Socialist Party
| Print

3 January 2018

NHS in annual winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Hackney Socialist Party

The NHS winter crisis has become an established part of the calendar, both predictable and predicted. In January last year, the Red Cross went so far as to call it a "humanitarian crisis." Indications are that this winter could prove just as difficult.

One in five patients had to wait over four hours in A&E treatment in the third week of December. This compares to one in twelve in the same week in 2013, according to the NHS and Royal College of Emergency Medicine data.

When you learn that Britain now has third-lowest number of hospital beds and doctors per person in the EU, this is hardly surprising.

Just ask any one of the dedicated workers on the front line. They will tell you our NHS is understaffed and underfunded, health workers are overworked and underpaid, and private sector vultures are making colossal profits while treating staff and patients like rubbish.

Parasitic

One of these parasitic private companies is none other than Richard Branson's Virgin. Last year it picked up a record 1 billion worth of NHS contracts - despite paying no corporation tax in the UK.

And it wasn't alone. In 2017 privateers won 69% of NHS contracts put out to tender, says the NHS Support Federation.

Yet last year also gave us the huge demonstration for the NHS in March, which Socialist Party members played a key role in organising. This showed the enormous potential there is to build a mass movement.

And the bold strike action of health workers - like outsourced porters and domestics in Barts NHS Trust - indicated what we could achieve if health workers were to strike back together.

That's why the step taken by Royal College of Nursing - traditionally a 'no-strike' union - of organising an indicative ballot for industrial action against the pay cap was significant. With hospital porters in Devon and Exeter NHS trust currently preparing to strike against the imposition of twelve-hour shifts, it's clear there is a mood for action among broad sections of health workers.

It is incumbent on the tops of the trade unions to offer a lead to workers and campaigners. As a starting point, this should include mobilising a huge national demonstration.

It should include organising for coordinated strike action to end years of real-terms pay cuts in the NHS and society as a whole. It should mean waging a serious fight to make 2018 the year we save our health service from the ravages of cuts and privatisation.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26647




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

triangle23 May Tories prepare for possible snap election

triangle23 May Capitalism's Grenfell shame - Tories must go

triangle23 May Stop Trump! Build for 13 July student walkouts

triangle21 May Antisemitism, Israel-Palestine, & the left

triangle17 May Threat to unity of PCS left

triangle16 May Thousands on TUC demo

triangle16 May 'When we fight, we can win' - campaign halts hospital closure

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle24 May Bristol South Socialist Party: The struggle for women's suffrage

triangle31 May Bristol South Socialist Party: How can workers' jobs be protected?

triangle7 Jun North London Socialist party: Ireland: the fight for abortion rights

triangle7 Jun East London Socialist Party: 'Made in Dagenham' Ford women workers' pay strike 50 years on

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999