The NHS special issue of Unity! published by the Communist party is now available for download
Feel free to forward to your contacts and help build support for this week end’s demonstration
and here at issuu
The NHS crisis is upon us. Ministers were warned that without extra cash and resources the winter would bring an avalanche of infections and a hospital-beds crisis.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine warned that A&E departments needed 2,200 more beds – and even before the latest crisis hit, waiting lists had topped four million. Yet the government is driving further cuts in beds while urging hospitals to divert patients into alternative services which barely exist.
Social care is also enduring a cuts-driven crisis, but in Theresa May fumbled cabinet reshuffle she handed social care to her arrogant and serially incompetent health secretary,
Jeremy Hunt. Hospital flu admissions in the first week of 2018 were nearly double the number seen in 2010-11 during the swine-flu epidemic.
After thousands of operations were cancelled Jeremy Hunt claimed to have made the “most extensive preparations ever” for the winter period.
More than 33,000 nurses left the NHS in 2017 – a rise of 20 per cent since 2012-13. A Commons health select committee inquiry into the nursing workforce showed that NHS staff are struggling with poor access to continuing professional development, low pay and “a general sense of not feeling valued”.
Nurses’ pay has fallen by 14 per cent in real terms since 2010, while last year’s abolition of NHS bursaries means nursing students are forced to pay £9,250 in tuition-fee loans.
The NHS in England is facing a new Tory onslaught involving drastic cuts, privatisation and yet another reorganisation. The Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) combined with the Five Year Forward View (5YFV) will speed up privatisation, while driving through £22 billion in cuts.
The Tory plans are nakedly based on the US model where so-called Accountable Care Systems (ACS) control health services and award contracts to profit-making private-sector health and finance firms.
Even the Tory MP who chairs the Commons select committee has called for a delay to the new contract for Accountable Care Organisations. The model contracts propose using the notorious Special Purpose Vehicles – the mechanism which spearheaded private finance initiative (PFI) schemes.
It was the European Union model of privatised public services – driven by the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties – which led to Blair’s ‘New’ Labour vastly expanding PFI. As usual the latest plans are being hatched in secrecy with no consultation of patients or staff.
There is no attempt to base the schemes on clinical evidence. Driven by cuts, the plans will ‘rationalise’ and centralise services and are already leading to closures. For patients the plans mean worsened healthcare, longer waiting lists, delayed operations and a beds shortage which leaves the NHS unable to meet the inevitable winter crises. Health unions warn that the workforce plans will blur professional roles while staff recruitment is frozen. ‘Flexible’ working will mean fewer staff doing more.
Our NHS is not for sale or profit. The Communist Party believes that our NHS must be publicly accountable, publicly funded and publicly run. Communists agree with health professionals that change should always be fully funded, clinically driven and evidence led. #StopSTPs #SaveOurNHS H