Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/866/21158
Stop NHS cuts
Health trusts told: 'don't fill posts'
Nurses protest on the 20 October 2012 TUC demo, photo Senan
The Tory government claims that NHS spending is protected from its multi-billion pound cuts in public services. However, so-called 'efficiency savings' (ie cuts) of around £30 billion are being pushed through health trusts.
Monitor - the NHS regulator - has now told 46 health trusts in 'deficit' that their spending plans are "unaffordable" and that only 'essential' posts should be staffed. In other words, make more cuts!
David Cameron's insistence on the NHS providing a full service 24/7, without investing extra resources, will only compound the pressures on underpaid and overworked health staff.
Acute nursing shortages are already having a devastating effect on NHS patient care by forcing the closure of wards and beds in hospitals.
Barts health trust (the largest in the country), for example, has been forced to close two theatres and two catheter labs at its new Heart Centre and axe 15% of hospital beds at the Smithfield site after admitting to a shortfall of 120 nurses.
Overall, Barts, which runs five east London hospitals, has nearly 1,200 vacancies - one in five of its nurses and midwives.
This situation is a result of a £93 million deficit caused by a rip-off Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract to redevelop the Royal London Hospital.
This privatisation measure is costing Barts £2 million a week to service, draining it of vitally needed resources.
At the same time the PFI contract has, so far, made the private companies involved £150 million in profit.
PFI was introduced by the Tories but then rapidly expanded by Labour.
The establishment parties can't be trusted to defend our vital health services. All of them have undermined the NHS while private companies benefit.
It's time to kick out these vultures and rebuild the NHS as a fully funded and democratically run health service.
In The Socialist 5 August 2015:
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