Socialist Worker

Whipps Cross Hospital care scare is cover for deeper cuts

by Jim Fagan
Issue No. 2367

A highly critical report on Whipps Cross hospital in east London from the Care Quality Commission received widespread coverage last week.

It found poor care and hygiene on maternity wards and across the hospital.

It focused the blame on staff. But the recent Berwick Report on Patient Safety told a different story.

It said that systems, environment and constraints put on staff led to poor care. It emphasised that staffing levels are critical to patient safety. 

In other words cuts, not workers, are to blame.

Whipps Cross has a shortage of midwives. Bosses have slashed jobs and forced staff to compete.

The hospital is part of Barts Health Trust. Staff face even more cuts because of its £1 billion debt for the privately financed Royal London Hospital.

Over 100 staff expressed their anger at a briefing earlier this month. Cuts could threaten the long term future of Whipps Cross.

Staff are also angry that Bart’s bosses are going ahead with a disciplinary hearing against Charlotte Monro, relating to her activities as Unison branch chair. 

The Unison branch plans to hold a protest at Whipps Cross hospital on 16 September and a demonstration on the 21 September. 

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Tue 20 Aug 2013, 17:49 BST
Issue No. 2367
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