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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 May 2006

Wiltshire NHS

Save our community hospitals

FOLLOWING ON from major cut-backs last year, Kennet/West Wiltshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) have announced the future closures of community hospitals in Trowbridge, Warminster, Devizes and probably Melksham and Marlborough.

Roger Davey Senior UNISON steward, Swindon & Wiltshire Health Branch (personal capacity)

Furthermore, they intend to drastically reduce the number of beds in Chippenham and also close two local maternity units in an effort to cut costs. Although management give no figures we believe this dismantling of Wiltshire's NHS will put at least 300 to 400 jobs at risk of redundancy.

As in the rest of the country, this ruthless reduction in hospital beds will mean that patients who should be cared for in hospital will now be dumped at home, over-reliant on overstretched privatised community nursing teams, friends and relatives or inappropriately placed in private nursing homes.

Moreover these patients will have to pay for treatment which is described as personal care - a definition which under this government is increasingly including what most people would consider as nursing care.

These attacks on the NHS are part of the drive towards privatisation which is reflected in the way the PCT intends to provide community care. At present, they are encouraging nurses and other medical staff to form 'social enterprises', in other words private businesses, to compete for PCT contracts. It's a move that will inevitably lead to the domination of community care by ruthless global corporations.

In response to these dire proposals we in UNISON have held meetings in all the affected hospitals and, with enthusiastic support from members, have begun a campaign of resistance across Wiltshire. However, if our campaign is ultimately to succeed and the NHS saved we need a national day of action with support given to regional industrial action.

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The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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In The Socialist 25 May 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stand up to NHS cuts!

Save our community hospitals


Education

Education bill - Labour depends on Tory support

Teachers call for action


Environment: Nuclear power

Say no to nuclear power


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Step up the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


London

The political landscape in London after the local elections


Northern Ireland

Unite against sectarianism in Northern ireland

Bobby Sands Nothing but an Unfinished Song


Socialist Party workplace news

Postal workers call for action

NATFHE demand pay justice


International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: 'War' erupts in So Paulo

Appeal for solidarity with Venezuelan workers


 

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Related links:

Hospitals:

triangleDispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

triangleUS private healthcare system in meltdown

triangleDispatches from the front: NHS staff say give us PPE, not medals!

triangleNHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

triangleSave the NHS: kick out the Tories

Wiltshire:

triangleSalisbury welcomes Socialist campaigners

triangleHonda bosses confirm closure: Unite must signal it will fight

triangleCampaign launched against downbanding in Swindon

triangleAction across the country - fighting all council cuts

NHS:

triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

Hospital:

triangleAdding demands to the weekly claps

triangleISS workers' pay victory

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