Socialists condemn latest hike in hospital parking charges

Socialists condemn latest hike in hospital parking charges

NHS strike 2

Defend the NHS

For the second time in less than a year hospital bosses have decided to increase parking charges at University Hospital in Coventry. The car park is operated by private company ISS, as part of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. These charges are paid by patients and hard-working NHS staff – what PFI really means is Profit From Illness!

The Coventry Telegraph has previously revealed that between 2011 and 2017 the local NHS trust paid over £6 MILLION in subsidies for the car park to ISS – and ISS refused to reveal how much profit they made from the contract. Public money shouldn’t be given to private profiteers – PFI contracts should be ended immediately!

Thousands of people have already signed a petition organised by Coventry Socialist Party and NHS SOS against these outrageous charges.

We say

  • No to PFI car parking charges
  • Time to scrap PFI – no more Profit From Illness
  • The NHS should be brought completely back in to public ownership, under the democratic control of NHS workers, patients and the communities that it serves
  • Get rid of capitalism – the root cause of all attacks on our healthcare system
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Protesters rally in the snow to support the NHS

Protesters rally in the snow to support the NHS

Following from successful movements and protests across the country Coventry Keep Our NHS Public organised a protest to protect our NHS on the 3rd of March. Protestors, including many Socialist Party members, gathered at the walk in centre on Stoney Stanton Rd and marched towards Broadgate – calling on the government to increase NHS funding and to scrap PFI contracts. Despite the cold and snow, there were over 60 in attendance and there was great support from the general public for the campaign, including many NHS workers.

At Broadgate speakers gave rousing speeches on issues affecting the NHS, explaining how the NHS ‘winter crisis’ is a symptom of poor funding and privatisation, and how the Tories deliberately allow this to continue. The rally was chaired by Jane Nellist, president of Coventry TUC. Vicky Horbury, organiser of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign, highlighted how Coventry’s health centre may be under threat, and how important it is to campaign for the NHS in Coventry.

Steve Score spoke about how campaigns against Tory health service cuts are important and how they can succeed. As chair of the successful campaign to Save Glenfield Children’s Heart Centre his insights were inspiring for protesters and set an example for a successful campaign. He argued that going forward there must be a united movement, and also that trade unions should increase their support of the junior doctors’ struggles. Similarly, Dr Louise Irvine, co-chair of Health Campaigns Together, spoke about leading the successful ‘Save Lewisham Hospital’ campaign, emphasising the importance of uniting patients and staff in mass organisation to challenge Tory plans to ‘downgrade’ the hospital. Raising tens of thousands of pounds, the campaign was able to successfully challenge the Tories plans and resulted in a great victory for local people. Both campaigns prove the importance of uniting patients and staff to effectively oppose the Tory cuts and prove that through organisation campaigns can win.

Alistair Smith, Warwick University lecturer in global sustainable development and UCU member, brought solidarity from the UCU amidst their continuing industrial action. He explained how education and health are both core parts of our society and how individualism has been pushed upon us at the expense of the many. The marketisation of health and education in tandem are symptoms of the same Tory ideology that sacrifices principal for profit. It was encouraging for all to see support and unity from wider movements for the NHS.

Dr Louise Irvine and Jane Nellist speaking at the rally

Socialist Party members also ran a stall, distributing leaflets and selling The Socialist newspaper as well the Socialism Today magazine. The amount of interest shown in our literature reflects the public’s appetite to oppose Tory attacks on the NHS, and that socialist ideas are key to this struggle. The Socialist Party will continue to support the Coventry Keep Our NHS Public campaign and to work with them on future events.

 

Coventry meeting to discuss crisis in the NHS on Tuesday 28th Feb

Coventry meeting to discuss crisis in the NHS on Tuesday 28th Feb

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Coventry NHS SOS has organised a meeting to discuss the crisis in the NHS on Tuesday 28th February.  Mike Forster from Health Campaigns Together will be speaking at the meeting, along with student nurse Rachel Jenkins and Petra, a BMA member.

The NHS is under threat from cuts, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and STPs. STP stands for “Sustainability and Transformation Plans”, but in reality what they mean for our NHS is Slashing, Trashing and Privatising our health service. Mike Forster is one of the organisers of the NHS demo on March 4th in London .

The meeting is at 6.30 in the Methodist Central Hall on Tuesday 28th. Everyone welcome – please share!

