Article published: Tuesday, February 12th 2013
Everyone sick with worry for the future of the NHS has been invited to an emergency summit this Saturday to bring together Greater Manchester’s campaigns against privatisation and cuts to the health service.
The Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils (GMATUC) is holding the one-day meeting at the city centre’s Friends Meeting House to unite the region’s campaigns and share skills on how to fight cuts in their area.
NHS Manchester’s current “healthier together” review has only guaranteed the future of five out of the 11 A&E units as part of moves to concentrate services in a smaller number of sites.
Up to 500 jobs at Royal Bolton Hospital Trust could be going and there have been protests against A&E closures at Trafford General.
Walk-in services at Ancoats and Wythenshawe have been closed and moved into hospitals since the beginning of this month.
And one of the largest shakeups in the NHS’s history is underway as control of Greater Manchester’s health services is passed from Primary Care Trusts to 12 GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups under the terms of the Health and Social Care Act, seen by critics as a prelude to privatisation.
Speakers at the event, intended by organisers to build toward a “week of action” throughout the region, include local GP and Keep Our NHS Public activist Dr David Wrigley and information director of the national Health Emergency campaign Dr John Lister.
GMATUC President Stephen Hall said, “This is the biggest threat to our NHS in Greater Manchester since it was founded here by Nye Bevan in 1948.
“We want to build a broad-based mass campaign to defend local A&E units and NHS services which are now under threat in the name of efficiency and cost-cutting.
“Local community campaigns have already started across the city region – we want to bring them together to share their experience, pool resources and make the strongest possible impact.
“The NHS belongs to local people – we urge them to come and join us in the fight to save vital life-saving services which we all value. The NHS is a much-loved public service. Now the public need to stand up to save it. People power can save our NHS.”
The Emergency NHS Summit takes place at
12 noon, Saturday February 16th, 2013
Friends Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester city centre M2 5NS