Burgess Hill NHS meeting a ‘great success’

Defend the NHS meeting in Burgess Hill (photo submitted).
Defend the NHS meeting in Burgess Hill (photo submitted).

A ‘successful’ Burgess Hill public meeting heard about the challenges facing the NHS last Tuesday.

The event at Cyprus Hall was sponsored by the Burgess Hill branch of the Labour Party and chaired by Simon Hayward, the party’s county council candidate for Burgess Hill North.

Defend the NHS meeting in Burgess Hill (photo submitted).

Defend the NHS meeting in Burgess Hill (photo submitted).

Attendees heard from Simon May, from Sussex Defend the NHS working at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital, Kathy Walters, Unite regional officer, and Ian Evans, also a member of Unite working at RSCH and Haywards Heath’s Princess Royal Hospital, about their current experiences in the NHS.

Afterwards Mr Hayward said: “We are delighted that this open meeting was a great success. The public is better informed about NHS issues and what action they can take to defend our NHS.

“The Mid Sussex Labour Party intends to use such open meetings in future, across the constituency, to cover issues that concern local people.”

The meeting follows a rally in London the previous weekend protesting against funding cuts to health services and social care, which was attended by members of the Mid Sussex Labour Party.

All guest speakers had one message: “Do not blame the NHS or it’s staff for the current crisis, they do a fantastic job, the cause is a lack of funding.”

Speakers argued that as result of inadequate funding patients cannot be discharged from hospital to free up beds, routine operations are regularly cancelled as there is a lack of beds for recovering patients, while A&E departments are stretched to ‘breaking point’.

Meanwhile members of the audience raised concerns about apathy around the risk of privatisation, and suggested a number of actions moving forward including rallies in London, writing to MPs, and providing posters for shops and businesses to protest against NHS underfunding.

Speakers also encouraged the public to write to health authorities about Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

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