Unite members from across the north west will have their say over NHS cuts and privatisation tomorrow (8 May) at a conference with Unite leader Len McCluskey and shadow secretary of state for health and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham.
The conference – Unite Cares – Do You? - will be held at the Copthorne Hotel, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3SN on Thursday 8 May from 11.00 to 15.30. Other speakers include Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association Council and Unite head of health Rachael Maskell.
The North West region has been hit hard by the government’s devastating cuts to the NHS:
• The region has seen mental health provision reduced in Salford and Bolton
• The closure of the A&E unit at Trafford General Hospital – birthplace of NHS 66 years ago.
• A reduction in services commissioned to be delivered by The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
• Sexual health service in Oldham now delivered by Virgin Care
• Greater Manchester’s Patient Transport Services now run by Arriva
• As well as NHS staff facing job losses, rising workloads and five years of pay freezes.
Speaking ahead of the conference Unite north west regional secretary Mick Whitley said: “Unite welcomes Andy Burnham to the conference to share Labour’s vision for the future of the NHS.
“What is happening in our NHS is devastating and is simply wrong – it must be stopped. This Tory-led government promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS, yet within six weeks of being elected published a draft bill, which is now law and paving the way to piecemeal privatisation of the NHS – the biggest re-organisation the NHS has seen in its history!
“The communities and patients who rely upon the NHS will find it harder to get the care and support they need. Make no mistake these cuts will affect every family that lives in the north west – frontline services and jobs are at risk.
“This is something we really care about – and we want every member who works in or cares about the NHS to come along on Thursday. We must work together to stop the government’s escalating privatisation of the NHS.
“The conference is a great opportunity to bring our members together – where our members and our communities concerns about the future of the NHS can be raised and questions asked.
“Our NHS is not safe under this government - we must continue to fight for it – nationally, regionally and locally.”
Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, recently embarked on a leverage strategy to save the NHS from privatisation.
For further information please contact Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316 and/or Unite press office on 0203 371 2065.
Notes to editors:
- Media are warmly welcome to attend the conference.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.