Hospitals, GPs, Ambulances, Schools, Colleges, Councils… The Cuts Continue

200,000 march against NHS cuts, London (March 4)

While Chancellor Philip Hammond was announcing a £2bn National Insurance rise from the self employed and a few dollops of cash to distract the natives, the real work of this Conservative Government carried on as usual. In the real world cuts are wrecking havoc in the NHS, education, the legal service, the police service and throughout local government. Just two examples of the cuts and chaos which affect Lowestoft below:

East Of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST)

Three patients died and a fourth needed intensive care during an experimental scheme to ”reduce unnecessary visits to A&E” (ie to save money). The trial has been scrapped, for now, The trust was investigated by health regulator NHS Improvement for failing to meet its financial targets (ie for not cutting enough) including spending £4.2m on hiring private ambulances (ie it can’t afford to buy or crew its own). It was engaged in a lengthy dispute with one of the Clinical Commissioning Groups which funds it (or doesn’t in this case). Unison has accused EEAST of ”appearing to tolerate a bullying culture”. The trust is consistently missing response times targets. The cuts continue.

Norfolk And Suffolk Mental Heal Th Trust (NSFT)

After closing hospitals and day centres and replacing them with ”out of hospital teams” (to save money) a leaked reports revealed that an astonishing 32% of newly recruited staff left within a year.. The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk referred to the ”radical redesign”, which involved cutting 136 beds and losing experienced staff, as ”disastrous”. ”Unexpected patients deaths” nearly doubled between 2013 and 2016. The Trust’s performance was placed by patients in the country’s bottom four and it was the country’s first to be put in special measures. The cuts continue.

Phillip Hammond: The Man And His Money

Jeremy Corbyn declared his tax returns and the usual suspects condemned him for imaginary omissions. Hammond confidently responded that he wouldn’t declare his because it was nobody’s business. Well, according to the Daily Telegraph, he is ”the second richest member of the cabinet with a net fortune of £8.2m”. Mostly made from, yes you’ve guessed it, a private healthcare firm and ”consultancy work”. Hard work that consultancy lark. He also owns a number of buy-to-let properties including a £600,000 cottage whose ownership he transferred to his wife. So if he bumps into ex—BHS owner Philip Green they will have something in common to talk about. We don’t know what taxes he pays, if any.

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