Health service campaigners stage protest in Harborough town centre

Save Our NHS Leicestershire and the Campaign Against NHS Privatisation staged the demonstration on The Square in a Day of Action held at over 70 locations nationally

By Red Williams
Monday, 28th February 2022, 1:11 pm
Updated Monday, 28th February 2022, 1:12 pm
Health campaigners from Save Our NHS Leicestershire and the Campaign Against NHS Privatisation held protests on the Square in Market Harborough on Saturday.
Health campaigners from Save Our NHS Leicestershire and the Campaign Against NHS Privatisation held protests on the Square in Market Harborough on Saturday.

Health service campaigners staged a protest in Market Harborough town centre on Saturday (February 26).

Save Our NHS Leicestershire and the Campaign Against NHS Privatisation united to stage the demonstration on The Square in a Day of Action held at over 70 locations nationally.

Tom Barker, who helped to mount a protest in Leicester on Saturday, said: “A ‘decade of austerity’ has left NHS and social care funding falling behind the costs of patient need.

Health campaigners from Save Our NHS Leicestershire and the Campaign Against NHS Privatisation held protests on the Square in Market Harborough on Saturday. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“Pay freezes and pay caps for staff, excessive workloads on limited resources and abolishing the training bursary for nurses have led a recruitment and retention crisis, with around 100,000 vacancies,” he said.

“And decisions to keep cutting hospital bed numbers and closing hospital departments has led to a growing reliance on the private sector and the creation a two-tier health service.

“We have particular concerns in Leicestershire as our local hospitals have some of the longest waiting times for routine surgery in England,” said Tom.

“These are just some of the reasons that we are protesting.”

Activists are calling for £20 billion to be injected into the NHS immediately in a bid to expand the health service and slash waiting times.

“A decade of funding squeezes and cuts did a lot of damage to the NHS and social care services.

“The UK is a rich country - but resources are very unequally shared out.

“We support tax increases on large businesses and the super-rich to increase funding for health and social care,” added Tom.

“But we believe this change will only come from public pressure alongside patients, NHS staff and trade union action.

“That’s why we are asking more members of the public to get involved.”