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23 June 2021

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Leicester private healthcare tragedy

Socialist Party members on the demonstration to save Leicester General Hospital, 16.11.19, photo Leicester Socialist Party

Socialist Party members on the demonstration to save Leicester General Hospital, 16.11.19, photo Leicester Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

John Merrell, Leicester Socialist Party

Private healthcare is embedded in the provision of accident and emergency treatment at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. That was the nub of a tragic loss by a mother-to-be reported in the 'Leicester Mercury' in March, summed up by the headline "I was losing my baby, but sent home and told to take a painkiller".

The triage was carried out by a clinician working for DHU Health Care, a so-called community interest company. The mum said she was in and out in five minutes, with no checks carried out, and she was told she would not be admitted to A&E and was advised to go home. Astoundingly the clinician was part of a national triage service organised by 'NHS 111 First' initiative.

The tragedy occurred last September, the mother approached the media because of DHU Health Care's dismissive response to her complaint. "They've admitted they should have referred me but not apologised, and in the same letter said I wasn't in pain or bleeding heavily, which I was and I told them that I was".

In the 2019 general election Boris Johnson claimed he would finance the building of 40 new hospitals; the claim quickly became a downright lie when it was revealed that only six new hospitals would be built. This included the proposed hospital reconfiguration in Leicester, where three acute care hospitals will be reduced to two, and the Leicester Royal Infirmary will be the centrepiece.

Unbelievably, under the cover of the pandemic, the NHS Trust has forced through the proposals (see 'Save Leicester General Hospital'). But not without campaigners winning a commitment to more beds than was originally proposed.

The 'Save Our NHS Leicestershire' campaign group, in which the Socialist Party plays a leading role, believes the trust's proposals do not measure up to the growing needs of Leicester's populace. We will continue to campaign for the health service to meet the needs of Leicester's population. Part of that will be joining the NHS day of action on 3 July.

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In The Socialist 23 June 2021:

What we think

Chesham and Amersham by-election


NHS in crisis - 'It's time for action'

Outsourced London hospital workers fight for better pay

Leicester private healthcare tragedy

Exeter Trades Council backs NHS protests


Northern Ireland and Brexit

Sacking non-vaccinated care workers will not save lives

Furlough reduction risks job losses

Building back better? Fight for a socialist recovery

Anti-protest bill breaches human rights

Tories deliberately underfund childcare

Unite election

Unite general secretary contest: Vote for Sharon Graham

NSSN conference 2021

NSSN conference 2021: When given a lead workers will fight


Women and the criminal 'injustice' system

Tory review won't deliver justice for rape victims


Iran's presidential election

Are Biden's immigration policies a break with Trump's?

Workplace news

Interview with newly elected Unison NEC member and hospital worker

Gateshead: Bosses sack sparks protesting for safety measures

Oaks Park school strike against bully bosses

Leicestershire engineers' fifth week of strikes against fire and rehire

DVLA dispute: Escalation needed

Warehouse workers fight 50% cut in redundancy pay

Carmarthenshire: Fighting for trade union recognition at council-owned company


TUSC calls for local 'People's Budget' campaigns

Youth Fight For Jobs: more urgent than ever

London Socialist Party young members' day school

'Socialism is the hope of the world'

Fighting Fund target smashed!

Readers' Opinion

Book review: Shuggie Bain

Response to Observer article on China


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Article dated 23 June 2021

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