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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2013

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Cuts, PFI and big business to blame

Andy Bentley
Caerphilly march for A&E, photo Becky Davis

Caerphilly march for A&E, photo Becky Davis   (Click to enlarge)

Local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters and Socialist Party members were out in Stafford on 16 February, campaigning over the future of Stafford hospital.

The national media and government attempt to blame nurses, doctors and other staff for the horrific deaths of between 400 and 1,000 patients. Individual acts of neglect and cruelty should of course be investigated but the real blame for this disaster lies elsewhere.

For more than three decades Tory, Labour and now Con-Dem governments have pushed big business practices into the NHS.

To become a Foundation Trust in 2005, Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust needed to comply with financial targets set by the Labour government. It had to 'overcome' a debt of 10 million while forking out more money on a private finance (PFI) deal to build a new entrance.

This was paid for with 160 job losses in 2006 on top of the 100 that had already been cut. But this 'successful' outcome for the Labour government and financial rulers proved to be a disaster for many patients.

Stafford Hospital is also 'saving' money by keeping its A&E closed at night and encouraging people to travel to the University Hospital of North Staffs which is between 40 minutes and an hour away.

Over 200 people signed our petition in just two hours, incensed at the way nurses, doctors and other hard-working staff at the hospital are being pilloried in the press and elsewhere.

TUSC in Stafford will be standing at least four candidates in May's local elections: Jim Reading, a teacher and NUT rep at a Stafford school, John, a Stafford NHS employee, Stafford disability activist Josie, and Scott Wilson, an ex-Labour Stafford councillor.

We will be standing against government and council cuts and privatisation, but also to defend Stafford hospital and its hard-working staff.

We will be fighting for:

If you are interested in standing in Stafford as a TUSC candidate, want to help our campaign or just find out more call/text 07845 893 607.

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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 20 February 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Toxic Tories - Time to fight their cuts and lies

Government on the back foot after workfare ruling

Stop social cleansing: Cap rents, not benefits

Food adulteration - government cutbacks and capitalist profits

Self-regulation: 'Like having the burglars install your locks'

Bosses take tax liberties

Action needed to end caste discrimination

Free trade agreement means NHS privatisation

Them & Us


Southampton feature

Fighting for a real alternative to cuts

Councillors' contempt exposed


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Democratic Socialist Movement conference

Kazakhstan: Vadim Kuramshin faces 12-year jail sentence after appeal denied


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS branch supports 24-hour general strike call

Prison officers protest outside parliament

No pay cuts at Thera!

Tyne & Wear metro cleaners up the ante

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Cuts, PFI and big business to blame

Coventry: 'We need to fight now to save our services'

Getting organised can change things for low-paid workers

Caerphilly says 'bring back our A&E!'

Save our Services demo in Newcastle attracts 3,000

Carlisle: Demands to 'tax the rich' hit a nerve

London NHS

Socialist Students holds first North West conference

Nepal: The forgotten revolution

Socialist Party campaigning news


Socialist Party review

Review: "It's time to take over the banks"


 

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Related links:

PFI:

triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

triangleNorthern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

triangle300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

triangleNon-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

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Hospital:

triangleSick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleHillingdon Hospital corona outbreak: workforce not to blame

triangleHomerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions

Cuts:

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

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triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

Big business:

triangleTesting: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

NHS:

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Labour:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

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