NHS and health

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Click here to download article as pdf.

Click here to download the pdf

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Save Stafford Hospital camp

Around 40 people have set up camp outside Stafford Hospital in protest at plans to downgrade the services there. Accident and emergency, paediatrics and maternity ward are all set to be scrapped. If the changes go ahead, locals would be forced to travel all the way to Stoke or Wolverhampton in the event of a medical emergency.

Around 40 people have set up camp outside Stafford Hospital in protest at plans to downgrade the services there

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Unison to discuss pay fight

Author: 

Dave Pannett

After just a single day’s strike over pay by workers local government, education, and the civil service, the press and the Tories are on the offensive against unions, highlighting the low turnouts in ballots, and pushing for new anti-union legislation.

The pay fight in local government and the NHS.

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Health workers to ballot for strikes: unions must coordinate the action!

Public sector union Unison has confirmed it will ballot its 300,000 health sector members from 28 August to 18 September for strikes against the “1% or increment” offer from the employers (which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes is already too high!). Unite, GMB, and the Royal College of Midwives have also announced they will ballot for strikes.

Public sector union Unison has confirmed it will ballot its 300,000 health sector members from 28 August to 18 September for strikes against the “1% or increment” offer from the employers (which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes is already too high!). Unite, GMB, and the Royal College of Midwives have also announced they will ballot for strikes.

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FGM still increasing

On 3 July a parliamentary committee reported that “Female genital mutilation is an ongoing national scandal which is likely to have resulted in the preventable mutilation of thousands of girls to whom the state owed a duty of care”.

There has long been law against doctors and parents who are party to mutilation of young girls’ genitals. But the committee still found a “growing prevalence of FGM”.

Its recommendations include:

According to a parliamentary committee, “Female genital mutilation is an ongoing national scandal which is likely to have resulted in the preventable mutilation of thousands of girls to whom the state owed a duty of care”.

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Victory for Lifeworks!

Service users protesting at the closure of a mental health drop in centre have had a victory after four months in occupation.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust had previously tried to close the Lifeworks centre in favour of a countywide service, which would force all patients back to their GP and through a series of assessments without any support available.

Management have agreed to keep the Lifeworks centre open for five years, with hospital transport for those that require it and the open clinic being open two days a week.

Service users protesting at the closure of a mental health drop in centre have had a victory after four months in occupation.

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Lewisham Hospital Worker #43 — 24 June 2014

A workplace bulletin by Lewisham Hospital workers, for Lewisham Hospital workers.

Click here to download the PDF.

A workplace bulletin by Lewisham Hospital workers, for Lewisham Hospital workers.

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Tens of thousands join anti-cuts demo

Tens of thousands, carrying hundreds of union banners, joined the anti-cuts march in London on 21 June called by the People's Assembly.

Tens of thousands, carrying hundreds of union banners, joined the anti-cuts march in London on 21 June called by the People's Assembly.

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Lifeworks occupation continues

The closure of the Cambridgeshire Complex Cases Service could mean the different between life and death for some people.

The campaign to reopen the Cambridgeshire Complex Cases service, 'Lifeworks', which was shut down on the basis of funding cuts without any due process, continues. The importance of the service to the community, supporting some of the most vulnerable people in the Cambridgeshire area cannot be overstated. For people with conditions such a Borderline Personality Disorder it can mean the difference between life or death.

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"No" to Agenda for Change (2004)

The Health Service Group Executive of the public-service workers' union Unison voted on 8 September to recommend "Yes" to Agenda for Change.

The Health Service Group Executive of the public-service workers' union Unison voted on 8 September to recommend "Yes" to Agenda for Change. The recommendation goes to a special conference of the health sector of Unison in London on 7 October. Agenda for Change is the government's proposal to restructure health-service pay. It would cut pay rates for a sizeable proportion of posts, and bring in longer working hours for a number of health service workers. Rank and file activists in the Unison health sector have issued a "vote no" leaflet under the banner of the paperHealthworker.

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Re-start the pensions fight; save the NHS - AWL UNISON activists' bulletin, June 2006

The first-ever issue of an activists' bulletin for UNISON members produced by AWL UNISON members is now available. Covering the latest developments in the local government pension scheme campaign, and the urgent need for UNISON members to organise to defend the NHS, it is essential reading for UNISON members.

The first-ever issue of an activists' bulletin for UNISON members produced by AWL UNISON members is now available. Covering the latest developments in the local government pension scheme campaign, and the urgent need for UNISON members to organise to defend the NHS, it is essential reading for UNISON members.

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Step up the fight to save the NHS / vote no to pensions deal

A leaflet produced by AWL healthworkers for the NHS Together / TUC lobby of parliament on November 1st, 2006.

A leaflet produced by AWL healthworkers for the NHS Together / TUC lobby of parliament on November 1st, 2006.

