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Thursday 19th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

London council rejects Tories’ ‘slash, trash and privatise’ plans

TORY plans to “slash, trash and privatise” the NHS have been dealt another blow after a north-east London borough refused to agree to the government’s cuts programme.

Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet threw out the dangerous North East London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) on Tuesday night.

It is the latest in a growing list of local authorities that have refused to sign up to the STPs — which campaigners say mean “slash, trash and privatise.”

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing Ahsan Khan warned of a crisis in the NHS as he recommended that the cabinet reject the plans.

“The plans are being rushed through with lack of consultation and democratic oversight,” he said. “We need to see adequate funding for social care from central government.”

In November 2016, Social Care Minister David Mowat insisted that STPs would be regarded as “incomplete” and would not be signed off by the government if councils rejected them.

But despite a number of local authorities speaking out against the plans, with Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin councils also rejecting the programme, the 44 STPs were signed off by the government on December 23.

Campaigners remain concerned at what they call a “massive cuts programme” which will see £22 billion axed from the NHS budget by 2020.

Over 7,000 hospital beds have already been thrown out since 2010, official stats show, with further cuts contained in the plans.

And a recent document seen by the Health Service Journal suggests that 17,000 staff are to be axed by 2020 under the plans, including 7,300 nurses and midwives.

GPs in Tower Hamlets also rejected the NE London STP last month.

They pointed to a projected 50 per cent fall in GP numbers across the eight borough plan over the next five years and claimed it was “completely unrealistic.”

Tower Hamlets local medical committee chairwoman Dr Jackie Applebee branded STPs the “Emperor’s New Clothes.”

She said people “should shout from the rooftops” to expose the STPs as a way to slash up the NHS to make it more attractive to the private sector.

Keep Our NHS Public campaigns officer Alan Taman said: “It’s only by acting together, by forcing local councils to wake up to the reality of what these Tory plans mean for the NHS, that people will stop them. But we can.”

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