‘We must keep Chase Farm open!’

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A section of yesterday’s North East London Council of Action picket determined to keep Chase Farm Hospital open
A section of yesterday’s North East London Council of Action picket determined to keep Chase Farm Hospital open

THERE was a lively picket of at least 40 workers and youth, including sacked Visteon workers, organised by the North-East London Council of Action yesterday, against the closure of Chase Farm Hospital.

Roy Smith, a patient at Chase Farm and a regular attender at the monthly pickets outside the hospital, said: ‘Three wards have now closed at Chase Farm within the past two to three weeks.

‘They are the gynaecological Essex ward, and the medical and orthopaedic wards – and this has been done to save £8 million.’

Jueya Piratheepan, who is almost nine months’ pregnant, said: ‘The maternity unit is short-staffed.

‘You have to wait for a long time to see the doctor.

‘I don’t want to see the maternity closed.

‘We must keep it open through occupation if necessary.’

Peter Reed said: ‘I think it’s disgusting that they have closed three wards down.

‘I am attending the Max facial ward and I was transferred there from Barnet.

‘It is sacrilege what the Tories are doing, closing everything down. The whole country’s going to the dogs.

‘Actions speak louder than words. All the unions should come out on strike and bring the government down.’

Jeff Vernon, a patient at Chase Farm, said: ‘I have always used this hospital. It is very efficient.

‘I live close by. If it was to close, there are no alternative facilities near by. The nearest hospital is Barnet.

‘For people living in Enfield, Barnet is so crowded out you can’t get near it.

‘Chase Farm Hospital should be redeveloped. There is a private hospital on the grounds called King’s Oak and they’ve also built private housing on Chase Farm land.

‘The government has given billions to the Private Finance (PFI) contractors to make loads of profits.

‘That money should have been spent in-house by the NHS to develop the hospitals.’