Protest against Tower Hamlets NHS cuts takes to the streets in Whitechapel

Protestors stopped traffic in Whitechapel Road last Friday as they took to the streets to march against NHS cuts which threaten jobs in the Barts and the London Trust.

Doctors, nurses, trade unionists and patients protested outside Whitechapel’s Royal London Hospital over the 635 job losses planned in the Trust, which also covers the London Chest Hospital and Barts.

To meet government saving targets of 20 per cent, 250 nurses could be axed and 100 hospital beds will go.

The protest briefly blocked the road outside the Urban Bar, chanting “Whose NHS? Our NHS?”.

Sarah Creagh, 28, of Roman Road worked as a nurse in Bristol and is a Right to Work activist, one of the groups along with Hands Off Our Public Services and Keep Our NHS Public who called the protest.

She said: “This is happening in one of the most deprived boroughs in London with its own particular health needs, such as more prevalent diabetes for example.”

Glyn Robbins, a HOOPs spokesman, said: “When I think about it, my grandmother, mum and daughter were all born here.

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“It’s a part of the community and that’s why we need to defend it.”

A Trust spokeswoman said while compulsory redundancies could not be ruled out, they were “not expected” for frontline clinical staff and were more likely for back-office and corporate posts.

She said: “”We will not compromise safety, and we will not roll back the improvements in service quality we’ve been making over the past few years.”

On the reduction in bed numbers, she added that fewer patients are now admitted as inpatients and recovery times have dropped.