Britain’s National Health Service

Dire situation in UK social care for the elderly

By Dennis Moore, 1 December 2016

Local authorities agreed to help just under half of the 6.6 million people who approached them for help.

UK government accelerates privatisation of National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 17 November 2016

Since the Health and Social Care Act was introduced in 2013, private firms have won National Health Service clinical contracts worth £5.5 billion.

British Medical Association officially winds up junior doctors dispute

By Robert Stevens, 12 November 2016

Everything was done by the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee to limit the doctors’ struggle and isolate their strike, even as it had widespread popular support.

UK: Dorset NHS management pushes health cuts amid growing opposition

By Ajanta Silva, 1 November 2016

Dorset’s NHS management aims to downsize two major A&E departments, children units, maternity units and more than a half a dozen community hospitals delivering inpatient care.

UK: NHS official suggests GP surgeries “be allowed to fail and wither”

By Ajanta Silva, 22 October 2016

In September, 2,000 patients were left without a doctor after a surgery was closed in Nottingham following an “inadequate” regulatory rating.

The pseudo-left’s role in the defeat of the British junior doctors’ struggle

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2016

The Socialist Workers Party sowed illusions in the trade unions and the Labour Party at every juncture in the junior doctors' struggle.

British Medical Association sells out struggle of UK junior doctors

By Robert Stevens, 29 September 2016

The isolation and defeat of the doctors' struggle is the result of the collective efforts of the entire labour and trade union bureaucracy.

New offensive against National Health Service after cancellation of junior doctors’ strike

By Ajanta Silva and Paul Mitchell, 20 September 2016

Demands are being made for greater cuts to the National Health Service, including rationing and privatisation.

UK: North Manchester National Health Service Trust struggling to cope

By Dennis Moore, 13 September 2016

A recent health care quality report raised serious concerns over the lack of adequate staffing in a number of different departments.

British Medical Association calls off junior doctors strikes

By Robert Stevens, 8 September 2016

The junior doctors have been isolated by both the trade unions and by the Labour Party, with a key role played by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

UK doctors struggle escalates with announcement of 20 days of strikes

By Robert Stevens, 3 September 2016

The scale of the industrial action to be taken by junior doctors working in the National Health Service is without precedent in modern times.

UK: Further National Health Service hospital closures and cuts to be imposed

By Liz Smith, 3 September 2016

A recent House of Commons Select Committee report found the National Health Service to be in a state of near collapse and hinted that in the future patients might have to pay for services.

UK junior doctors defiance of government contract curtailed by BMA

By Tony Robson, 24 August 2016

The Conservative government intends to enforce a revised contract—which has already caused five nationwide strikes and was overwhelmingly rejected in July—on junior doctors.

UK: Dorset health services to be slashed to reduce deficit

By Ajanta Silva, 16 August 2016

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group claims it is facing a £200 million deficit by 2021.

UK National Health Service forced to the brink of financial collapse

By Margot Miller, 8 August 2016

The NHS has been instructed to make savings of £22 billion by 2021, on pain of fines and takeovers by regulators.

UK: National Health Service cardiac units to be cut

By Margot Miller, 25 July 2016

The cuts will reduce from 13 to 10 the number of units in the country dealing with congenital heart disease—a condition that mainly affects children.

Youth deaths highlight growth of UK private mental health services

By Dennis Moore, 22 July 2016

Nine young people have died since 2009 while being treated in private mental health units across the UK.

UK junior doctors vote to reject contract

By Paul Mitchell, 7 July 2016

Junior doctors rejected a contract supported by the British Medical Association union that slashes overtime pay and extends working hours.

Cuts plunge UK National Health Service further into deficit

By Ben Trent, 9 June 2016

The deficit highlights the growing disparity between what the government is spending and the resources required for the population to remain in good health.

National Health Service bosses report calls for a flexible workforce

By Alice Summers, 30 May 2016

The changes would force nurses, paramedics and others to take on increased workloads and do jobs currently carried out by doctors.

UK government retreats on including NHS in free trade deal

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2016

An amendment to the Queen’s Speech expressed regret that the government did not include a bill that would protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Minnesota nurses demonstrate against health care cuts

By Anthony Bertolt and Matt Rigel, 23 May 2016

Allina Health has demanded nurses give up their current union health care plans and replace them with the company’s more expensive program.

Many UK accident and emergency units closed or downgraded

By Harvey Thompson and Barry Mason, 7 May 2016

The decision to close the Huddersfield A&E unit is related to the terms of the Calderdale Royal Private Finance Initiative agreement, which prohibits its sale or mothballing for another 42 years.

UK junior doctors denounce attack on wages, working conditions

By our reporters, 29 April 2016

WSWS reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines and at rallies during this week’s two one-day strikes without emergency cover.

