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Ten member of Leeds Socialist Party staged a protest lobby of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust chief, Neil McKay, outside St James’s hospital on 31 August.

Nigel Poustie

Over the past three years, this Trust – which runs St James’s and Leeds General Infirmary – has cut hundreds of posts, closed nine wards and axed many beds.

A regular flow of people coming off the buses came straight to our stall to sign the petition. One nurse took our paper to show to her colleagues. We were told we weren’t allowed on the premises – of a public hospital!

We were then told we couldn’t see Neil McKay as he wasn’t there. So instead chief nurse Maureen Noughton was sent to receive the 3,000 signatures we’d collected on our petition, attacking their policy of privatisation and cuts. We later found out from student nurses that Neil McKay was on their ward with a clip board.

This reinforces the common opinion that, while patients and staff are suffering, there are: “too many managers, too many management consultants and too many private companies bleeding the NHS dry.”

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