundabout, near railway station.
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