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GMB Defend London's NHS Demo

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

GMB Mobilise For Defend London’s NHS Demonstration On Saturday 18th May

Closures, problems with the 111 service, bed cuts, job cuts, fragmentation and privatisation are contributing to one of the biggest crisis in a decade in our A&E Services says GMB

GMB, the union for NHS workers including ambulance staff, is mobilising for the Defend London’s NHS march and rally which takes place on Saturday 18th May with the slogans “save our hospitals” and “no to privatisation”.

The demonstration has been called by Save our Hospital campaigns across London and London Keep Our NHS Public. It has been backed by GMB, a number of MPs and councillors, trade unions and the London Labour Party. GMB is asking branches, family members and friends, community groups and labour party members to attend.

The details of the demonstration are as follows:

Assemble 12 noon

Saturday 18th May

Jubilee Gardens

Belvedere Road


London SE1

The march will go via Waterloo bridge to the Department of Health Offices and there will be a rally in Whitehall at 2pm. There will be GMB banners and flags on the march.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for the NHS, said "A & E, problems with the 111 service, bed cuts, job cuts, fragmentation and privatisation are just some of the factors contributing to one of the biggest crisis we are facing in a decade in our A & E Services.

We all knew the Tory plans are to obliterate the NHS. The Health and Social Care Act is designed to do exactly that. However the Government also thought it would take a while before the effects of their privatisation and cuts agenda would begin to take shape. The responsibility for the current crisis in the NHS can't be directed towards anyone other than the Government.

Not a day goes by where we don't hear or learn of a new problem in the NHS. These problems are not society’s making for living longer or the NHS workers who are working tirelessly to respond to demand.

When hundred of thousands of people campaign to stop closures of A&E, privatisation, the dangers of fragmentation of the NHS the politicians elected to serve them say they are worrying for nothing as the NHS is protected under the Conservative/Lib Dem administration.

 So why, when the Government are asking all of us do more for less, is the Secretary State for Health dissolves some of his responsibility to run a NHS and delegates some of his responsibilities to a board?

Why, when we have a crisis, is the Secretary of State is not meeting with frontline workers to understand how he can help alleviate the pressures? We call on the Secretary of State to meet with GMB members working on the frontline so he can learn first hand why there is a crisis and what he needs to do to fix this". 

Steve Rice, for GMB Ambulance workers,  said "I have worked in the ambulance service for over three decades. Our job is to respond to calls, treat the public and get them to the most appropriate NHS A&E centre. You can't deliver more for less when people’s lives are at stake. In order to discharge our duties effectively we need the right environments. A & E closures, bed cuts, the 111 service and job cuts are all factors that impact on how we discharge our duties and are contributing the crisis we are experiencing in the service. 

The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class) recently published a paper titled "Duty to care: In defence of universal health care".

GMB welcome this paper which sets out why the NHS was established and why the NHS is internationally recognised in its role in looking after a nation's health. All this is hard work is now unravelling. The NHS was creating in a society with far less than we have today but prioritised as a right and principle to help people in their daily lives.

Hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country are joining in campaigns to challenge decisions to cut services, to save jobs and to save a NHS for future generations.

For too long these campaigners are being ignored by this Government at their peril. The only reason why the Tories came out of the political wilderness is because they promised us they could be trusted with the NHS.

Well we are facing a crisis and it is under their watch and yet we hear of nothing tangible being done to address this. The Government is not just letting the public down but also the thousands of hard working NHS workers who are doing their best under difficult pressures”


Contact: Rehana Azam 078411 81656 or 0208 9473131 or Gavin Davies 07930 983 376 or Tony Hughes 07738 958 142

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