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No Downgrading Beds And Bucks Hospitals

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

No Downgrading Of Bedford And Milton Keynes Hospitals Focus For Mobilising Support When “People’s March For NHS” Reaches South East  

Claim that consultation has been led by clinicians and decisions have been made for the better provision of healthcare across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes is absurd says GMB.

GMB plans to use mobilisation of support for the 'People's March for the NHS' when it reaches Bedfordshire between 2nd and 4th September to oppose the downgrading of Bedford and Milton Keynes Hospital Accident and Emergency service.

 A healthcare review carried out by the Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group has outlined proposals for the future of services in the area.

The review has now cut the options down to 14 possible choices. All the scenarios rule out the possibility of both at both Bedford and Milton Keynes Hospitals remaining ‘major emergency centres’, which provide 24/7 consultant-delivered A&E, with emergency surgery, acute medicine and inpatient paediatrics.

GMB has been at the forefront of the campaign to defend the NHS. GMB is backing the 'People's March for the NHS' which is recreating the Jarrow March of 1936. The march which leaves Jarrow on 16th August arrives in Bedford and Luton on 3 and 4th September and finishes in London on 6th September. It is being organised by a group of mum's from Darlington who are concerned over the government plans to close services and privatise the NHS. For details see .

Richard O'Leary, GMB Regional Officer, said "The claim that the consultation has been led by clinicians and decisions have been made for the better provision of healthcare across Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes is absurd.

To downgrade or lose life- saving Accident and Emergency services at either of these hospitals makes no sense. It is clear that these decisions are being driven financially as the NHS is being starved of funds as a result of government reforms. GMB will fight to save these vital services and will join the community to defend them from closure.'

Steve Sweeney, GMB officer who is co-ordinating the march as it reaches Bedford, added 'It is now even more pertinent than ever that the People's March for the NHS will arrive in Bedfordshire on its way to London. It will highlight the life threatening changes brought about by this government to the NHS.  The march will bring attention to the national policies that are damaging the NHS. However each area will also have its own story.

Bedford has seen Children's Services close and reopen, costly health reviews and now, as we anticipated, news that the Accident and Emergency service is under threat. These cuts are life threatening and we will fight to oppose them.

The NHS turned 66 this weekend, and while we were right to celebrate that, we must fight to defend it like never before."


Contact Steve Sweeney on 0208 202 8272 or 07703 469403 or Richard O Leary 07710 631347.  GMB Press Office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289 880


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