Defend the NHS! Stop Hull area local cuts.

Ever known anyone who’s been ill?? There’s a rally for the NHS in Hull today: 12 noon, BBC Building, Queen’s Gardens. Major changes are on the way – and none of them to your advantage!

And a lovely bright morning for the rally too! Patient-campaigners Dermot Rathbone and Danny Marten will be there protesting the austerity assault. The first major casualty is cardiology at Castle Hill with one ward closed already (Ward 6). Then there’s neurology at Hull Royal with another ward to go after a merger of a stroke ward and a neurology ward.

Hull unions Unison, PCS and UCU will be there, and probably at least one MP. Let them know how you feel!

Our city’s thanks should go to Dermot Rathbone and Danny Marten for taking a lead on this. But it’s not out of concern that Dermot does this – but out of vital need! Interventions by Hull Royal’s neurology team saved his life. Their determination to get to the root of his rare neurological condition have brought him the specialist help he needs.

Heart specialists in the city have condemned the closure of Ward Six, cardiology, at Castle Hill Hospital, insisting the move will seriously harm patient care.

Meanwhile, unprecedented in this area,  17 neurologists have already sent a letter to health officials voicing “deep concern” over the cuts following the merger of a neurology ward with a stroke ward at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Local media tell us that 300 beds are to be axed to save money. Prof. John Cleland (Head of Cardiac Services) said this about the butchery of heart care, ““The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) thinks that’s dangerous and I would endorse that.”

Local neurologists say: “Due the closure of the neurology ward at Hull Royal, there are no specialist neurology beds in the trust. We have voiced our concerns on numerous occasions at managerial meetings and our opinions and concerns have been disregarded and a dictatorial approach has been taken, with new changes to our service implemented against our advice.”

The purpose of today’s rally will be to highlight to the public how much of a disaster the Trust’s actions will be to our community, and to petition the public to pile pressure on those who can reverse the decision.

Speakers today should include clinicians, unionists and politicians, but the people who will really make a difference are local people making their voices heard and taking action.

A friend wrote to me about her brother who recently had surgery on the cardiac ward: “the ward he had his surgery on yesterday is getting closed on Friday! It is appalling!”

The difference that local provision makes for critical services like cardiac care is the difference between life and death.

We hope people in the area realise what they’re losing with these closures!

Get involved:

Save Our Local NHS

The rally was lead item on BBC Look North

NHS Rally in the Hull Daily Mail

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