Speakers lined up for Hartlepool rally against NHS cuts

Members of Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital outside the hospital in Holdforth Road, Hartlepool.

Members of Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital outside the hospital in Holdforth Road, Hartlepool.

9
Have your say

A host of speakers both local and from around the country will speak at a protest rally in Hartlepool against cuts to the NHS.

The event organised by the Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital group takes place in Hartlepool town centre on Saturday, October 15.

This is about restructuring the NHS around us with no public or political mandate and with no evidence to support the transformation that NHS England is imposing

Glen Hughes, Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital

It comes after the announcement that urgent care is to be transferred from the One Life Hartlepool medical centre in Park Road to the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital stress it is not a return of the A&E department, which closed several years ago with patients from Hartlepool and surrounding areas having to travel to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton 13 miles away.

Organisers say the rally will also highlight important national issues over changes to the NHS and their impact on the North East.

Glen Hughes, deputy chair of Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital, said: “We are currently in status quo, nothing has changed for the people of this town and surrounding area and we still need and deserve a fully functioning A&E service.”

He added: “Working with other campaign groups up and down the country we can see this is not just a local issue anymore.

“This is about restructuring the NHS around us with no public or political mandate and with no evidence to support the transformation that NHS England is imposing.”

The group fear Better Health Programme proposals for emergency care in Darlington, Durham and Tees could see the downgrading of services and patients having to travel further to attend James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

“People will die,” added Glen.

People are invited to attend the Emergency Call for the NHS rally in Victory Square which starts at noon.

Speakers will include Jo Adams, founder of 999 Call for the NHS; Councillor David Riddle of Putting Hartlepool First; UKIP councillor John Tenant; Peterlee Mayor Mary Cartwright; junior doctor Kishan Rees and Steven Carne, a director of 999 Call 4 the NHS.