As reported in the last post, SaveFHC will continue to campaign for the retention and improvement of Finsbury Health Centre and NHS community health services separately from the FHC Community Trust, which will concentrate on issues specific to the building. In the two and a half years since the SaveFHC Campaign started, there have been huge changes in the local NHS, local council and in national politics which have had an impact on the direction of the campaign. While the PCT appear to have been snookered into not selling off and continuing to use Finsbury Health Centre for the time being, their commitment to the building is vague at best. Despite having publicly stated that they would co-operate with our proposed plans for refurbishment, the reality is that the PCT still has not even shared their list of ‘improvements’ to be done with money left over from the Pine St sale after those ordered by English Heritage.
Most people who came to support SaveFHC are also passionate about its role as an inspiration to the NHS. In the wider context, as the government’s plans for the NHS and the impact of cuts to local services becomes clearer, we are not alone in having to defend community services. SaveFHC has supported various initiatives including Keep Our NHS Public (KONP), the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, and Islington Hands Off Our Services (IHOOPS). There are also groups coming up with new and imaginative ways of protesting the latest wave of cuts, particularly UKuncut, and 38 Degrees.
The frequency of area meetings and protests is speeding up. This week alone KONP is having both a meeting tonight at 7.30 in Conway Hall, and a rally this Thursday 17 Feb 6pm outside the BMA in Tavistock Square to protest the changes in the NHS contained in, and coming about in advance of, the current Health and Social Care bill moving through parliament. IHOOPS is marching against cuts to Council services from Highbury Corner 5.30pm also on Thursday 17 Feb. UKuncut is planning ‘Bail-ins’ at various bank branches across the country this Saturday the 19th (Barclays) and the next Saturday the 26th (RBS). 38 Degrees is having a meeting about changes to the NHS at UCL on Tuesday 22 Feb, 6pm Room G.08, Chadwick Building. Last but not least, a massive demo in London against all the cuts is planned in London for Sat 26 March.
With such a plethora of ways to express your support for local council and NHS services…take any opportunity you can to make your voice count. SaveFHC Supporters who would like to take our new banner, a repro of Abram Game’s banned WWII recruitment poster ‘Your Britain – Fight for it Now’ to anti-cuts events are welcome to get in touch with Barb Jacobson at the SaveFHC email address in top left hand corner.
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