A co-leader of the Green Party visited Grantham today to lend his support to hospital campaigner and Independent candidate Sarah Stock ahead of Thursday’s Sleaford by-election.
Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party for England and Wales, visited Grantham Hospital where he met Miss Stock and supporters campaigning for the return of a 24-hour service to the A&E department.
Miss Stock, a campaigner with Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital, has secured the support of the Green Party which has decided not to put up a candidate in the by-election, but support the Billingborough nurse instead.
Mr Bartley told the Journal: “Sarah has a background in nursing and has experienced the rough end of the NHS. I know what Sarah and the people of Grantham are going through and this by-election is an opportunity to put the NHS at the top of the agenda. We are sending out a key message to voters we will not support the under-investment and the destruction of the health service. Closing the A&E is not acceptable and people are paying the price.”
Miss Stock said she had an incredible amount of support from people locally who backed her and the hospital. But she said her campaign for the by-election was not just about the hospital and the closure overnight of the A&E depsartmnet.
She said: “It’s also about the big picture. Lincolnshire has always been left out. I think more people are aware of what is really happening to Grantham Hospital thanks to the by-election. It is not simply about a shortage of doctors. This not just a local issue, it is being driven nationally.”
Mr Bartley’s visit follows on from that of the co-founder of the National Health Action Party (NHA), Dr Richard Taylor MBE FRCP, MP for Wyre Forest and member of the Health Select Committee 2001-2010, who went to Sleaford. He was joined by Dr Louise Irvine, an executive member of the NHA, Chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign, member of British Medical Council and Doctors in Unite, and Larry Sanders, Health and Social Care Spokesperson for the Green Party and brother of US senator Bernie Sanders.