Save our NHS?

From the Anarchist Communist Group

Healthcare in the UK is by no means “socialised”, as critics in the US claim. Though healthcare in the UK is undoubtedly better than healthcare in the US – just as other countries have better healthcare than the UK – it is still subject to the pressures and dynamics of capitalism, existing as it does in a capitalist society. It has also been increasingly marketised over recent decades, with attacks on both social provision and NHS workers coming under the cover of “privatisation” – the introduction of payment by results has introduced a market in health services, many non-frontline services have been privatised or contracted to companies like DHL, the introduction of wholly privately owned and operated “NHS treatment centres”, the rollout of Private Finance Initiatives etc all represent part of the same project of “rationalising” social provisions to the benefit of the overall capitalist system. Even the NHS in its classic form, as the centrepiece of the post-war welfare state, came as part of the attempt to stave off prewar-style class conflict and integrate the working class more closely into the state following the end of the war, and to provide a healthy working class that could fight and die for the bosses in their wars (our masters struggled to find enough fit cannon fodder for their First World War) and healthy enough to slave for their profits in paid jobs, and in unpaid childcare and housework, as well as from the needs for capitalism to stabilise itself after the turbulence of the 1920s, in a change of tactic well-known as the post-war settlement.

See here for the full article.

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Save Southend NHS march and rally – it’s happening this weekend!

We’ve put up a fair few posts sourced from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SaveSouthendNHS/ – which detail the threats posed to NHS services in the region. If people don’t unite to fight against these threats, cuts in the name of ‘rationalisation’ are inevitable. What will also be inevitable will be the acceleration of the privatisation of the NHS and the beginning of the end of free at the point of use health care.

The march and rally on Saturday has two aims – to make the public aware of the extent of the threats posed to the NHS services we rely on and to build a campaign that will stop those threats. If you’re an activist anywhere in south east / mid Essex, you need to be on this march and rally offering your solidarity. If you’re a member of the public who’s concerned about the future of the NHS, please come along to this event to find out more about the threats and join in the campaign to stop them.

To make sure the message that this march and rally needs the support of everyone in the region who can get along to it, we’re leaving this post at the top of this blog and won’t be posting again until it’s over – that’s how vital we think this event is…

Rally! SaveSouthendNHS

This is an event on the SaveSouthendNHS Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/events/1623010841098058/permalink/1623012334431242/ We’ll be attending this in solidarity. As the aim is to raise awareness among the public about the ongoing threat to NHS services in the area, there will be plenty of flyers explaining that to be handed out. We’ll be joining in with handing these flyers out. We won’t be handing out copies of The Stirrer until the end of the rally at the Odeon concourse when people start to leave. We hope that other political groups attending this event will do the same…

Saturday January 27th 2018 – Assemble 12noon onwards at Pier Hill and walk to the Odeon concourse for a rally

SaveSouthendNHS shall be hosting another Southend town centre rally – meeting at the top of Pier Hill and walking to The Odeon concourse where there will be speakers, petitions and public consultation information. This is not just pointless, shouty placard waving, our aim is to ensure the whole community are aware of the public consultation and what the proposed changes will mean for our local hospital and community NHS services and to inform you of the good, the bad and the ugly parts in it all.

This Mid and South Essex STP (formerly known as Success Regime – they dropped that title – we wonder why…) intends to achieve cuts of £30 million in Southend alone, year on year.

Many of their plans are based on significant improvements to community health services (Primary Care) which in turn will achieve hospital admission avoidance, according to them. However…..

There are no published detailed plans or investment to achieve this.
Southend has 2nd highest number of GP vacancies and 2nd highest number of likely retiring GP’s in the next 5 years.

The new medical school at Anglia Ruskin University doesn’t even open until next year and then it will take a long time to get trainees through.

There is a general NHS recruitment and training crisis both locally and country wide.

Applicants to nursing and allied health professions have significantly dropped due to the removal of the training bursary.

We say – get the foundations RIGHT before you tamper with our acute (hospital) services. Three of the CCG GP Chairs abstained from the vote to go ahead with the proposals.

STP proposals WILL affect where you are to be treated when you have significant complex health needs or require emergency surgery. Critically ill patients will be transferred to Basildon or Broomfield hospitals to ‘specialist units’. Whilst we aren’t against specialising care if the patient outcome is proven to be better, we already know that some of the patient groups would not be fit/well enough to endure a long and risky ambulance journey – and whilst we are on the subject, the STP have only offered wooly claims that an ‘in house specialist transfer service’ will be provided yet not given details on how it will be staffed (in an already understaffed health economy). Will your relative be stranded at Southend Hospital, acutely ill and awaiting transfer for their ‘specialist care’???

Southend Hospital is set to be designated for elective (planned) surgery and cancer care – this is a DOWNGRADE to our current provision of general hospital care and specialities available. We are a ever expanding town with an international airport, university and thriving tourist industry – we deserve investment, improvement and EXPANSION of our hospital.

As always, we are fighting to ensure that these cuts do not cost lives and that ANY changes are backed fully by the clinicians from the specialities affected (and not just by the ones on the STP payroll). Let’s send a strong and clear message to the Mid and South Essex STP that we REFUSE to be part of a NHS postcode lottery for care.

The same as our A&E rally last year – this is a peaceful, family friendly, whole community event where EVERYONE is welcome.

Ensuring a huge public response to the consultation is VITAL! Be a part of it. Up and down the country people are fighting for their local NHS – let’s fight for ours.