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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 March 2018

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened

NHS photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Ion, PCS Associate and Retired Members

There was a great turnout on Saturday 10 March when over 200 people rallied in support of the community based campaign to demand the full re-opening of Chorley and South Ribble A&E department.

This was the 100th week of protest and community groups, alongside a cavalcade of motorcyclists, and local Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle gave support.

Hands Off Huddersfield Royal Infirmary campaigner and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition council candidate in the May council elections, Nicola Jackson, also spoke in solidarity.

The protest was also supported by the North West Trade Union Congress, the PCS civil servants' union, Unite, Unison and Usdaw trade unions, and the North West Regional Pensioners Association.

The A&E was closed in April 2016 and downgraded to an urgent care centre. The NHS trust's decision was slammed as "unacceptable" in a Lancashire county council report and there have been protests ever since.

Due to the pressure of the campaign the A&E was reopened in 2017 alongside the care centre but only part-time, from 8am to 8pm.

A night walk-in centre has been opened but the clinical commissioning group awarded the 'preferred bid' to a private company, Go To Doc.

Sales of the Socialist went well and the Socialist Party's campaigning strategy of opposition to cuts and privatisation, and for a trade union-led national demo and campaign to save the NHS, was also well received.

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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 14 March 2018:


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