Thursday 22nd February
Assemble 5:30 pm Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Torchlit march to St. George's Plateau
being parcelled up and handed to the private sector. In future, that will
mean more expensive and lower quality healthcare as our public money (taxes)
drains into private profits, and commercial confidentiality replaces public
accountability. All of us need and use the NHS. Its future is our concern.
Private Profits: Nationally, the private sector will pocket at least £23 bn
of NHS money in profits - and in interest for the next 30 years - through
the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) hospital building scheme.
Cuts: The Royal had 1000 beds, but its PFI replacement will have only 500.
Four wards have already closed, with some beds transferred to Broadgreen.
Merseycare have recently closed a mental health ward in Fazakerley Hospital
and are planning cuts in community mental health services that would hit
some of the most vulnerable communities.
Private GP's: Maghull residents are up in arms after plans to establish a
privatised GP surgery leaked out last summer. Their campaign has forced
Sefton Primary Care Trust (PCT) to belatedly begin a process of
Private clinics: At the Ropewalks Surgery in Liverpool City Centre, the
ground floor is an NHS GP practice, but the 1st floor is a private clinic
run by Assura Medical who also handled the surgery's building project.
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt recently slipped in for a very quiet
private ceremony at Ropewalks.
Private treatment centres: Local patients needing orthopaedic surgery are
being encouraged to use the private Interhealth Care Services unit on the
Halton Hospital site in Runcorn, rather than the Royal. In Chester, the
local NHS hospital was instructed to claim its waiting lists were at least
12 weeks, so that patients would "choose" Interhealth.
Private hospitals: Lymington New Forest (NHS) Hospital in Hampshire has been
handed over to the private sector in one fell swoop.
Private PCT's: Primary Care Trusts oversee GP surgeries and employ District
Nurses, Specialist Nurses, and Health Visitors. Hillingdon PCT in West
London will be offered up to the private sector as a complete package.
Preparing for Privatisation: Liverpool PCT is considering splitting off its
"provider" arm, which employs the nurses and other community health staff,
to form a new Community Foundation Trust. This umpteenth reorganisation -
which precisely mirrors the Conservative government's purchaser-provider
split of the 1990s - will make a future sell-off that much easier.
Fighting privatisation: Mental health nurses in Manchester are on strike
against cuts and privatisation in mental health services, and have called a
demonstration on Sat. 3rd March as part of a national Day of Action.
Join our torchlit march on Thursday 22nd February and raise your voice in
defence of the NHS.
Keep Our NHS Public!
For more information about how you can get involved email:
KONP Merseyside c/o Sefton TUC, PO Box 55, Liverpool L21 1WA