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.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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“Cost-neutral” clause poisons ACAS formula for junior doctors

Author: 

Dr Pete Campbell

During the past year junior doctors have learnt a lot. From how to organise a picket and deal with the media, to contract law and equality impact assessments.

On Wednesday 18 May, the Government taught us a lesson in media management.

News of the deal at the government arbitration service ACAS broke, and the Government was able to shape the story. “The war is over”, “the deal is done”, “BMA agrees terms with NHS Employers”.
It left a lot of junior doctors scratching their heads. Was that it? Had we just lost?

On Wednesday 18 May, the Government taught junior doctors a lesson in media management.

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Cuts are undermining NHS

Author: 

Editorial

NHS trusts in England trusts ran up a record deficit of £2.45 billion in the year 2014-15, according to figures released on 20 May.

And the deficits are rising. The Government’s projections admit that health care costs will rise: from a little over £100 billion in 2015, they reckon, by a further £30 billion.
But funding will rise only £10 billion. The other £20 billion is supposed to come from “productivity savings.”

NHS trusts in England trusts ran up a record deficit of £2.45 billion in 2014-15.

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Junior doctors in contract talks

Author: 

Gemma Short

Talks between the Department of Health, NHS employers and junior doctors representatives have restarted. The talks, offered by a Health Secretary who has up until now been resolutely refusing to talk, will happen over five days, ending on Friday 13 May. For the period of the talks the government has agreed to pause the imposition of the junior doctors contract. The fact that the talks are happening shows the Health Secretary feels unable to face down the mounting pressure on him.

Talks between the Department of Health, NHS employers and junior doctors representatives have restarted.

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A failed attempt to silence

Author: 

Martin Thomas

On Wednesday 4 May the government sacked Natasha Devon from her unpaid post as mental health champion for schools. Evidently it concluded that the parents protest the day before against excessive testing, when thousands kept Year 2 children off school, showed that Devon was having too much effect.

Anxiety is the fastest growing illness in under-21s, and three students in the average school classroom have a diagnosed mental illness.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore, Darren Bedford and Alice Bolton

Train guards on Southern in the RMT union are set for further strikes after talks between RMT and Southern bosses collapsed.

Workers are fighting the extension of “Driver Only Operation”, and resisting the de-skilling of the role of the guard, which the union says will have dire consequences for passenger service and safety on what are already some of Britain’s most overcrowded rail routes.

Southern workers stand firm; blacklisted workers win; ambulance workers to ballot.

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Don’t let the Tories recover!

Author: 

Editorial

A rising mood that cuts are not inevitable, a rising anger against economic inequality, and a rising confidence that alternatives are possible, has damaged the Tories in recent months.

Ian Duncan Smith resigned, demagogically spilling the truth that the Tories have been victimising the worst-off to benefit the rich. That was one of the side-products of the Tories’ splits over Europe, which have seen Tory right-wingers suddenly “discovering” that the NHS is underfunded and suggesting Britain’s EU budget contributions could fill the gap.

A rising mood that cuts are not inevitable, a rising anger against economic inequality, and a rising confidence that alternatives are possible, has damaged the Tories in recent months.

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Keep faith in our solidarity

Author: 

Peter Campbell, BMA Junior Doctors Committee, personal capacity

Turnout in the latest round of strike action by junior doctors (26-27 April) was an estimated 78%.

Considering that around 80% of junior doctors are BMA members and that doctors on maternity leave, sick leave and those working nights won’t be included, this is an incredible turnout. Junior doctors are growing in confidence, our placards are improving and we are getting better at picketing effectively. Public support remains strong and more blame the government for this dispute than they did in January.

Turnout in the latest round of strike action by junior doctors (26-27 April) was an estimated 78%.

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Support junior doctors!

Author: 

Gerry Bates

As Solidarity goes to press on Tuesday 26 April junior doctors are starting a two-day, all-out strike with no emergency-cover.

The strike is an escalation from previous strikes by junior doctors where they have provided emergency-cover. In these strikes it will be up to hospital managements to ensure that hospitals are safe and move consultants from other duties into emergency-care roles. This will cause delays to elective procedures that consultants would otherwise have been carrying out.

The government has given its clearest sign yet that it sees the junior doctors' dispute as a fight over the future of their austerity plans.

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Listen to junior doctors, Heidi!

Author: 

Gemma Short

Instead of joining the junior doctors picket lines and backing the strike like junior doctors and Labour members have asked her to, Labour′s Shadow Health Secretary appears to have been spending her time organising a cross-party letter to Jeremy Hunt calling for a trial imposition of the contract.

Why Labour Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander is wrong to propose trial run of junior doctors contract.

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