Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 November 2014

Hands off our NHS

cartoon by Alan Hardman

cartoon by Alan Hardman   (Click to enlarge)

The deepening staffing and funding crisis in the National Health Service (NHS) is causing hospital Accident and Emergency departments (A&Es) to be stretched to breaking point. Yet, as Bob Severn shows in examples from London, hospital trusts in England are being bled dry by for-profit PFI privatisation schemes.

The A&E at Queen's hospital in Romford, east London, is struggling to cope with 120 ambulance calls a day - the highest in the capital. But the NHS trust has a long term solution... close its other hospital!

In 50 of the last 53 months, Queen's has failed to meet NHS treatment time targets. In one week alone, 935 patients waited longer than four hours. But the Barking, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) NHS Trust still plans, with the proviso that Queen's performance 'improves', to close the A&E at its second hospital, King George in Ilford.

Maybe the east London trust should take a hint from west London. A&E delays have rocketed to the worst level in England at Northwick Park and Ealing hospitals following the closure of neighbouring A&Es at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals.

But the closure of King George, signed off by then-health minister Andrew Lansley in 2011, is still set to go ahead - though now delayed beyond 2015 due to the state of Queen's.

Why does King George A&E have to close? Because of the trust's 38 million debt. And where does that debt come from? The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) construction of Queen's in 2004, resulting in the trust paying 20 million a year in interest alone.

PFIs are like taking a mortgage from Wonga. These high-interest schemes were first used under John Major's Tory government in the early 1990s then massively expanded under the Blair and Brown reigns of New Labour.

Total PFI deals in the NHS up to 2012 will, if paid in full, have a total cost of almost 80 billion - 68.4 billion of which is interest. The only people to benefit are the fat cat financiers and corporate bosses.

The BHR trust is also spending 100,000 a week on A&E agency staff. But the Con-Dems have cut NHS and social care staff by 132,000 since 2010, and reduced nurse training places by 7,400. All part of the Con-Dem's 20 billion NHS 'efficiency savings' since 2010. And cuts are set to continue.

East London Socialist Party has long campaigned against the closure of King George A&E - including against two proposals under the Labour government which were beaten by mass opposition and demonstrations. We say: axe PFI, cuts and privatisation, not King George!

We demand:

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 26 November 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

14 day deadline to breadline

Hands off our NHS

Rochester: 'Business as usual' politics falling apart

World economy - heading for the junkyard

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Anger erupts in Ferguson over acquittal of killer cop

Ireland: establishment attacks water tax protests

Anger grows over missing Mexican students

Socialist Party features

Housing crisis! What do socialists say?

Education: "a hurricane of ill thought initiatives"

Socialist Party youth and students

Students march for free education

Victories against sexism in Leeds

Fast Food Rights campaign

Socialist Party workplace news

Health workers walkout in second NHS pay strike

UCU pensions: reinstate the action!

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Are you a socialist?

Council beaten on austerity tax

TUSC says no to cuts in Notts

Way to go, Watford!

Socialist Party reviews and readers' comments

Assassin's Creed Unity

The People Speak: Democracy is not a spectator sport

NHS campaigners must fight all cuts


Home   |   The Socialist 26 November 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleYes to NHS - No to PFI!

triangleNHS Leeds: Campaigners halt outsourcing... for now

triangleBig victory for Wigan NHS strike against privatisation

triangleWelsh Labour NHS hypocrisy at Tredegar rally

triangleNHS at 70: a fight for our lives!


triangleFight to save Devon hospital services

triangleGosport opioid deaths scandal: we need democratic control of our NHS

triangleStop the Tory NHS wreckers

triangleUnison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation


triangle250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

triangleIssue 1000 drive shows sales potential

triangleTories fractured... election possibility... give us the resources!


triangleSheffield tree fellings paused as bully Labour council feels pressure

triangleNHS: public health - not private profit


triangleSave Southall Town Hall legal hearing success

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


Donald Trump

250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump



Britain bakes as water pipelines leak



600 more retail jobs on the line: workers must not pay for the bosses' high street crunch!


Them & Us

Them & Us


Universal Credit

Minister's benefits lie: sack the Tories - and scrap universal credit


The Socialist

Tories in crisis - Act now to get them out!



Walk Out against Trump and Tories



NSSN conference 2018


Public services

Social care funding crisis: no to an age levy - make the super-rich pay


What we saw

What we saw


Them & Us

Them & us



British state complicit in torture and rendition: put Blair and Straw in the dock!



EU lets 200 refugees drown in three days



Tories pledge three-year private tenancies: fight for rent caps and council homes



NHS at 70: a fight for our lives!

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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



Alphabetical listing

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018