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NHS Campaigners Blockade Tory MP's Offices

NHS campaigners gathered on Spinning Jenny Way, Leigh on Saturday to protest against the Health and Care Bill. The protest was part of a national day of action organised by Unite The Union, SOS NHS and Your NHS Needs You, with similar demonstrations being held in towns and cities across the country. The protests were held in the constituencies of Conservative MP’s who had voted in favour of the bill including Leigh MP James Grundy.

Campaigners have claimed the Health and Care Bill, which will come into effect in April 2022, will lead to more privatisation, budget cuts and limited access to treatments.

The Bill will also cap social care at £86,000 which campaigners say will hit the poor hard while protecting the rich.

Jo Platt, the former MP for Leigh who attended the demonstration said: “The NHS is just so important. Obviously not just to us here, but to everybody. I think in recent years with the pandemic and everything that’s gone on, we value the NHS and we need to keep that safe.”

“The response we are getting here in Leigh is absolutely fantastic. You can hear the car horns you can hear the music. And guess what it’s important to them. So we just need to keep being here. Keep that presence for our NHS and its valued workers.”

The campaigners marched through Leigh Town Centre to James Grundy's office and were joined by the Wigan Samba Band. Campaigners held placards which said: “Hands Off Our NHS”

The campaigners claim that eventually, the NHS will no longer be free at the point of use and people will have the option of private insurance or to pay for healthcare themselves.

Andy Birchall, Wigan Unite Branch Secretary said: “The bill going through will be the last piece in the jigsaw to privatise our NHS.”

“Every time the Conservatives get in power they deliberately underfund the NHS to try and get rid of it and it becomes our business to defend it until we can get a favourable government.”

Neil Clarke, Unite The Unions Regional Political Officer said: “The NHS belongs to us all. Its not for sale. Its not to be used for the extraction of private profit. We demand a publicly funded. Publicly owned. Publicly controlled national health service.”


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