We Can Save Our NHS
The Socialist|Issue 983, 22-28 February 2018

Chatsworth nurse and Mansfield Socialist Party

Tom Hunt

The Chatsworth rehabilitation unit at Mansfield Community Hospital in Nottinghamshire has been saved from closure by an excellent campaign proving once more that if we fight, we can win. 

The ward treats patients with long-term neurological conditions in Mansfield, Ashfield and Newark. As staff we knew the closure would be a devastating blow if our patients had to travel further afield for their care.

Our hospitals trust announced last July that Chatsworth ward was to close at the end of that October. They came to the ward with representatives of our union, Unison, to tell staff not to worry - we would be found other jobs within the trust. The NHS currently has 40,000 nursing vacancies.

It was made clear this was a done deal and there was nothing we could do about it because no-one would lose their jobs. However, the staff demanded: “What will happen to our patients with long-term conditions? Where will they go?

“Will they have to travel miles away for their care? How will their loved ones be able to visit them on a daily basis?”

There were no answers. Neither the trust nor the clinical commissioning group (CCG) could answer these vital questions.

So instead of passively accepting closure, the brave staff- with full support from the Socialist Party, and at that time no one else built a movement including patients, ex-patients and their families.

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