Date for your diary – national NHS demo March 4th

Date for your diary – national NHS demo March 4th

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Save our NHS

The Tories are stepping up their attacks on the NHS, following their “declaration of war” against junior doctors by enforcing new contracts on them. Further cuts will cause even more damage to our NHS, including locally with the closure of various services at Warwick Hospital and Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital apparently due to be announced shortly.

That’s why a huge fightback is needed, and a crucial part of this is the national “It’s Our NHS” protest in London on March 4th 2017, organised by Health Campaigns Together. Tens of thousands of people have signed our petitions against NHS cuts and hospital car parking charges – we need to keep the pressure up!

Want to come on the demo or help build for it? Let us know!

 

£250m NHS cuts in Nuneaton and Warwick revealed

£250m NHS cuts in Nuneaton and Warwick revealed

George Eliot Hospital (pic: Cov Telegraph)

Today the Coventry Telegraph revealed that under the “Sustainability and Transformation Plan”, set to be officially announced on Tuesday, A&E, maternity and children’s care facilities will all be closed at Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital.

The Telegraph states that other headline changes include:

  • Closing the Accident and Emergency department at George Eliot Hospital as well as moving maternity and children’s care to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).
  • Bosses also want more people to have babies at home, there will be restrictions on overweight people and smokers getting non-emergency surgery and increasing the time between hip replacements.
  • Cancer care is also in line to be reviewed.
  • Stroke care at Warwick Hospital and George Eliot is also set to be moved to Coventry

Further NHS cuts in Nuneaton and Warwick threaten services across the area, including in Coventry. Along with further privatisation this will undermine our health service – the NHS should be completely publicly owned and free at the point of use! Coventry and Nuneaton Socialist Party  has a proud history of fighting and helping to stop numerous attacks to the NHS and George Eliot Hospital, from both Tory and New Labour governments, and will continue to campaign to save NHS services.

We will be mobilising for the Health Campaigns Together “It’s Our NHS” demonstration in London on March 4th to bring together the many local campaigns fighting to save NHS services in their area.

If you would like to get involved, get in touch – fill in the form below!

“I had to spend £350 to visit my dying husband” – Socialist Party campaigns against NHS cuts in Radford

“I had to spend £350 to visit my dying husband”

Socialist Party campaigns against NHS cuts in Radford

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Signing the petition against the PFI parking charges at Walsgrave

Members of the Socialist Party were out in Jubilee Crescent, Radford on Saturday morning for our regular campaigning activity highlighting the scandal of cuts in the NHS particularly focusing on the outrageous car parking charges at Walsgrave Hospital.

We had many people sign our petitions, with leaflets taken away highlighting the way forward in the battle to save the NHS.

Several of the people who supported our petition told us about the all to familiar experiences of the car parking rip off at the hospital.

One woman told us over an 11 week period she had to spend over £350 to visit her husband who sadly passed away. Another told us of how his wife had been hurt in a car accident and he had already spent £110 to visit her.

As the result of years of the Socialist Party campaigning on this issue, many are already aware that the car parking charges are the symptom not the disease – that it is all linked to the Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) involved in the NHS.

Our leaflet stated

‘Kick out NHS profiteers! We need to kick the fat cats out of the NHS. The NHS is being privatised bit by bit. Services have gone to private firms across the country and the consequences are already being seen. Services have worsened and are costing more as companies cream off a profit.

The Socialist Party calls for a comprehensive, high-quality NHS, under democratic control with free care at the point of use’

That is why we are supporting the national demonstration on Saturday 4th March, 2017 to defend our NHS (more details to come)

We also had many conversations about the cuts to council services – where unfortunately the Labour Council, rather than providing resistance to Tory austerity is actually closing our libraries, children’s centres and youth clubs.

Thank you to all who signed our petitions, took leaflets away, bought our newspaper The Socialist or donated to help keep our anti-austerity campaigns going.

LIVE: Junior doctors strike in Coventry

LIVE: Junior doctors strike in Coventry

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Support the doctors – save our NHS!

Junior doctors have taken all-out strike action today as part of their campaign against the planned imposition of new contracts by hated Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Throughout the strike doctors have had fantastic support from the public, including patients, and today is no different!

Despite the fear campaign by right-wing newspapers, the strike is still strong and the doctors are determined to win. The co-operation between the BMA and the teachers union, the NUT, leading to a joint demonstration is hugely important and should develop into a campaign of joint industrial action, to build for a 24-hour general strike!

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