October 27, 2021
From Socialist Party (UK)

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1153/33219

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 October 2021

KONHSP lobby of parliament, 14.7.21, photo JB

KONHSP lobby of parliament, 14.7.21, photo JB   (Click to enlarge)

Holly Johnson, Oncology Nurse and GMB member

Rishi Sunak’s announcement of nearly ÂŁ6 billion for the NHS to help clear the backlog of patients on waiting lists would, at first glance, seem a good investment into the NHS. However, it does nothing to address NHS staff shortages. We need the staff to work through the backlog of patients on waiting lists and 5.7 million awaiting treatment.

Much of the spending will no doubt be ploughed into private companies to provide the service; many diagnostic and IT departments are already heavily outsourced. But the money needs to be given to NHS staff to run services in NHS hospitals, in NHS diagnostic departments.

What happens after the scans and tests have been done? Who delivers the treatment? We cannot work through the millions on treatment lists without addressing the staffing crisis.

There is no investment in decent pay for NHS staff, and no attempt to discontinue student debt. Student nurses come out of university with ÂŁ60,000 worth of debt to enter a profession where working conditions are worse than ever, workloads are unmanageable and staff are undervalued.

Hospital bed numbers have been halved over the last 30 years. We need immediate investment in beds and to end the staffing crisis. We need to address the core issues of health inequality and delays in treatment that were happening before and during the pandemic. It’s not even winter and we already have ambulances queueing outside hospitals.

Unless there is a determined struggle led by the unions for adequate funding where we need it, including to fund a decent pay rise for all NHS staff, the ÂŁ6 billion will simply be used to grow private profits while NHS staff struggle on low pay or continue to leave in droves.

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party’s material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers’ movements with a socialist programme – one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

In The Socialist 27 October 2021:



Public spending under further threat from Tories

Tory NHS funding won’t fix staff shortage

Public sector pay thaw – union fight is on for a real rise and funding

Fighting sexual harassment

Fighting sexism and harassment, and for a safe night out

Climate change

Tory climate plans set to fail – socialist planning needed

COP26: protest for Socialist change to reverse climate chaos

Youth climate protests

News in brief

Workplace news

Unite policy conference

Gwent Stagecoach workers driving for victory on pay

Clarks shoe workers strike to give ‘fire and rehire’ the boot

Royal Mail workers stand against ‘unachievable workloads’

GPs vote to reject government plans

Workplace news in brief


The fight for Hackney’s children’s centres continues

Southampton People’s budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

Save Southall youth centre – stop all cuts

Carlisle says make the richest pay, not the poorest!


Military coup in Sudan – Defiant masses take to the streets

Readers’ opinion

TV review Maid

TV review The Riots 2011: One Week in August


The Socialist 27 October 2021   |
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