London MEP candidate Dr Louise Irvine, who’s standing for the National Health Action Party in May’s Euro elections, will be campaigning in Waltham Forest on Saturday [29th March].
Dr Irvine, Lewisham GP and Chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, which prevented the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt from closing down Lewisham A&E, is warning of the serious threat to Whipps Cross Hospital.
The National Health Action Party was launched by doctors and health care workers just over a year ago in opposition to the government’s disastrous NHS reforms and increasing privatisation of the health service. The Party is fielding candidates in May’s local and Euro elections in London, including the theatre and TV star Rufus Hound.
Dr Irvine will be campaigning in Chingford and Walthamstow this Saturday, alongside members of the newly formed Waltham Forest NHA group.
She called on local people to join the fight to save the NHS:
“I am very concerned about the threat to Whipps Cross where acute services such as stroke and cancer care are at risk. Whipps Cross is a great local hospital that is much needed by its local populations and we need to make sure its future is secure.
“Sadly there are massive staff morale and retention problems. Many nursing staff have had their roles reclassified at a lower level and have ended up doing the same work for less pay, which makes the recent announcement by Jeremy Hunt of low or no pay rises for nurses all the more outrageous.
“Where staff are unhappy they are less able to offer patients high levels of quality care.
“Whipps Cross is now part of Barts Health Trust. Many local residents fear that Whipps Cross might be wound down or be privatised and have its assets stripped to help plug the colossal £115million per year cost of the PFI debt Barts incurred on its new hospital in Whitechapel.
Local people need to take a stand. A vote for the NHA Party in May will send a loud and clear message that this government’s attack on our NHS must stop.”
The newly established local NHA Waltham Forest group will campaign around local NHS services for the people of Waltham Forest and the surrounding areas. This involves working with other local NHS campaign groups to ensure that local services are run for the benefit of the health of local people, including the services at Whipps Cross hospital.
Co-founder of the NHA Waltham Forest local group Andrew Sharp said:
“Aren’t you fed up with the NHS being treated as a political football? I am, which is why I founded the Waltham Forest group of the National Health Action Party. The NHS needs to change. What I like so much about NHA is that they are not opposed to change within the NHS. They are simply opposed to change that is harmful to the NHS and its patients, which is what is happening in England right now.
“Like most people I want the NHS to remain publicly operated so that it can be properly accountable when things go wrong for patients, properly funded so that staff are not so rushed off their feet that they don’t have adequate time for my family while under their care. I also want the NHS to be coordinated so that when we are ill we do not get passed from one private provider to another – rarely does anybody rely on just one NHS department to resolve their health issues.
“I no longer feel able to stand by and allow our politicians to purposefully cause our NHS to disintegrate. The NHA is a small but determined grass roots movement. NHA Waltham Forest invites people of all political persuasions and from all walks of life to join our efforts to protect and improve our local NHS services.”
Contact details for National Health Action Party:
The National Health Action Party was set up in late 2012 by a group of healthcare professionals eager to defend the values of the NHS in opposition to the damaging changes taking place as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This Act removed the legal obligation for the government to provide comprehensive healthcare in England, and opened up the NHS to privatisation and fragmentation of services. The NHA Party campaigns for an integrated, cost-effective system that puts patients before profits.
More details on NHA Party policies and political activity can be found here: www.nhap.org
The National Health Action Waltham Forest group is a local group of NHA members and campaigns on local as well as national issues.