NHS protest starts to snowball

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CAMPAIGNERS against the Government’s NHS reforms have announced plans to roll out their borough-wide action plan.

The newly formed Wigan and Leigh Save Our NHS/Keep Our NHS (WLSONHS) Public action group says it will continue to protest and raise awareness of the controversial reforms.

The group, formed last month after a Whelley Labour Club meeting, has already set up a Facebook group and vowed to continue to do all it can to stop the shake-up.

Ian Heyes of WLSONHS said: “Delegates to the British Medical Association Annual Conference, meeting only recently, have called for the Bill to be withdrawn. All the other health service professionals’ unions and associations are against it, as are our local MPs, but only the concerted action of the wider public is going to tip the balance.

“If a majority does nothing, then we really do believe the end is nigh for the NHS. This is not just because of all the various detrimental proposals contained in the Government’s Bill, but because they are also to be accompanied by massive cutbacks which in themselves will lead to the decimation of NHS services, including the loss of 70 beds and 200 jobs locally.

“One of the immediate aspects of our action plan is to provide all those currently opposed to the so-called reform proposals, and planned cutbacks, with all the necessary tools they might need to wage their own effective one person campaign in defence of the NHS amongst their friends, family, workmates and neighbours.

“It is also to help bring those local people who are wanting to do something together, so they might better co-ordinate their campaigning activity on the ground.”

The group is now planning to invite the borough’s MPs to get involved, lobby representatives of the borough’s NHS trusts and stage further demonstrations.

WLSONHS’s next meeting will be held at The Derby Room, Leigh Library on Thursday August 4 at 7.30pm.

The group will also be staging a protest demonstration along Bradshawgate in Leigh on Saturday July 30.