West London health bosses face calls to resign after regulators rejected their blueprint for cuts last month.
Ealing clinical commissioning group (CCG) has been slashing services for six years through its “Shaping a Healthier Future” plan. This meant axing local services such as Ealing Hospital’s A&E, supposedly to “centralise” services at West Middlesex Hospital and rely more on primary care.
But government cuts have decimated primary care. And now the regulator NHS Improvement has rejected the £500 million “business plan” for expansion at West Middlesex.
Eric Leach is part of the Ealing Save Our NHS campaign. “This is the biggest victory for us in five years,” he told Socialist Worker.
“We’ve seen the downgrading of the accident and emergency and maternity service and loss of beds. But this throws the whole thing into disarray.”
The bosses’ version of centralisation always meant wholesale cuts. Now it has hit a major roadblock.
Eric said, “They’ve got away with this with smiling faces on £110,000 a year—now we want resignations.”
The Tories aim to slash £22 billion from the NHS by 2020?21, but they face resistance.
Some 400 campaigners joined the Health Campaigns Together (HCT) conference in London last Saturday.
It heard from local victories such as the campaign to defend the A&E in Southend in Essex.
Other workshops discussed the racist discrimination against migrants under new NHS rules, and how to link the fights over pay and cuts.
Some activists are pushing for a national demonstration to build on the success of last year’s 200,000-strong HCT and People’s Assembly march.
It will take a fight from below, not just waiting for a Labour government, to defend the NHS.