SUPPORT for the policy of occupying Chase Farm Hospital to stop its closure is growing.
Staff, patients and visitors complained angrily about the ward closures and cuts that that are now taking place, to the monthly picket of the NHS hospital, called by the North East London Council of Action.
A nurse working at Chase Farm, Eileen Barrett, said: ‘We are fed up because of the Tory cuts, everything is rushed and at full speed and you can make mistakes like that.
‘The load on one nurse is phenomenal and most nurses are now having to stay an hour and a half overtime just to finish.
‘We are stuck in a hellhole, the patients are suffering, the workload is impossible and we are pushed to the limit.
‘I would support an occupation because local people depend upon this hospital.’
A nursing assistant, Jane Stanfield, told News Line: ‘This hospital is necessary, it is really busy, manically busy.
‘Obviously we provide essential services, ie lifesaving surgery.
‘My son was a patient last year on the Bedford ward after a near-fatal car crash.
‘He had emergency life-saving surgery. The crash was on the Ridgeway on a really tight curve in the road and we were lucky because this was the closest hospital to the crash.’
A doctor at Chase Farm, Doctor Pathak, said: ‘The Tory cuts shouldn’t happen. If they close Chase Farm they would severely compromise the patients’ welfare.
‘We will all be out of jobs and that’s why I would support an occupation of the hospital.
‘We have to keep the wards running when they try to close them down.’
A local resident, Scott Howard, said: ‘Wards have been closed down simply to save a bit of money and that makes me angry.
‘A lot of people have already lost their jobs and a lot of them will not be redeployed.’
A patient on crutches, Raj Singh, said: ‘I would not be able to visit North Middlesex or Barnet, as it’s too far and I’m finding it difficult to walk.
‘It’s outrageous that they’ve started to close down wards. This Tory government has to go.’
Bill Rogers, the Council of Action Secretary, said yesterday: ‘The Tory Coalition’s White Paper “Equity and Excellence” is a plan for the complete privatisation of the NHS.
‘Workers in the health service won’t accept that or indeed workers in the country as a whole.
‘We are calling for an occupation of the hospital and a general strike to bring down the government in order to defend the NHS and the Welfare State.
‘I urge people to attend the News Line ATUA public meeting this Thursday.