The Coalition Government’s promises regarding the National Health Service are unravelling daily. The promise that Health Service funding will be ring fenced is now seen for what it is – a lie.
The promise that front line jobs will be safe is also seen for what it is – a lie.
There is nowhere more front line in health care than the Ambulance Service, and the London Ambulance Service (LAS), the largest in the world, the busiest in Britain, has now found out the worth of those promises in a dramatic way.
In the next five years £53 million is to be taken out of a budget of £262 million.
Unison, the union for ambulance staff, is warning Londoners about this appalling situation. The union within the LAS will be calling for these severe cuts in posts to be reviewed. A ballot for industrial action may also be on the way to stop a successful public service being hacked to pieces.
Pressure from health workers has already produced results – a delay to the legislative process that Unison’s judicial review proceedings didn’t manage to produce has come from a propaganda campaign led by Unison. Now ambulance workers are saying they need to keep the pressure on to extend the “pause” into the parliamentary recess – then anything’s possible! ■