We have stopped the sell-off at our Whittington Hospital and 3 years ago saved our Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care, Paediatric and Maternity Departments.
The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 has increased privatisation of the NHS. Private shareholders will reap the benefits of our health needs. Further, the NHS is seriously underfunded, with massive unmet PFI debts forcing hospitals and A and E departments to close.
This Manifesto is addressed to the management of the Whittington Hospital and to the Secretary of State for Health. It has been drawn up in consultation with the Whittington Community – staff and patients – and will be launched at a public meeting on 18th October.
- We want our hospital to remain a fully-functioning local district hospital, with fully functioning Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care, Paediatrics, Maternity Departments, and other in- and out-patient departments that meet the increasing local need. We do not want departments closed and to be sent to other hospitals, unless this is in their best medical and social interests.
- We oppose Government under-funding: there must be no cuts in bed numbers and staffing, and no buildings sold off. We are very concerned that the hospital is running with inadequate numbers of beds for heavy demands and emergencies.
- Privatisation generally results in less effective services. Staff are frequently demoted or made redundant in an effort to reduce costs and increase profits for shareholders. We want the hospital to stop paying private companies to run our health services and to employ only NHS staff, and not engage private companies.
- The Hospital is committed to an integrated care programme, which involves caring for patients in the community. We are concerned that, since the Whittington catchment area is one of high single occupancy, high numbers of single parents, and increasingly high mental health needs, together with austerity cuts to community and social care, people’s home circumstances may not support a recovery. Patients’ social and mental health situations should be considered in addition to their medical readiness when considering discharge.
- The downgrading of hospital staff is of great concern. More experienced, and therefore more expensive staff are being replaced with newly qualified staff who will have very few experienced staff to support them. We support staff in their demands for decent pay because we want to be treated by well-qualified staff, with a high morale.
- The 2012 Health and Social Care Act must go. It is destroying our NHS, by enabling privatisation and putting profits first, and wasting much needed resources in restructuring and redundancy costs of up to £10 billion.
- We want our NHS to be funded properly from public taxation, we want it managed by the NHS, locally and nationally to meet all our health needs. And we want it free at the point of delivery. We should not be paying for any health services, as stated in the National Health Service Act 1946.
- The 2012 Act removed the duty to provide health care from the Secretary of Health. The Government quango NHS England and local councils are now responsible for health provision, but the duty, under which patients can demand their right to NHS care, has gone. We want the Duty of Care restored.
- PFI debts are draining NHS budgets and threatening the existence of hospitals. The Government should cancel all PFI arrangements and pay them off.
- Mental health needs are increasing with austerity cuts and job losses. beds closed and day care and community provision and support have been slashed. We want a decently funded Mental Health service that properly meets needs and is equal in provision to other NHS services. No health without mental health.