Around 80-90 people, mostly representing NHS campaigns and trade unions came together at a ‘Health Campaigns Together to Win’ conference called by Leeds Keep Our NHS Public on 15th October.
Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party
The conference had plenary sessions with speeches from Dr David Wigley, chair of dcotors in Unite and Dr John Lister, who outlined the crisis facing the NHS.
A sombre contribution from a local junior doctor James, reflected the feelings of some junior doctors who had been hesitant about the now called off BMA strike action due to take place earlier this month, but still were opposed to the changes to their contracts and the wider attacks on the NHS.
One of the key discussion points arising out of the conference workshops was the need to fight the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) beinbg implemented across the country. These have been done with no consultation, with the promise of extra funding if they strengthen the involvement of the private sector. But already with funding shortfalls STP’s are planning to cut some services.
Arising out of the workshops was a plan of activities including for all campaign groups and unions to mount a protest at a STP’s meeting in Leeds on 1st December.
Socialist Party members playing leading roles in the ‘#HandsOffHRI’ and ‘Save Edmund Street Day Centre’ campaigns took part in the conference and made links with other campaigners fighting similar battles. 11 copies of the Socialist were sold, and the NSSN Health Workers bulletin was widely distrubuted.