Kingston Hospital cuts frontline staff and closes ward

Kingston Hospital will be hit with renewed attacks on its services and a cut to its primary care and prescribing costs of £1.6 million.

One in ten medical beds in the hospital will be lost, while 32 ward-based Health Care Assistant posts will be cut.

The total new “savings” being imposed on the hospital are £2.6 million and means that one in Health Assistants will be made redundant, while Derwent Ward in Esher Wing is closed. Derwent Ward provides rheumatology, haematology and general medicine services. The proposals are set out in a document published by Kingston Hospital and euhemeristically named “Consultation paper for the reconfiguration of the medical wards including staffing and location”.

MP for Kingston and Surbiton, Ed Davey, campaigned during the election on his supposed record of fighting against closures at Kingston Hospital, while David Cameron promised to “cut the deficit, not the NHS”. But all those promises have been ripped up over the past two years as Kingston Hospital has been hit with more and more cuts to nursing and medical staff.

The cutbacks are tied to the privatisation and marketisation of the NHS which the ConDem government are rolling out across the country. The Health and Social Welfare Bill, currently being put through parliament, will mean that the private sector will be much more involved in commissioning and delivering health care services through a system of so-called “GP commissioning”.

Kingston Council boasts of its record of introducing GP commissioning bodies well before the time required by law, and councillors like Derek Osbourne, the Leader of Kingston Council, publically support the government’s notorious bill.

The TUC’s All Together for the NHS campaign has called a rally in London on March 7th against cuts and privatisation. You can see more information here.

Local anti-cuts activists have launched an online petition to save Derwent Ward. You can sign it here.

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