Protests planned against lack of NHS funding

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By Olivia Mumby

NHS protest group, Health Campaigns Together, has announced plans with The People’s Assembly for a protest this Saturday(FEB3) at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The protest will be held against the government’s current lack of funding for the NHS.

The announcement follows Leicester protestors’ previous success in stopping plans to end heart surgery at Glenfield Hospital.

In a statement issued yesterday, Steve Score, chairman of the Save Glenfield Children’s Heart Centre campaign, said: “We want to continue the energy of thousands of people who supported our battle to save the NHS.”

The protest will be held between 11am and 12:30pm on Saturday outside Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Supporters will gather around the area of Infirmary Square, near the entrance to the new children’s A&E department, holding signs and handing out leaflets.

Mr Score continued: “The severe funding crisis in the NHS has become all too apparent in the last few months: The queues at A&E, cancelled operations and longer waits.

“Over the last few years NHS funding per head of the population has fallen. We now have fewer beds per person than all but two of the EU countries.

“We are calling for immediate and significant increase in government funding every year, for no cuts and closures and an end to privatisation.”

The Leicester protest will be part of a series of nation-wide protests called by Health Campaigns Together, with the main protest being held in London.

Spokesperson for the Campaign Against NHS Privatisation, Robert Ball, said: “We can afford a good health service. The UK is the 6th richest nation in the world.

“We are calling for an emergency injection of cash plus increased levels of funding in coming years, restoring the historical 4% after inflation, and annual increases.”

Current government funding cuts will mean that, in Leicestershire alone, 243 acute care beds will be lost, St Mary’s birthing centre in Melton Mowbray will be closed along with hospitals in Lutterworth and Oakham, consultant led maternity services at Leicester General Hospital will be lost, and the number of beds provided at Hinkley and Bosworth Community Hospital will be halved.

More information can be found on the NHS in Crisis’ Facebook page.

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