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NHS – Vital Service Threatened

(June 1978)

From Militant, No. 410, 16 June 1978, p. 4.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The cuts have hit yet another part of the National Health Service. Eight staff from the vital Emergency Bed Services [EBS] in London have been suspended.

Three are shop stewards, and two are branch officers. They have been ‘disciplined’ for continuing to send patients to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital for women which Health Authorities are attempting to run down prior to complete closure.

The stand being taken by EBS staff in continuing to send patients to threatened hospitals is crucial to the campaign to keep hospitals open. So long as they have written confirmation from consultants that services are being maintained, the EBS staff are willing to send patients to these hospitals, despite contrary instructions from management.

The thirty EBS staff work from Guys Hospital, receiving requests from GPs, mainly in the deprived areas and monitoring bed availability in the London areas. Their service has become more and more critical as staff shortages and closures reduce the number of beds in all areas.

The stand they have taken in defence of the patients and of the NHS, is to be applauded. EBS staff have been ready to step in with real help when hospitals have been in need. Now is their time of need.

Support this fight

With eight COHSE members already suspended, there is the danger of the service being closed altogether. This shows once again the lengths management are prepared to go to enforce hospital closures.

COHSE has already given official recognition to their members in dispute. Theirs is only a small branch. We urge messages of support and donations be rushed to:

Sandra Mead, Branch Secretary, EBS COHSE Branch, Fielden House, 28 London Bridge Street, S.E.1.

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Last updated: 10 July 2017