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Victory for Sheffield Save Our NHS
On 20 September, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) agreed to keep the minor injuries unit, walk-in centre and eye centre in their present form for at least another two years. This was welcomed as a victory by Sheffield Save Our NHS (SSONHS) and all those who had fought the original CCG proposals.
Over the last few years the campaign has consistently been asking questions about the urgent care strategy. Last October we challenged the methods of consultation and helped influence an extension to four months. We then campaigned both publicly and in detail against the proposals as they stood. We lobbied numerous CCG meetings, asked questions, and held the NHS to account.
"Our supporters have handed in over 23,000 petition signatures, collected on street stalls week in and week out" said Mick Suter (SSONHS chair and Socialist Party member). He continued: "We have organised rallies, a demonstration, and lobbied the political parties and community organisations to build opposition and support the retaining of these NHS services.
"Our campaign was successful because we did not accept the closures, we were prepared to fight. We gave leadership and hope to local people unlike others, particularly councillors and MPs who too often go along with cuts because they see no alternative. Our mantra was 'if you fight you can win'.
"Sheffield Save Our NHS will continue to hold the CCG to account and expect it to listen to local people in any review. We will continue to oppose and fight any future cuts to NHS services".
Sharon, a SSONHS campaigner, said: "Last week, I took my mother to the eye clinic at the Northern General Hospital (NGH).
"It took over one hour on two buses to get there and then we had to walk for over 30 mins inside the hospital to the Huntsman building for another procedure."
NGH is not geared up for the existing patients never mind if 60,000 patients from the walk-in centre had to come to the NGH and 18,000 patients from the minor injuries unit. Sheffield NHS needs local services across the city not just a big super-hospital.
In The Socialist 26 September 2018:
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