The Tories are killing the NHS
by Daphne Liddle
LABOUR leaders are calling for an emergency summit on how to alleviate the current crisis affecting an increasing number of hospitals throughout the country.
Currently nine major hospitals have declared major incident status, which means they are operating on a crisis basis; routine operations are being postponed; staff from different departments are being transferred to the Accident and Emergency units and very expensive agency nurses are being drafted in.
Patients are being held waiting on trolleys in corridors, ambulances are unable to unload their patients and are being kept in queues outside A&E departments and target waiting times are being exceeded everywhere.
The hospitals are reporting record high levels of patients coming to A&E departments and yet so far this has been a relatively mild winter. There could be a lot worse to come.
All of this has been entirely predictable. The last two years has seen swathes of hospital A&E departments closed, putting impossible pressure on those that remain open.
The Government is advising people to stay away from A&E units unless it is a life-or-death emergency. But general practitioner surgeries have also been under enormous pressure leaving patients with serious but not urgent conditions with nowhere to go.
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[ The Tories are killing the NHS ]
Set the Truth Free in London Christmas protest
by Theo Russell
RELATIVES of victims of the conflict in the north of Ireland held protests outside Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence in London just before Christmas as part of a new campaign to bring pressure on the Irish and British governments to implement agreements made in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and the 2006 St Andrews talks.
The action was organised by Set the Truth Free, a new coalition of groups and individuals calling for a full independent inquiry into all deaths of the Troubles where the facts are not known or are contested. The relatives also met with MPs at the House of Commons.
The relatives brought shoes, photos and other mementos of those who died as part of a mobile exhibition, [In Their Footsteps]. Similar events have taken place Belfast, Derry and Dublin.
A coalition of organisations, including the Pat Finucane Centre, Bloody Sunday Trust, the Ballymurphy Massacre families and many others have joined the campaign, but no banners or flags are permitted at their events so that families and individuals don’t have to identify with any particular group or campaign.
The group is led by John Teggart, who speaks for the families of 11 people shot dead by British paratroopers in Ballymurphy, West Belfast, shortly before Bloody Sunday. His father, Danny, was among those who died. :
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[ Set the Truth Free ]