Public support for UK junior doctors strike grows as government insists they must be “defeated”

By Robert Stevens, 27 April 2016

The strike by 45,000 junior doctors in England is the first stoppage in the history of the National Health Service to be held without emergency care being provided.

More than 50,000 junior doctors begin two-day strike in UK

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016

Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.

UK Leave and Remain campaigns seek to exploit fears over future of National Health Service

By Tony Robson, 21 April 2016

The Remain and Leave campaigns are led by parties that have cut NHS and opened up public health care for privatisation.

UK: Thousands march in Leeds to oppose attacks on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens and our reporters, 21 April 2016

The role of Keep Our NHS Public is to ensure that any fight back remains within the stranglehold of the Labour Party and the trade unions.

UK unions agree to implement pay cuts for NHS workers

By Ajanta Silva, 20 April 2016

After paving the way for years of pay freezes and erosion of conditions, the unions have colluded with the government and accepted the 1 percent cap on pay this year and until 2020.

Cost of elderly care increasing throughout the UK

By Dennis Moore, 16 April 2016

In the period from 2004 to 2014, state funding for care of the elderly plunged by a third.

UK junior doctors speak out during latest strike

By our reporters, 8 April 2016

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines around the country.

Junior doctors face political fight to save National Health Service

By Paul Mitchell, 7 April 2016

Junior doctors have demanded more effective action after Health Secretary Hunt announced he would impose a new contract by August 1.

UK Junior doctors dispute at a crossroads

Statement by NHS Fightback

By , 29 March 2016

The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.

Junior doctors in England mount 48-hour strike

By Robert Stevens, 12 March 2016

Despite the government's direct intervention last month to impose an inferior contract, the British Medical Association has insisted that doctors are not involved in a political struggle.

Poor mental health care in England is “ruining lives,” report finds

By Dennis Moore, 9 March 2016

Mental health services for children and young people in England were cut by £35 million last year alone.

UK immigration policy inflicts more damage on National Health Service

By Sascha Woods, 4 March 2016

The NHS has lost out on the hiring of over 1,000 trained nurses due to restrictions on migration.

The way forward for UK junior doctors

By Tony Robson, 2 March 2016

The central risk to the junior doctors is the continued isolation of their struggle by the trade unions.

Government to impose contract on junior doctors after second England-wide strike

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2016

The government’s unprecedented and authoritarian move signifies a new stage in the efforts of the ruling elite to dismantle the National Health Service.

British junior doctors speak from the picket lines

By our reporters, 12 February 2016

Striking junior doctors and their supporters say that the government’s attacks on them are part of a broader assault on the National Health Service.

UK: Junior doctors demonstrate in run-up to Wednesday strike

By Thomas Scripps and Ajanta Silva, 8 February 2016

The British Medical Association used the event to bolster their ongoing fruitless negotiations with Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Junior doctors to take second strike in England

By Tony Robson, 6 February 2016

The British Medical Association has reluctantly proceeded with the strike but has scaled back the action.

Junior doctors strike throughout England

By our reporters, 14 January 2016

The strike came after four months of a dispute in which the government has insisted its proposed changes go through and was the first such work stoppage since the 1970s.

UK: Junior doctors strike against new contracts

By Tony Robson, 12 January 2016

It has been more than four decades since the last national strike by junior doctors over pay and conditions

Thousands of student nurses, midwives and junior doctors demonstrate in London

By Ajanta Silva, 11 January 2016

The Conservative government has announced plans to scrap bursaries and introduce student fees.

UK: Oppose introduction of student nurse tuition fees and scrapping of bursaries

By Ajanta Silva, 9 January 2016

A student nurse graduating in 2020 could leave with debts over £50,000.

British Medical Association calls off UK junior doctors strikes

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2015

The BMA’s betrayal allows the government further time to come up with a repackaged deal, in order to carry out effectively the same attacks on doctors’ employment conditions and pay.

Victory to the junior doctors! Defend the NHS!

Statement by NHS Fightback

By , 30 November 2015

The defence of health care and every other basic social right can only be taken forward through a break from the trade unions and the Labour Party.

UK: What is the “Northern Powerhouse”?

By Margot Miller, 26 November 2015

Under the control of the Labourites, each city and region within the Northern Powerhouse is involved in a cutthroat struggle for investment and the slashing of wages.

Junior doctors oppose latest government efforts to extend services

By Barry Mason, 9 November 2015

Staff fear the extension of services at a weekend, without additional resources, would put yet more patients’ care in jeopardy.

UK’s National Health Service to be “squeezed as never before”

By Ajanta Silva, 9 November 2015

The NHS’s financial crisis is the product of funding cuts and the drive to privatisation.

UK: Addenbrooke’s Hospital placed in “special measures” over quality concerns

By Tom Pearce, 31 October 2015

Addenbrooke’s dire situation is symptomatic of a financial crisis across the NHS, with two-thirds of trusts predicting a deficit this year.

