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Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

Ed Miliband urges voters to deliver verdict on ‘reckless’ coalition | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Ed Miliband has urged voters to use Thursday’s local and devolved elections to deliver a verdict on David Cameron’s “reckless” agenda in government.

Miliband said the polls would offer voters their “first chance” to send a strong message to the government that ministers cannot return to “business as usual” by pursuing “rightwing policies for which they have no mandate”.

The Labour leader called on people to use their vote to make the party’s voice “as strong as possible”, saying Labour presented an alternative to the “divisive policies” of government, which he attributed largely to the Conservatives with the “enthusiastic participation” of the Liberal Democrats.

The last-minute appeal by Labour to give the coalition a wake-up call included publication of a document detailing policies the Tories and Lib Dems are implementing with “no mandate” such as the NHS reorganisation, police cuts and the trebling of tuition fees.

Fury at ward closures|7May11|Socialist Worker

NHS campaigners in east London last week reacted with fury to health authority plans to close the Connaught Day Hospital at Whipps Cross hospital in Waltham Forest.

Health bosses say the ward, which specialises in the treatment of elderly patients, may be “scaled down” or closed altogether.

They are expected to announce their decision this month.

Over 80 health workers, patients and NHS campaigners gathered outside the hospital on Thursday of last week to defend the ward.

Join fight to save health service|7May11|Socialist Worker

Dozens of hospitals already struggling to cope with the government’s crippling financial demands will be forced to slash even more jobs and services.

The devastating news follows a warning from Monitor, the regulator of NHS foundation trusts in England. It says department of health demands for £20 billion of “efficiency savings” this year are an underestimate.

Monitor says that health bosses must now slash their spending by 7 percent a year for the next five years, not the 4 percent previously expected.

The nurses’ RCN union has identified almost 40,000 NHS posts across Britain that face being lost—up from the 27,000 it reported in November. That figure could now rocket as health trusts seek more cuts.

Full scale of NHS cutbacks revealed – Local – Wakefield Express

HOSPITAL budgets will be slashed by £60m in the next two years – almost double the amount first imposed under government spending cuts, it has emerged.

Health bosses must find £30m of savings this year and next – a rate of £2.5m per month – to balance the books at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.

Fears over patient care and job losses were already being raised when the trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals, slashed £38m from last year’s budget following the spending restrictions announced by the coalition government.

The trust had anticipated saving a further £32m during the next two years – but rising costs and inflation mean a further £28m will now have to be found.

Protesters voice their concerns at changes to NHS (From Worcester News)

HEALTH demonstrators have voiced their disgust over Government-planned changes to the NHS.

Pressure groups held a public demonstration outside the main entrance of Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester on Saturday.

Members of Worcester Against The Cuts (WATC) and 38 Degrees were voicing their displeasure at Government-imposed changes to how healthcare is delivered across the country, accusing health ministers of turning the health service “into a business”.

Health Bill may not bring local control, experts warn | GP online

The government’s NHS reforms may fail to liberate the NHS as central organisations bid to maintain control over local decision making, the King’s Fund has warned.

The think tank carried out a simulation exercise with NHS Lincolnshire to look at how the NHS will function in 2013/14. The 24-hour exercise simulated a year of NHS activity.

Commissioning for the future showed that central NHS organisations actively tried to manage local decisions as local groups looked to them for guidance.

The researchers said GPs were often ‘overwhelmed’ by the number of activities they were expected to take part in.

Patient involvement in decision making was limited, the exercise found.

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