‘Health Secretary’ Andrew Lansley’s claims yesterday that 22 NHS trusts had contacted him saying that they had difficulties meeting PFI payments backfired. Lansley’s claims were exposed as misleading and factually incorrect. That Lansley makes misleading and factually incorrect statements is no surprise to those of us that have been watching progress of the Destroy the NHS Bill.
Campaign group UK Uncut intend to occupy Westminster bridge.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
Health Secretary ‘undermining stability’ for political ends
Hospitals across the country turned on the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley last night, accusing him of making misleading claims that parts of the NHS were “on the brink of financial collapse” for party political gain.
Senior NHS managers expressed anger that Mr Lansley had singled out 22 trusts, whose “clinical and financial stability” was being undermined by having to pay for prohibitively expensive private finance contracts – used to build their new hospitals.
Mr Lansley claimed the trusts had contacted him saying that they “cannot afford” to pay for their schemes which were agreed by the previous Labour government.
But when contacted by The Independent a number of NHS trusts on the list expressed bemusement and anger that they had been included, and said the first they knew of the supposed financial difficulties over PFI (private finance initiatives) was when they read about Mr Lansley’s comments.
Privately some accused the Health Secretary of attempting to blame PFI for the wider problem of cuts to hospital budgets, which will require the NHS to save £20bn over the next four years. They also expressed concern that Mr Lansley was unnecessarily worrying patients that their local hospital was in danger of going bankrupt. “To suggest that our financial problems are about PFI is nonsense,” said one trust executive. “And we certainly never contacted the Department to say that. The problems that we face are about having to cut our budgets by 4 per cent every year for the next four years.”
Thousands expected to join direct action on 9 October and block bridge leading to parliament
Anti-cuts campaigners are planning to close one of the busiest bridges in central London in protest against the government’s planned shake up of the NHS.
UK Uncut has announced an “act of mass civil disobedience” at Westminster Bridge in protest against the health and social care bill which is due before parliament next month.
Organisers say they are expecting thousands of people to block the bridge that links St Thomas’s hospital in the south to parliament to the north on 9 October.
“Yes, it will be disruptive. Yes, it will stop the traffic. But this is an emergency and if we want to save our NHS we need to shout as loud as we can,” the group said in a statement.
Activists say they have been talking to unions, NGOs and other direct action groups who all support the action.
UK Uncut supporter Samina Khan said: “A leading doctor has said that this bill will ‘produce an underclass of patients with chronic, debilitating illness’, which isn’t surprising when you invite private companies to exploit people’s sickness for profit. I’ll be on the bridge so that when my kids ask me what happened to the NHS, I can at least say ‘I tried’.”
27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.
I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.
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