Socialist Worker

Downbanding at Barts NHS trust threatens access to health service

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2399

Workers who provide vital language, cultural and religious services in the NHS in Tower Hamlets, east London are under attack from bosses at Barts Health, Britain’s largest NHS trust.

It plans to downband advocacy workers from band five pay and skills scale to band four. One role of the advocacy workers is to help people whose first language isn’t English get access to care.

“This is a major attack on gains we have made over the years to get better access to health in the borough,” a Tower Hamlets GP told Socialist Worker.

“There aren’t nearly enough advocacy workers as it is, fewer is going to make it very difficult. People are going to turn up and get sent home without help.”

A community-led campaign which involves local GPs was set to launch at a meeting on Wednesday this week at 6pm at the Jagonari centre in Whitechapel.

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