‘WE ARE calling on everyone to march with us through Enfield on Saturday, July 26th. Workers of Enfield won’t allow this government to close down this hospital.’
So said North East London Council of Action Secretary Bill Rogers on the picket line outside Chase Farm Hospital yesterday.
Rogers, a train driver and chairman of Chingford Aslef branch, continued: ‘We will be marching just days before the so-called Independent Reconfiguration Panel reports its findings on July 31st and we have no doubt that they will be to make cuts and closures.
‘So make sure you are on the march. Bring friends, families and workmates to show the strength of feeling.
‘We have to get ready to occupy to save Chase Farm.’
The Enfield hospital faces having its A&E, Maternity and Paediatrics departments closed, effectively shutting it.
Senior Midwife and RCM member Gillian Bird said: ‘I’ve worked here since 1984 with just a couple of breaks for maternity leave. My mother did her nurse training here before me.
‘Local people need local services.
‘These satellite community clinics they are talking about haven’t been built and we don’t know if they ever will be built, so if we lose the service here we won’t get it back again.
‘There must be action.
‘The last march was well attended by large numbers of people. The next one on 26th July will be even bigger, I’m sure.
‘I will be encouraging all my new mums and their children to come along and support.’
Calogero Sorce, who was visiting the Outpatients Department, said: ‘It’s terrible to close this hospital. They provide such a good service here.
‘What they are planning to do now is knock it down and build houses. It’s murder.
‘I’ll come to the next meeting of the Council of Action to hear what’s planned.’
Chase Farm patient Nariman Annul said: ‘Signing petitions isn’t enough. We must do whatever it takes to save this hospital. I would support a sit-in and I believe the whole community would.’
Local worker Marilyn Greene, who joined the picket, said: ‘They definitely shouldn’t close Chase Farm. I believe in the policy of occupying to prevent closure.’
Dean Gunning, a mechanical fitter at Chase Farm, said: ‘I was born here and I’ve worked here for three years now. It’s got to be saved. I would support an occupation to stop it closing.’
Male Nurse and UNISON member Simon Wren said: ‘I’ll come along on the march to save this hospital. If they close down the A&E it will no longer be a hospital.
‘It will put everyone at risk. This government is putting the public at risk just for money. I’ll be at the Council of Action meeting on June 10th to discuss how to save this hospital.’
The next North East London Council of Action meeting is at 7.30pm on Tuesday, June 10th at the Hollybush pub in Lavender Hill, Enfield.