NHS and health

Make the NHS open to all!

Research from the group Doctors of the World UK illustrates how anti-migrant policies implanted in the NHS over years were causing serious suffering, even before the pandemic hit. Their report found migrants waiting much longer to access the health service than non-migrants, with an average wait of 37 weeks. For those requiring “urgent” or “immediately necessary” treatment, the average was 36 weeks. Delays of years were not uncommon, with one respondent with a serious heart complaint waiting four years. The report highlights extensive wrangling over whether people can access treatment and...

To curb the virus, reverse the cuts

The UK’s virus infections are now rising faster than France’s and Spain’s, and are at a higher level (relative to population) than Spain’s. The government’s measures, since infections started rising fast again in early August, have had little effect. The Tories are set to close bars and cafés again, in large areas at least, and maybe soon for a new lockdown similar to spring’s. In Ireland, which has a lower rate of infection increase than the UK, the government’s scientific advisers have already proposed a new general lockdown, not yet implemented. Lockdowns (with suitable arrangements for...

Hospitals refuse sick pay

A Freedom of Information request from supporters of the Safe and Equal campaign in Redbridge Trades Council has found that Barking, Redbridge and Havering University Hospitals NHS Trust (BRHUT) is in breach of government instructions to ensure all healthcare staff have rights to full sick and isolation pay. “Bank” (casual) staff working at the Trust, which includes King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford, are only entitled to Statutory Sick Pay at £95.85 a week if they have to isolate following public health guidance. Most of these staff are nurses, i.e. working...

Lessons from Spain

“I really enjoyed working in the NHS”, said a Spanish nurse quoted by the Financial Times on 7 October.”You get longer holidays, more breaks. And workers’ rights are much better”. His comment tells us less about excellences in the NHS and more about problems in Spain. Those led big protests on 19-20 September about virus measures in Madrid to demand “More healthcare, fewer police”, and are a factor in why Spain’s hospitals have had great trouble coping with the pandemic, and an exceptionally high number of health workers infected. Spain’s General Nursing Council says the country is 125,000...

Responses to the pandemic: equality or insanity?

Agitation for increased funding for mental health services continues, with various research papers highlighting or predicting high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mental health services are in desperate need of resources. It remains unclear whether this coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, specifically, really have made a difference to the mental illness pandemic that was already blighting the lives of billions globally long before Covid-19 came into being. For instance, a survey from UCL headlined that 18% of...

We need a pay rise to rebuild the NHS

Holly Johnson, a staff nurse at Sheffield’s cancer hospital, talked to Alison Brown from Solidarity. Why has the issue of pay, in particular, mobilised nurses, more than privatisation, cuts and safety in the NHS? Pay freezes, pay cuts and expanding roles for all NHS workers are part of the dismantling of the NHS. Inequality of our pay affects well-being. This has a direct effect on patient safety. If pay is low, it does not attract people into the workforce, does not make them feel valued. That, combined with poor working conditions, makes it hard to retain staff, thus affecting safe staffing...

Socialist politics to combat new virus surge

We want furlough and the ban on evictions extended, and rent "holidays" added. We want full isolation pay for all. The Tories' ÂŁ500 one-off self-isolation dole for workers on benefits is a concession, but inadequate Social care should be taken into the public sector, and its staff put on regular public sector pay and conditions. Test-and-trace should be taken out of the hands of Serco and the other profiteers, and made a coordinated public health effort. NHS logistics, at present also a mess of profiteering subcontractors, should be put into public ownership, and industry requisitioned to...

Virus: indict the Tories

In Britain as in other countries in Europe, detected SARS-Cov-2 infections have been rising slowly since early July, and now faster since points in August. In France, the rise has been much faster. In Spain, it has already fed into a rise in Covid-19 deaths, though so far only to a rate about 5% of the April peak. From mid-April through to early July, infection levels fell fairly steadily across Europe. The fall was not reversed, halted, or even visibly slowed by limited lockdown-easing measures across those months, notably the reopening of schools in many countries. The obvious explanation...

Can we still protest? Should we still protest?

In Solidarity 562 we carried an article clarifying the law around protest. Despite the threats the police made to organisers of a 5 September trans rights protest (which led to it being cancelled), protesting was still legal. Then on 9 September Boris Johnson announced that further restrictions would be made so that no more than six people are allowed to gather socially. The change came into force on Monday 14 September. At the time of the announcement NHS campaigners were busy organising protests for 12 September, and were reassured that the new changes would not have taken effect by then...

Virus: indict the Tories!

Of people who test positive for the virus and should self-isolate, only 20% or fewer are doing so fully. That’s an official estimate. No one knows what percentage of people who are identified as contacts of the infected — and may be infectious themselves, without having symptoms — are self-isolating. Most people asked to self-isolate get no or minimal isolation pay, so isolated properly is economically difficult or impossible. Of those who do self-isolate, many can do so only in overcrowded housing. However careful they are, they’re likely to infect others there. In New Zealand, the government...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.