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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2007

Defend Newcastle General Hospital

Fight Tesco's plans

Keep big business out of our NHS

IN NEWCASTLE, proposals have been put forward to close the General Hospital (NGH) and build a Tesco store on the site. If these plans go ahead it will mean axing the hospital's accident and emergency department, cancer and children's services. The response of local people is 'we want our hospital not another bloody Tesco store!'

Elaine Brunskill, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The plans are being put forward as a foregone conclusion as building work has already started at the city's Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital - but when was the consultation on the impact this would have on services at the NGH?

Alongside worries regarding the closure of the hospital many local people are also worried about the impact on the variety of small businesses in the locality.

For many local residents in Newcastle the first they heard of proposals to close the NGH was when glossy Tesco/NHS literature came through their door inviting them to a public exhibition - everyone we spoke to said they didn't receive the invite until the final days of the exhibition.

To sugar the pill of closing the hospital the Tesco/NHS leaflet's proposals also include a walk-in medical care centre, a science park and an institute for ageing and health.

We went along to the exhibition which was described as an 'informal consultation'. Alongside other local residents we wanted to know who would own the buildings of the institute and science park, but MDA a public relations company who were running the exhibition told us: "It's not entirely clear who will own the buildings." Then added it would 'probably be Tesco'.

Asked whether all NHS staff would be redeployed MDA public relations consultants admitted they didn't have that much information.

MDA public relations also declined to tell us how much they were being paid for not having all the information. However at nearby Sunderland's General Hospital business consultants, PriceWaterhouseCoopers received 250,000 for their part in a 'cost cutting exercise' to axe 500 jobs.

The response in Newcastle to the proposed demolition of the General Hospital and building of a Tesco store has been overwhelming. People queued to sign our petition opposing the plans and agreed a united campaign including hospital staff, service users and the local community is needed.


It's not too late to save the General Hospital!

Come along to our Public Meeting
Thursday 13 September,7-30pm,
Grainger Social Club, 6 Graingerville South, Westgate Road, Newcastle.

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In The Socialist 6 September 2007:

Strike against public sector pay cap

Prison officers defy government's pay cap

Prison Officers' strike reports


Socialist Party workplace news

Strikers solid in London tubes stoppage

Swansea: Visteon strike threat brings concessions


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend Newcastle General Hospital

Sheffield Northern General Hospital bulk stores strike


Trades Union Congress

TUC conference resolutions need to lead to action

TUC conference fringe meeting


Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007 - a weekend of discussion and debate, hosted by the Socialist Party


Socialist Party news and analysis

Horror and heartbreak in Croxteth - What is the cause? What is the answer?

Massive deprivation in Norris Green, Liverpool


Socialist Party policy

The growing wealth gap


Education

Cardiff: More schools fight closures programme


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'Agitate, educate, organise': the role of the workers' press


International socialist news and analysis

Greece is burning


Workplace news and analysis

Belfast Airport workers score a victory

Unison witch-hunt

Plymouth dockyard


Socialist Party reviews

Fela Kuti, revolutionary musician

'Holding Fire' by Jack Shepherd

Save the 'Westie' in Aldershot


 

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NHS:

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