Friday, February 03, 2012
WSN went to support the public meeting in Shoreham February 3 aimed at defending Southlands Hospital from the going under the knife and losing its Harness Block (which it is rumoured could be sold off to a housing developer). About 150 people attended, so the meeting had to be delayed whole a big enough room was found. There was great public anger at the Trust's proposals. Amid much patronising smoke-and-mirrors from the assembled overpaid NHS bigwigs about "community care", local people, Southlands workers and retired clinic staff got up one after another and demolished the arguments of the *public servants* in front of us, demanding that Southlands remains a local community hospital with much-needed in-patient beds. The issue of stress and low pay for hospital workers was raised too. When a WSN supporter said the cuts were taking place in the context of the Health & Social Welfare Bill and of a piece with the Tories' plans to cut and privatise the NHS, local MP Tim Loughton angrily responded that this was a "load of rubbish" and was "politically-motivated". Lots of people took WSN leaflets and signed up to the meeting organisers' contact list for further action in defence of Southlands.