Thousands march on Parliament in anti-government protest - 1st July 2017

From AFP (posted on YouTube - 1st July 2017):


From BBC news on-line - published 1st July 2017

Thousands of people gathered in central London to demonstrate against the UK government's economic policies.

The protest was organised by a group called the People's Assembly Against Austerity.

Demonstrators met outside BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, before marching past Downing Street and on to Parliament Square.

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was among the speakers who addressed crowds at The Not One Day More protest.

Speaking in Parliament Square, Mr Corbyn said: "The Tories are in retreat, austerity is in retreat, the economic arguments of austerity are in retreat.

"It's those of social justice, of unity, of people coming together to oppose racism and all those that would divide us, that are the ones that are moving forward."

Crowds in Parliament Square

The crowd chanted "oh Jeremy Corbyn" and "Tories out" during the rally, while many carried banners saying Justice For Grenfell.

Crowds march in central London

One protester told BBC News that "anger" had motivated her to join the protest, saying: "What's going on isn't good enough under the Tory government.

"There have been cuts to every single service you can think of. It's just the pure negligence. How can you be cutting vital services?"

The organisers said on Facebook that they "invite everyone - from campaigns and community groups across the country, from the trade unions, from political parties and any individual - to come together in one massive show of strength and solidarity".

The statement added: "We're marching against a government committed to austerity, cuts and privatisation.

"We're marching for a decent health service, education system, housing, jobs and living standards for all."

Downing Street did not want to comment on the protest.

Labour's Diane Abbott joins anti-government protest in London.

Britain’s first PFI privately funded NHS hospital is a 'major' fire safety risk, say fire fighters

The NHS Trust that runs the hospital says the PFI deal has caused problems


Published 3rd June 2015  - Jon Stone

Update 22nd June 2017:   over 100 hospitals have been built in the UK since 2000 using PFI deals.



Britain’s first NHS hospital financed and built by private capital is a “major” fire safety risk, fire fighters have said.

The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle was first opened in 2000 under the controversial “private finance initiative” which sees the NHS pay a private company rent-like payments to make use of facilities.

An independent report commissioned by the NHS trust that manages the hospital found that fire proofing materials installed by the private company did not meet the required protection standard to allow for save evacuation and prevent a fire from spreading across the building.

Local NHS bosses have given dozens of NHS staff members emergency fire safety training to step up safety while work to fix the problems caused by the original contractors goes on.

“It has to be asked why it has taken so long to identify the flaws in fire proofing materials used in the hospital’s construction. The work to rectify this issue is expected to take up to 18 months,” said Graeme Higgins, secretary of Cumbria’s Fire Brigades Union.

“Public safety, especially the safety of vulnerable patients in hospitals, is of paramount importance to fire fighters. We would urge all stakeholders involved with PFI buildings in Cumbria to review the fire safety materials and procedures currently in use. In Carlisle alone we have two PFI fire stations.”

Mr Higgins described the hospital as “one of Carlisle’s biggest fire risks” and warned that service cuts could impair fire fighters’ ability to respond to any incident.

Helen Ray, chief operating officer at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which is fixing the problems, was critical of the PFI deal.

Read more ...

Unhealthy salaries - NHS has money to "spray on its directors"

From Private Eye 19th June 2017

Leak shows 'devastating' impact of planned NHS cuts in London - "Capped Expenditure Process" in N Central London    published 20th June 2017.

Internal document reveals cost-saving options to plug £183m gap in funding for 10 hospital trusts in capital.

Patients will be denied treatment, waiting times for operations will lengthen and A&E and maternity units may be shut under secret NHS plans to impose unprecedented cuts to health spending in London.

According to an internal NHS document seen by the Guardian, doctors in five London boroughs will have to spend less on drugs, fewer patients will be referred to hospital and support for people with severe health needs will be cut as part of the plan.

It outlines the “difficult choices” NHS bosses nationally are forcing the 10 hospital trusts in north-central London to make in the next few months in order to plug a £183.1m gap in their finances.

The 31-page document was circulated among dozens of top NHS officials in the area on 25 May. It outlines how the “capped expenditure process” will hit the provision of NHS care to the 1.44 million people who live in the boroughs of Camden, Islington, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield.

It admits that pushing through such cutbacks will be unpopular and hard to explain – and result in poorer care. “We recognise that these choices may be difficult for a number of reasons [because they include] … options that impact on quality of care [and] options that would be difficult to implement,” it says.

The hospitals that have been told to implement draconian cost-cutting measures include some of the NHS’s best-known names, such as the Royal Free, University College London and Great Ormond Street children’s hospital.

North Central London (NCL) is one of 14 areas of England where NHS England and NHS Improvement, the service’s twin regulators, are forcing hospital trusts to make far-reaching cuts during 2017-18 as part of the “capped expenditure process”. They have told local NHS leaders to “think the unthinkable” in their quest for savings.

Read more ...