Britain: Government’s general practitioner surgeries plan paves way for further privatisation

By Ben Trent, 30 October 2015

New GP “super-practices” will be given more autonomy, making them more attractive for prospective private companies.

Government forces junior doctors in England to accept new contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 12 October 2015

The new contracts would effectively reduce junior doctors’ pay by 15 to 30 percent, with more extended and unsafe hours.

Children in England unhappier in school than their peers elsewhere

By Tom Scripps, 9 September 2015

Despite increased demand, the budget for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services has been cut by nearly £50 million.

Britain: The plight of patients and workers in the Adult Social Care service

By Mark Blackwood, 7 September 2015

Between 2008 and 2013, an estimated 483,000 elderly and disabled people either lost their care support, or are no longer eligible.

UK psychologists campaign against cuts and social inequality

By Ross Mitchell, 2 September 2015

Psychologists report that they are seeing growing numbers of parents unable to take their children to therapy centres because of the cost of travel.

NHS hospitals face massive deficits and demands for further cuts

By Ajanta Silva, 27 August 2015

A further £22 billion in “efficiency savings” is being demanded over the next five years.

UK government to cut number of cancer drugs available on the NHS

By Ross Mitchell, 17 August 2015

The Conservatives plan to reduce the list of 65 funded cancer drugs by 37 items, which will severely impact the survival rates of thousands cancer patients.

UK government uses demand for weekend work to attack National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 25 July 2015

NHS managers are supposed to introduce additional services, while the government is demanding a further £22 billion in cuts to the health budget.

Patient sheds light on crisis at England’s biggest NHS hospital trust

By Tom Pearse, 24 April 2015

The Bart’s Health National Health Service (NHS) Trust serves more than 2.5 million people across London.

UK: Private sector given largest ever National Health Service contract

By Ajanta Silva, 23 March 2015

The deal, worth £780 million over four years, is the latest in the ongoing privatisation process of the publicly run health service.

Devolution for Greater Manchester spells the end of the National Health Service

By Margot Miller, 7 March 2015

There has been no debate on the biggest overhaul in the provision of health care and welfare since the foundation of the welfare state, either nationally or in Manchester.

Sell-off: The abolition of your NHS

A revealing exposure of the destruction of health care in the UK

By Joan Smith, 28 February 2015

The documentary exposes the extent to which Britain’s National Health Service has been privatised.

British unions recommend health service workers accept another pay cut

By Ajanta Silva, 14 February 2015

Health care workers have already suffered from four years of pay freezes, cuts, worsening job conditions and an increase in pension contributions.

UK’s first privatised hospital fails

By Ajanta Silva, 31 January 2015

The NHS now has to step in and clear up the financial and patient care disaster created by the private health care operator at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Funding cuts produce crisis in UK Accident and Emergency services

By Ajitha Silva, 10 January 2015

The attacks on NHS funding have created a crisis in hospitals across the country, with some hospitals saddled with massive deficits.

UK: Oppose rationing of vital health services!

By Ajanta Silva, 7 January 2015

What is happening to public health provision in Devon is a warning to the entire working class.

UK mental health services in crisis

By Dennis Moore, 27 December 2014

Cuts to mental health services have led to enormous demand with little capacity to meet it.

California nurses strike at San Bernardino Hospitals

By Kevin Martinez, 11 December 2014

Nurses went on a two-day strike Tuesday, after a county judge issued a temporary restraining order against a portion of them.

Care UK workers asked to vote for massive pay cut

By Danny Richardson and Richard Tyler, 25 November 2014

The Care UK workers were betrayed by their union, Unison.

British health unions carrying out fraudulent “fair pay fight”

By Ajanta Silva, 24 November 2014

It was the Labour Party’s Private Finance Initiatives that began the privatisation of health care.

UK health workers strike: “We should all be out together”

By our reporters, 15 October 2014

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed National Health Service workers participating in a four-hour action over pay on Monday.

Britain: NHS at “breaking point,” say top health professionals

By Ajanta Silva, 13 October 2014

An open letter from the heads of a number of health professional bodies speaks of “signs of a system buckling under the twin crises of rising demand and flat lining budgets.”

UK: National Health Service staff ballot for strike action over pay

By Tony Robson, 19 September 2014

The trade unions have opened the door to four separate pay rates for National Health Service staff performing the same job across the UK.

Britain’s “Healthier Together” sets agenda for health cuts in Manchester

By Tony Robson, 28 July 2014

The Conservative Liberal Democrat government has taken major steps towards dismantling Britain’s National Health Service.

British unions open door to charges for doctor visits

By Ajanta Silva, 25 July 2014

Advocates of charging for doctors’ services argue that a system of free health care for all is no longer sustainable due to the economic crisis.

