Rebuild and protect the NHS

Unite delegates record anger at the worst crisis facing the NHS in its history and call for action

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On the first day of Unite’s policy conference on Tuesday (July 11), Unite delegate Cecile Wright of the Unite Nottinghamshire NHS branch in the East Midlands moved a motion on rebuilding and protecting the NHS.

Delegates noted the difficulty patients now have in getting GP appointments, dental care and emergency or elective hospital care, as well years of NHS underfunding that have hollowed out the health service. They also spoke of the years of privatisation the NHS has faced, which have sucked out huge profits from the health service that should have been reinvested in the NHS.

Against this backdrop, delegates have collectively called on Unite to urgently step up NHS campaigning. Such campaigning should include demands such as a fully publicly funded and owned NHS and care system, free at the point of use; a massive increase in recruitment and improvement of retention among health workers; reversal of NHS privatisation, and co-ordinated industrial action by NHS workers with non-NHS workers to maximise pressure on the government, among other demands.

Delegates have also called for the Unite Executive Council to approach the TUC and other unions to organise a national NHS demo in the autumn, and to use the union’s funds to campaign to rebuild and protect the NHS.

The motion was overwhelmingly carried.

By Hajera Blagg

Pic by Mark Thomas