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Vote for a union that fights back

Supporters of Solidarity in the health service group of UNISON have produced this leaflet to promote four candidates in the current (2007) round of elections to the National Executive Committee: Kate Ahrens, Alison Brown, Paul Harper and Len Hockey are standing for the four health seats on the NEC. Please download and distribute this leaflet.

Supporters of Solidarity in the health service group of UNISON have produced this leaflet to promote four candidates in the current round of elections to the National Executive Committee: Kate Ahrens, Alison Brown, Paul Harper and Len Hockey are standing for the four health seats on the NEC. Please download and distribute this leaflet.

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Labour: rebuild the NHS!

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence watchdog has warned that NHS under-staffing is a threat to patients’ safety, and is calling for a 1:8 ratio of nurses to patients.

According to Nice’s “report found understaffing at Stafford hospital, caused by cost-cutting by the trust, had contributed directly to what a previous official inquiry called ‘ appalling care’ which led to patients dying and suffering serious harm.”

Unions and health campaigners should pressure Labour to commit to rebuild the health service, with funding for nurses based on patients’ needs.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Occupied to save the NHS!

The Lifeworks centre, an open clinic service in Cambridge for people who suffer with personality disorders, is being threatened with closure. Patients have been occupying the centre for eight weeks to stop it from closing.

Lifeworks is part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust’s (CPFT) Complex Case Service. It is a community service which people can use as and when they need to. Lifeworks focuses on improving social functioning and getting people reintegrated into society.

The Lifeworks centre, an open clinic service in Cambridge for people who suffer with personality disorders, is being threatened with closure. Patients have been occupying the centre for eight weeks to stop it from closing.

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The new privatisation

Social Finance and Social Impact Bonds are becoming a popular idea for public sector funding.

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs sometimes called Payments for Success Bonds) began under the Labour government in 2010. Private investors lend the public sector money to meet certain social “benefits” or targets. Investing in social projects for profit is led in the UK by Social Finance UK. (Its sister organisation in the US is Social Finance US).

Social Finance and Social Impact Bonds are becoming a popular idea for public sector funding.

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Behind the Blairite “business agenda”

Alan Milburn was once a Trotskyist who co-ran a small left-wing bookshop in Newcastle, Days of Hope (aka Haze of Dope).

What lies behind Alan Milburn's call for Labour “to embrace an avowedly pro-business agenda and match it with a more overtly pro-business tone”?

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Ealing hospital workers' seven-day strike

Outsourced health workers at Ealing Hospital in West London struck for seven days from Friday 14 March.

They are currently paid £6.31 an hour, 44% less than the lowest-paid directly-employed NHS staff. The workers are employed by Medirest, an outsourcing company which provides domestics, porters, catering workers, and other staff services. They are members of the GMB union, and have already struck for four days since the start of 2014.

Outsourced health workers at Ealing Hospital in West London struck for seven days from Friday 14 March.

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Stop starving the NHS!

The new pay settlement in the health service has denied 615,000 NHS staff a 1% pay rise this year. They will receive their usual annual increments in 2014-15 but nothing else.

A further 550,000 staff will get a 1% rise for each of the next two years but as monthly additional payments alongside their salary.

This game of Tory divide and rule is estimated to save just £200 million from the NHS budget this year. Its real intention is to further attack the pay and conditions of NHS workers.

The NHS is slowing being starved to death by combined process of cuts, reforms and privatisations.

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NHS pay fight

The government have continued their attacks on the NHS by announcing a zero cost-of-living pay rise for the majority of health workers and a meagre 1% only for those on the top of their pay band.

Even this 1% only applies to basic pay, not unsocial hours or overtime payments. Health workers have endured many years of zero or less than inflation pay rises, leaving all ordinary health workers struggling and poverty pay a reality for many.

The government have continued their attacks on the NHS by announcing a zero cost-of-living pay rise for the majority of health workers and a meagre 1% only for those on the top of their pay band.

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Government wins on hospital closure law

Two protests in defence of the NHS took place outside Parliament on 10 and 11 March to coincide with a parliamentary debate on the Care Bill, clause 119 of which gives sweeping powers to close hospitals without full local consultation.

At the last stage in the Parliamentary process, the government won, with a vote of 288 to 241.

Two protests in defence of the NHS took place outside Parliament on 10 and 11 March to coincide with a parliamentary debate on the Care Bill, clause 119 of which gives sweeping powers to close hospitals without full local consultation.

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Defend mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk

On Saturday 1 March over thirty trade unionists, campaigners and activists demonstrated outside Hellesdon Hospital, a low-security mental health hospital in Norwich.

The demonstration was in support of a continuing campaign to defend jobs and services which has united staff, patients, relatives, community groups and Trade Unions, and won support from UNISON, Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts, Left Unity, the People's Assembly and the Green Party.

Trade unionists demonstrate against mental health cuts in Norwich.

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