In Jeremy Hunt’s sham apology he claims, “There are more beds available across the system”. Not in North Staffordshire there aren’t! When our new hospital, now called the Royal Stoke, was built it had 300 beds less than what we had in the old hospital. Since then, over the last two years, more than 100 beds have also been closed across all five of our local hospitals (see below for more info).

Not surprising then that Dr. Richard Fawcet, a consultant at the Royal Stoke, tweeted on 3 January, “As and A&E consultant, I personally apologise to the people of Stoke-on-Trent for the third world conditions of the department due to overcrowding”.

However, what we can be certain about is that this latest crisis in our NHS is not the fault of our heroic NHS staff. It’s not because too many people turn up at A&E and neither is it anything to do with a lack of money or too many migrants.

The crisis is an inevitable consequence of the Tory’s plans which can be summed up in one word – PRIVATISATION

Almost every decision taken by Health Minister’s, NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) etc is geared to make the more profitable parts of the NHS as attractive as possible for private companies to come in and take over health services.

We are seeing this across North Staffordshire as the CCG bosses arbitrarily close down beds and wards in our local hospitals and then tell us that there is a consultation going on! These health bosses are being well paid to carry out this legal con-trick and we are left to grow old on trolleys at A&E and elsewhere. They also tell us that ‘care in the community will be provided’. This is another lie – they know it and we know it!

All this is being done to prepare the ground for private companies to maximise profits from buying up our local health services. It doesn’t really take much to work it out. If, for example, billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Care wants to buy health services in North Staffordshire he certainly won’t want to pay for maintenance costs, extra security, administration, caretakers, porters etc for our five local hospitals at Longton, Bradwell, Haywood, Leek and Cheadle. It would be much more profitable if those hospitals are closed and all services are concentrated at Royal Stoke with patients forced to travel long distances to get there and pay a fortune to park.

Campaigning in Hanley with RCN members

The job of the CCG’s is to prepare the ground for this. Their main aim is not to provide necessary health care and services but to maximise profits. Last year Branson’s Virgin Care won a record £1bn of NHS contracts from a total £3.1 bn of health services that were privatised. Virgin Care now has over 400 separate NHS contracts but pay no tax in the UK!

Jeremy Hunt’s forced apology for this years ‘crisis’ or that bogus ‘consultations’ continue are not of crucial importance They are merely attempts to divert attention away from what is really happening. Neither is this a moral issue. It’s all about the Tory government and their billionaire friend’s aim to take us back to the 1930’s where health care for the millions was not a right but a luxury if you could afford it. And most important: for the super rich it’s an opportunity to get even wealthier.

Working class people had to fight and campaign to win a publicly owned and financed NHS set up in 1948. To achieve this it was necessary to drive out the profiteers. Since then generations of families have paid National Insurance contributions to finance our NHS. Now we have to fight and campaign to save our NHS from going back to the profiteers.

Can we wait for the next general election? No, why should we!

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour should be demanding a general election now to save our NHS. Committed to getting rid of all the profiteers and implementing a fully funded publicly owned NHS, Corbyn’s Labour would mean the end of this Tory government.


For more info on the fight the save our NHS checkout:

“Underfunded, understaffed, under attack – Save our NHS”

“Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS”

“‘Hands around HRI’ to save Huddersfield A&E”

“Tyneside to protest against A&E and walk-in cuts”



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