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East Mids heart unit under threat
Protest and strike to save our NHS
Join the national demo on 18 March
Steve Score, Leicester
Glenfield congenital heart centre in Leicester saves children's lives. No wonder there is so much anger at NHS England's threat to stop children's heart surgery there. It is the only place in the whole of the East Midlands that carries out these operations.
My son was one of 332 children who had heart surgery there last year. Yet NHS England's main reason for ending this surgery is that they now require 375 operations a year.
They ignore the fact that Glenfield is increasing its capacity and is likely to meet that arbitrary target soon anyway, and the fact that it has been praised for its "excellent outcomes".
The closure plan has been strongly opposed by patients' families and campaigners. The campaign has also been backed by Unite the union regionally, the Midlands TUC, as well as local trades councils and union branches. A combined total of 60,000 people have so far signed either the online petition or a paper version.
If NHS England's arguments don't add up, what are the real motives? They deny it's about money. But is it a coincidence that this is happening at the same time as the government demands £22 billion in 'efficiency savings' - cuts - from the NHS?
Many local campaigns are springing up to save NHS services and hospitals. We need to pull these all together and it needs union backing. Let's unite to stop the Tories taking the heart out of the NHS!
- Saturday 29 October
- Assemble Victoria Park, Leicester from 11am
- Ending in a rally in Jubilee Square at around 1pm
Re-open Grantham A&E
Gary Freeman, Unison health service group executive member for East Midlands (personal capacity)
The closure of Grantham Hospital's night-time Accident and Emergency service was supposedly for three months. But as predicted by campaigners, there are now rumours of a further extension of this.
There has been huge public opposition to this closure, with weekly protests. 3,000 people marched through the town in September.
The nearest A&E department is 25 miles away. Lincolnshire is a large rural county with poor transport links. Time lost means lives at risk.
Campaigners believe there has been a deliberate attempt by the trust to underestimate the needs and usage at Grantham A&E to justify its closure.
It is also happening against the backdrop of new NHS cuts in the government's 'Sustainability and Transformation Plans'.
- Join the protest Saturday 29 October, 11am at St Peters Hill, Grantham
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041