Grantham hospital supporters were in London at the weekend to join 250,000 marchers protesting against NHS cuts.
Members of Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital (F4GH) and SOS Grantham Hospital joined the NHS protesters in the march from Tavistock Square to Parliament Square on Saturday. The march was organised by Keep Our NHS Public.
Grantham protesters are calling for the return of full 24 hour A&E service to Grantham Hospital after United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) closed it overnight in August to transfer staff to Lincoln and Boston hospitals where it said there was a staff crisis.
Ian Selby, of F4GH, said: “Like never before the NHS is under such intense pressure from the threat of cuts and this was reflected by the strength of feeling from protesters. Politicians are being disingenuous and putting corporate profit before public health. Investment in the NHS is a simple choice they refuse to make, and the reason why is to put the NHS on its knees so they can justify privatisation. I was proud to join a coach full of Grantham residents and 250,000 people on the march.”
Members of SOSGranthamHospital joined Lincoln Labour Party members with F4GH and local union members. In total approximately 100 people from west Lincolnshire came. The rally was addressed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who called for the proper funding of the NHS by the Government and recognition of the important role all NHS staff play.
SoSGH chair Coun Charmaine Morgan said: “It was both heartwarming and despairing to meet so many people fighting to save their services. From Devon to Northern Ireland, from Horsham to Glenfield we all shared stories of our campaigns and the cuts in maternity, A&E, paediatric services and hospital beds. It is appalling and the cuts must stop. Our Government has no excuse. It has one of the wealthiest economies in the developed world yet chooses to underfund the healthcare of its people. The decisions made in Westminster are costing lives. We will not give up the fight.
“A private members NHS Bill by Margaret Greenwood MP will overturn much of the damage done. It is a lifeline for our NHS and we expect any MP who supports public ownership of our NHS to back it.”
The last in a series of SOSGH workshops is due to take tomorrow (March 8) at 10am in Grantham Museum. Call 07398 156 296 for further details. Coun Morgan said: “It is important to record what patients need for comparison against what health services are being delivered. Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed so far.”