Stop NHS Cuts And Privatisation

Submitted by Janine on Mon, 22/01/2007 - 17:08.

From Gill George, Keep Hackney NHS Public

Dear Supporter

Local NHS cuts continue to deepen.

The Homerton Hospital, as part of a £7 million cuts package, has axed 10 maternity beds. In the next round of cuts, it's overwhelmingly likely that midwives will lose their jobs. This is really serious. The Homerton is where most Hackney women have their babies. Cuts on this scale will inevitably mean a worse service for local women.

Some of the cuts at the Homerton Hospital are close to unbelievable. Hospital bosses have decided to save money by rationing supplied of bread and milk provided to patients. This means that women who have just given birth now find they can't even have a cup of tea, because there's no milk left! Nurses are left scrabbling around the hospital to find food for diabetic patients who have hypoglycaemic attacks - because there's no food left on the ward. On the neonatal unit, no food or milk is supplied at all - so mothers who have given birth to critically ill premature babies (and who are often very unwell themselves) sit for hours beside the incubators of their babies without being allowed a cup of tea or coffee.

At the Primary Care Trust in Hackney - the NHS organisation that provides community services like district nursing and health visiting - more budget cuts are on the way. Last year the Primary Care Trust lost over £17 million through a mad Government policy called 'top slicing' - which is a polite word for simple robbery. On 1st April, it's very likely that a further £13 million will go. Health care in East London has always been under-funded compared with more green and leafy areas. It's scandalous that so much money can simply be ripped out of local health care. Privatisation initiatives also continue to escalate, with diagnostic tests in the future set to be provided by big business instead of NHS hospitals. This is on top of all the privatisation that has already taken place.

Things to Do

Come to the Keep Hackney NHS Public stall in the Narrow Way at 1.30 pm on Saturday (meet outside Marks and Spencers). Supporters of the local campaign will be leafleting and petitioning against NHS cuts.

Come to the public meeting against NHS cuts in Hackney. This is at 7pm on Monday 29th January, Hackney Free and Parochial School, Paragon Road (opposite the Town Hall). Speakers include local MP Diane Abbott, national campaigner Geoff Martin, and local speakers from the Homerton Hospital and the Primary Care Trust.