NHS workers hoping for a well-deserved decent pay rise and that the Government would face up to the desperate situation in the NHS will have been disappointed by the Budget last week. Clearly the crisis in the NHS and the threat of industrial action meant the Chancellor was forced to announce a measly increase of 2% increase for the next two years – but without any funding for pay increases!
Whilst the figure of £3.3 billion looks good in the headlines, it is less than half the £7 billion that NHS leaders say is desperately needed for 2023 to fill the hole in the Budget. In other words, it is a CUT. Not only is it less money then needed, the Government expects the NHS to find even more so-called ‘efficiency savings’. And inevitably the squeeze on other public services, rises in energy prices and growing inflation will further impact on NHS budgets!
It now seems highly likely that the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) will go ahead with their first ever strike, while the nurses, ambulance workers and other workers in Unite, Unison, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives, who are currently balloting may well be fired up enough to join them!
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For over a decade NHS workers have put up with real-term pay cuts, with some workers up to 29% worse off in real terms. It’s no wonder that many have chosen to walk away and those that remain are struggling to pay the bills and even feed themselves and their families. What a disgrace!
It has got so bad that Hospitals across the country have set up food banks for staff and have begun offering emergency loans to help staff who are under financial pressure, including at Ealing, Northwick Park and Central Middlesex Hospitals. Working agency shifts to meet the shortfall in NHS pay has become the norm, leading to even quicker burnout amongst staff who are already overworked.
This quote from Nurse activist Holly Turner really sums up why nurses are striking –
“What staff are witnessing first hand is a catastrophic breakdown of services that has left us with vacancies hitting 135,000 and patients in danger. We desperately need to focus on retention of staff. Without addressing that, we have no chance of tackling the backlog of seven million patients”
Read more from nurse Holly Turner here;
No doubt when the strikes do take place there will be a backlash from the Government and their media friends, accusing the workers of threatening peoples lives etc. It is certainly not the workers’ fault that thousands of people are leaving or that the huge hole in NHS budgets means millions are sitting on waiting lists!
The RCN and other health unions have pledged to ensure that emergency care is not affected and will be exempting staff from strike action to ensure this.
ESON will be supporting our NHS workers at our next Stall in Ealing Broadway on Saturday 3rd December.
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All of Ealing’s 31 inpatient beds for adults (under 65) which were ‘temporarily’ closed during the Covid pandemic are facing permanent closure by West London NHS Trust, which is responsible for mental health services in Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow. This would leave Ealing with ZERO acute beds for adults.
We know from campaigning with our Petition on the streets that local people are very much opposed to the loss of beds and want both child and adult acute beds re-opened.
Last year, according to our Freedom of information request, 352 seriously ill patients from Ealing (roughly 30 a month) were admitted to either Charing Cross (140) or Lakeside in Hounslow (212) cutting them off from their local community, friends , family and places of worship and causing hours of extra time in travelling and cost for their carers and family. Around 52% of the people affected, are also from the BAME community – so much for addressing inequalities!
The Trust is currently carrying out a ‘conversation’ or ‘engagement’, supposedly to seek the public’s view but it is skewered to support the case for permanently closing the beds by focusing on how bad the current building is for patients (which is true) while failing to make clear the loss of all adult acute beds in Ealing and the impact that would have on local people. They also talk of using the money saved in Ealing for better community services, but they are no substitute for a bed when you are seriously unwell – ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ comes to mind!
Although an extra 17 acute beds have been created at Lakeside in Hounslow using the money saved from closing the 31 beds in Ealing, that’s still a serious loss of 14 much-needed beds for the 3 Boroughs. According to the BMA and Royal College of Psychiatrists we need more acute beds not less!
The Trust needs to know there is widespread opposition to their plans, so to begin with we are participating in their ‘conversation’, even though its deeply flawed. We are urging people to fill in the survey and have your say.
Link to the Survey is here
We will be handing in our Petition against bed closures to the West London NHS Trust, Ealing Council and other NHS bodies, as well as lobbying our Councillors and local MPs to stand up for the people of Ealing as they did when Ealing Hospital was under threat.
PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR COUNCILLOR AND/OR MP asking them to oppose the bed cuts, especially if you or your family could be affected.


The Observer newspaper recently reported that NHS England has instructed its digital wing, NHS Digital to use US spytech company Palantir’s operating platform, which is called ‘Foundry’, to collect patient data. This will include your NHS number, date of birth, postcode, admissions and inpatient activity. NHS England describe this as a “pilot”, supposedly to help bring down waiting lists.
We understand that Palantir are not fit in any way to have access to our data with their track record of working with US military operations, mass surveillance and predictive policing, not to mention Donald Trump.
AND most important we as patients haven’t been asked for our consent.
Campaigners against the sharing of our data with private companies are asking us to write to our MPs – it will only take a few minutes so please help.


The End Social Care Disgrace Campaign, which is fighting for a National Care Support and Independent Living Service, is having an online Public Meeting on Monday 5th December from 6.00 -7.30pm.
There is no doubt that we need a really big national campaign to radically transform Social Care in to a free, publically provided service with decent pay, conditions and training that respects the role of care staff.
There is a great line up of speakers including MPs, service users, workers and carers.
You can register here; –



We will be outside Marks & Spencers in Ealing Broadway from 11.30 -1.00pm on Saturday the 3rd. It’s our last push on our Mental Health beds Petition before we hand it in and we will certainly be highlighting why the public should be right behind Nurses and other NHS staff taking strike action too – Please come and join us.
If you would like to get more involved in our Campaign and come to our meetings, please drop us an email.


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