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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2008

Cambridge:

Fighting back and building a demo

HEALTH ACTIVISTS, trade unionists and campaigners met in Cambridge recently to re-launch the local Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) branch. The main issue was the possible closure or outsourcing of wards at Brookfields Hospital.

Steve Sweeney

Other areas under threat include the Drug Rehabilitation service, Supported Living and the laundry service at Addenbrooke's, all of which face being taken over by the private sector whose main priority will be its shareholders, not the service users.

Cambridge has already seen savage cuts in mental health services with a quarter of 'elderly mentally ill' beds and a third of acute adult inpatient beds closed in 2006.

KONP, trade unions and local groups opposed this, culminating in a demonstration of 500 people marching through the city, the largest in Cambridge for 20 years.

The group agreed to make a written response to the consultation document and print postcards to be distributed for the public to send to the Primary Care Trust calling for Brookfields to remain a fully funded, publicly owned, democratically run NHS hospital.

A demonstration has been called for 5 April, two days before the PCT decision on Brookfields' future is announced.

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