Socialist Worker

From Wales to London - rally to stop NHS cuts

by Sarah Ensor
Issue No. 2341

Rallying to defend the NHS in Kingston, west London, on Saturday of last week  (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

Rallying to defend the NHS in Kingston, west London, on Saturday of last week (Pic: Raymie Kiernan)

Campaigners held protests, rallies and marches around Britain last week against cuts and closures in the health service.

Over 600 angry local people and trade unionists met to save the Whittington Hospital in north London.

NHS managers at the Whittington plan to sell off £17 million of buildings and sack 570 staff.

Shirley Franklin, joint chair of the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, told Socialist Worker, “We’ve had a phenomenal response. When people’s health facilities are assaulted they are anxious and angry.”

The board admits to paying Unipart consultants at least £500,000 to cut costs.

A consultant at the campaign meeting said that all the staff are needed to guarantee patient safety and that if the cuts happened it could cause another Mid Staffordshire disaster.

Over 200 people marched in Kingston, west London last Saturday against local hospital cuts. Two A&Es and two maternity wards are set to close.

Children’s wards are in the area are also threatened.

The mother of a disabled child told Socialist Worker, “Every week the NHS saves my son’s life.


“If it gets closed, the result is going to be the deaths of children. This government should hang their heads in shame.”

In Ealing and Hammersmith hundreds rallied and marched against the cuts to North West London NHS.

Ealing trades council secretary Eve Turner said, “Selling off services to the lowest bidder will just lead to cuts and poor quality care.

“When will the health minister listen to the voice of the people?”

NHS bosses have revealed that Ealing, Hammersmith, Charing Cross and Central Middlesex A&Es will close.

About 800 people marched against the closure of Blaenau Ffestiniog hospital in Gwynedd, north Wales, on Saturday of last week. It was one of the biggest protests the town has ever seen.

The Betsi Cadwaladr university health board has announced the closure of four community hospitals.

They also plan to transfer care for seriously ill babies to England.

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Article information

Tue 19 Feb 2013, 16:26 GMT
Issue No. 2341
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