March on Tory Party Conference – Save the NHS

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Save the NHS!29 Sep Manchester 2

60,000 strong demonstration in Manchester tells the Tories they are not welcome in our city!

As workers within the NHS we are aware that privatisation and cuts in the NHS are driving down quality and services. After today’s demonstration in Manchester the Tories will have got the message just how much ordinary people care about the NHS and the Welfare State.  Despite the problems that we face, support for the NHS is still very high and the public are aware of the importance of the care and services provided and that the privatisation of the NHS will ultimately lead to the end of free at the point of service health care.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “Austerity is having a devastating effect on our communities and services, with 21,000 NHS jobs lost over the last three months alone.

29 Sep Manchester 5

Prentis tells crowd government is privatising the NHS

“Let’s call a spade a spade: this is privatisation, pure and simple”. That was how Dave Prentis described what the government is doing to the National Health Service when he spoke at the rally to save the NHS in Manchester today.

With the Conservative Party starting its annual conference near by, UNISON’s general secretary said that it had come to power, “promising ‘no more top-down reorganisations’, with Prime Minister David Cameron personally assuring the electorate: ‘I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS’.

“What did we get?” he asked, and cited the losses to frontline staff that the health service is now facing, with over 5,000 nurses’ posts alone having gone.

“It’s a race to the bottom. Companies offering up savings they can only meet by slashing the workforce and driving down quality.

No to Austerity!

The demonstration, nearly 1 mile long, included trade unionists, NHS Campaign Groups, individuals and supporters of other campaigns.  The emphasis of the demonstration was the government cuts to the NHS but all other austerity.  This government is continuing to force the people of this country to pay the price for reckless gambling by bankers.

It was great to see members of the branch out on the streets marching for our NHS but the fight needs to continue back at work where the real cost of NHS cuts is staff reporting high levels of stress, unmanageable case loads, short staffing, changes to their working hours and an over-reliance on agency staff.

Our jobs are becoming more difficult, and more unsafe and at the same time our standard of living is going down.

Today we marched together but this is not the end of our fight for the NHS or for decent wages and the right to be able to deliver high standards of care.

We must continue to fight until we get rid of this conservative government and we must back workers struggles but most of all the Unions need to come together and strike together to reverse the cuts and to ensure our NHS and Welfare State is not lost for ever.