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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2015

Bromyard Community Hospital victory

Sean McCauley, Worcester Socialist Party

The in-patient unit at Bromyard Community Hospital, which was set to close, has been saved after the Wye Valley NHS Trust board backed down due to pressure from staff and the local community.

A 250-strong public meeting last week was enough to show people's anger at the action of the Trust board. Richard Beeken, the Chief Executive has been humbled and made to backtrack at an incredible speed.

At the meeting he was regularly shown up for what he is; an apologist for the Tory cuts agenda.

Decisions not to use bank and agency staff to cover absence on the ward were as a result of the pressure to make "savings" ie cuts within the Wye Valley NHS Trust.

The parlous state of the finances within the Trust is because of the disastrous Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Mercia Healthcare, which has crippled the NHS here.

Staff once more have stepped in to save services. The reorganisation of rotas and leave have figured highly in the proposals made by staff to management as a way of solving the problem.

The campaign is keen to ensure that any solutions which involve staff should not involve any deterioration in pay and conditions, even in the short term.

This is not over though. Senior management statements have made it clear that they see this only as a temporary fix. They give no guarantees that similar announcements will not be made in the future.

We need to stay vigilant and will continue to ensure that Bromyard Hospital's in-patient ward is kept open and fully staffed for its intended capacity - and for staff to be paid appropriate trade union negotiated compensation for any extra services offered.

We also demand that the Wye Valley NHS Trust's books are opened up to trade union and community campaigners' scrutiny and the PFI contract with Mercia Healthcare is cancelled.

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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 9 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Huge support for Corbyn: now build austerity fightback

Solidarity with refugees - Defend the right to asylum

125,000 renters abused by idle parasite landlords

Heartless Tories chop funds for life-extending cancer drugs

Tories allow bosses to keep exploiting workers at below the minimum wage

Them & Us

Bromyard Community Hospital victory


International socialist news and analysis

Cuba at a crossroads

International news in brief


Socialist Party features

How students can fight debt, cuts and sell-offs

Children suffer as the cuts deepen


Workplace news and analysis

Lobby the trade union leaders this Sunday!

Nominate a fighting socialist for Unison general secretary

Most important TUC Congress for decades

Pizza express tips victory

Buses fightback works in Sheffield

Great support for bus strike

Workplace news in brief

Fight against blacklisting in Liverpool


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Film Review: Stonewall

Why I joined the Socialist Party

"NHS saved my life"


 

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