This Saturday health camapigners and trade unions will be marching in Oxford to demand the government end the cuts that are undermining patient care and the safety of Oxfordsire's NHS services.  They will be demanding action to end the staffing crisis in Oxfordshire's NHS.  Campaigners want to highlight that the current bed and staffing crisis will be made substantially worse by the planned £22 billion cuts planned under the 'Sustainability and Transformation' programme go through.

Ian Mckendrick, communications officer for Oxfordshire Unison Health branch said "The Oxford Mail report on the bed and financial crisis in Oxfordshires general hospitals comes as no surprise.  Unison has been warning for years that ongoing budget cuts would lead to a crisis in care.   The £200 million service cuts planned under the 'Sustainability and Transformatiom' programme will make the situation far worse.  Already attempts to meet government demands for cuts with early discharges and treatment closer to home are failing.  OUH bosses are saying it is like the winter crisis hasn't ended so we can't afford to lose A&E capacity at the Horton, or any other services." 

" We have also warned that failure to tackle the high cost of living in Oxfordshire would create a staffing crisis - yet Oxfordshire's NHS Trusts removed the small Oxford weighting to meet government demands for cuts.  While we welcome the fact that the OUH Trust has eventually come round to reconsidering making a small additional payment to solve the staffing crisis we are concerned it will be too little too late.  We believe that a fixed payment similar to NHS weighting paid to London staff will be necessary to make a real difference.  At the sme time we can't ignore the impact that the government's refusal to grant rights to EU migrants is having on recruitment.  Migrnat workers have been essential to the running of the NHS and using them as a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations is undermining our health services."

"The crisis caused by the cuts and inability to recruit and retain staff can only be solved by a real commintment to funding Oxfordshire's NHS.  It is completely unacceptable that the health minister Jeremy Hunt keeps reporting what a great job the NHS is doing while ignoring the very real crisis he is helping to create."

The Oxford March to Defend the NHS will assemble at 1 pm Saturday 13th May, Manzil Way, East Oxford, OX4 1YH.  Ithas been called by UNISON Oxfordshire Health services branch and is supported by Oxford Keep Our NHS Public.