Defend All A&E’s – Stop The NHS Cuts And Closures!

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THE message from Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England about the NHS crisis, is ‘what crisis?’ There are just too many sick people, especially too many elderly people needing treatment.

For him, their care is concentrated in out of date hospitals and A&E’s and unless these hospitals are closed and care is concentrated in the community, an NHS where care is free at the point of need, will have to give way to the pre-1948 ‘service’ where you got the treatment that you could pay for or died!

In his interview in the Guardian newspaper there is not a word about the scores of A&E’s that have been closed, with absolutely no care in the community provided for those who can no longer be treated at their now closed or cut local A&E!

The truth is that £20bn of government cuts, the coalition’s huge campaign to close scores of A&E’s with no alternative care in the community at all, have reduced the NHS to the state of absolute crisis, where bourgeois cynics can come along and start suggesting their line that what was wrong in the first place was the ‘utopian’ idea that free health care at the point of need could be provided.

Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, told the Guardian, ‘If the NHS continues to function as it does now, it’s going to really struggle to cope because the model of delivery and service that we have at the moment is not fit for the future.’

An unprecedented shift of resources and care into GP surgeries was necessary to help the NHS withstand the twin pressures of rising demand and tight budgets, Keogh added, given the increasing numbers of patients turning up at A&E who needed to be admitted to hospital.

‘If not, we will get to a place where the NHS becomes unaffordable and we will have to make some very difficult decisions which will get to the very heart of the principle of the NHS and its values. This will open up a whole series of discussions about whether the NHS is fit for purpose, whether it’s affordable, and whether the compact with the citizen of free healthcare for all is sustainable in the longer term.’

One of the strategists of NHS liquidation has just outlined his campaign to smash and destroy the NHS, leaving the very young, the elderly and the ablebodied without any local health care outside already swamped GP surgeries, and the privatised non-existent care in the community.

Asked if current pressures constituted a ‘crisis’, Keogh replied: ‘No. Everybody that’s working out there in the NHS knows that they’re under a lot of pressure at the moment. They don’t like the term “crisis” being applied willy-nilly.

‘It’s an evocative term which is also provocative and is used too freely for the wrong reasons. It’s a period of unprecedented pressure, of undue pressure. But the NHS is facing very difficult times, yes. The word “crisis” implies that you can’t deal with it,’ said Keogh. NHS frontline services ‘are going through a critical phase’ but would recover, he insisted.

His message is not to worry, there is no crisis of A&Es, and it will soon be over when privatisation and ever bigger cuts, shut down at least 60 A&E’s in the UK, leaving the ill, and the elderly to their fate.

Keogh said that the NHS would have to undertake a ‘complete transformation’ of the way it operates over the next few years in order to keep itself sustainable. This involves putting the entire burden onto GPs. He would require hospital consultants to visit patients in their GP surgery with the sickest patients being given much more time to discuss their health than the usual 10-minute appointment with a family doctor. This will give the already hugely overworked GPs an impossible road.

The Coalition line is that in future, many patients will be able to get much of their care, including diagnostic tests and an expanded range of treatments, at their GP surgery to save them having to go to their local hospital (which will have been shut down anyway!)

The Hinchinbrooke experiment showed private hospital care is a disaster, while the privatised care in the community system treats the elderly like lumps of meat.

There is no substitution for the NHS. All A&E’s and hospitals must be defended and kept open. Those who want to destroy the NHS must be defeated. The NHS must stay. It is capitalism that must go!