UK public sector workers explain their decision to strike

By our reporters, 14 July 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers in a number of town and cities in England who participated in last Thursday’s national public sector strike and protests.

Britain’s National Health Service “fraying at the edges”

By Paul Mitchell, 9 July 2014

The government’s slashing of National Health Service funding is the cause of the crisis.

British NHS patients left without medications by private contractor

By Tony Robson, 12 June 2014

The recent Healthcare at Home debacle underscores the danger to public health resulting from the privatisation of the UK’s National Health Service.

British care home scandal deepens

By Mark Blackwood and Ajanta Silva, 7 June 2014

Despite the widespread abuse of the severely disabled people in their care, none of Winterbourne View’s executives were ever questioned, let alone charged or jailed.

SEP (UK) candidate: Oppose attacks on National Health Service workers’ pay

By Ajitha Gunaratne—candidate of the SEP (UK) for the European elections, 6 May 2014

The following statement has been issued by Ajitha Gunaratne, candidate of the Socialist Equality Party for the North West England constituency in the upcoming European elections.

UK government to sell personal data

By Mary Smith, 5 May 2014

Last week’s announcement that Revenue and Customs is considering making taxpayers’ personal data commercially available to private companies has further demonstrated the UK government’s determination to turn a profit from private information.

Family doctor services “under severe threat of extinction” in Britain

By Mark Blackwood, 24 April 2014

The Royal College of General Practitioners warned that general practice care is being destroyed by health care cuts.

UK parliament approves assault on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 25 March 2014

Under Clause 119 of the Care Bill passed in parliament last week, the health secretary will be able to close hospitals and cut services.

Number of British hospitals in debt doubles in one year

By Ajanta Silva, 12 March 2014

Foundation trusts have delivered “efficiency savings” of £867 million so far this year, but this is 18 percent behind what the government has demanded.

Britain: More health services face privatisation

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 8 March 2014

A recent UK survey found that 71 percent of GPs questioned believed rationing of health provision in their area had increased “significantly” since April 2013.

New chief executive calls for “opening up” of Britain’s National Health Service

By Ben Trent, 31 January 2014

Incoming National Health Service chief executive Simon Stevens has called for the “opening up” of healthcare and “reshaping our care system”.

Bournemouth hospital review confirms warning by NHS FightBack campaign

By Ajanta Silva, 20 January 2014

The CQC findings prove that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition’s funding cuts and privatisation policies have created a significant shortage of staff, beds and resources.

Hampshire council in England closes more care homes

By Joan Smith and Ajanta Silva, 6 January 2014

Hampshire County Council in England plans to reduce demand for services, including social care of the elderly and disabled, which accounts for more than one-third of council’s budget.

Britain: Mental health services reach breaking point

By Mark Blackwood, 4 January 2014

The UK’s Mental Health Foundation reports that every two hours one death is recorded as a result of suicide.

British NHS director promotes restructuring of accident and emergency departments

By Ajanta Silva, 24 December 2013

A report on A&E departments by Bruce Keogh calls for the health care system to be “redesigned.”

Wales: Hospital waiting times double

By Ben Trent, 28 November 2013

The paltry increase in the NHS Wales budget is more than offset by the reduction in other local services.

Government demands third year of pay freeze in British health service

By Ajanta Silva, 29 October 2013

The UK government is demanding National Health Service workers take a further year's pay freeze, amid plans to cut NHS spending by an additional £10 billion.

Waiting times at five-year high in British National Health Service

By Mark Blackwood and Ajanta Silva, 19 October 2013

Five thousand nursing posts have been eliminated along with thousands of other hospital posts over the last three years.

UK unions promote Labour at health care march in Manchester

By Robert Stevens, 1 October 2013

Around 50,000 people protested cuts to the UK’s National Health Service in Manchester Saturday in a march called by the Trades Union Congress.

Escalating crisis in maternity care in UK

By Ajanta Silva, 25 September 2013

Expectant mothers are increasingly being forced to travel, sometimes very long distances, to have a place to give birth.

Royal College of Surgeons raise concerns over erosion of health services in Wales

By Ajanta Silva, 27 August 2013

National Health Service provision in Wales is in a critical condition, with people dying while on waiting lists.

Britain’s Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation to be dissolved

By Ben York and Paul Mitchell, 16 August 2013

Virtually all paediatrics services at Stafford Hospital are to be closed, along with the abolition of maternity services and major emergency surgery.

Billion-pound NHS contract offered to private health care providers

By Joan Smith and Paul Mitchell, 8 August 2013

As part of the break-up and sell-off of the UK’s National Health Service, a contract worth up to £1.1 billion is being offered to private sector firms.

UK governments’ National Health Service adviser says it should be run like PC World retailer

By Paul Mitchell, 2 August 2013

The top medical advisor to Britain’s National Health Service has called for it to be run like high-street retailers.