Marching to save NHS services

MARCH ON: Protesters on Saturday's march from Dewsbury to Wakefield.
MARCH ON: Protesters on Saturday's march from Dewsbury to Wakefield.

A weekend-long demonstration attracted nearly 200 people as campaigners continue their fight to keep NHS services.

The march, which took place from Friday to Sunday, went from Calderdale Royal Hospital to Pinderfields, via Dewsbury and District Hospital. There was also a rally on Friday at Dewsbury Town Hall.

The march, organised by Walk for NHS, was to protest the downgrading of Dewsbury’s accident and emergency department and what the group sees as privatisation of NHS services.

Parliamentary candidate for Dewsbury, Paula Sherriff, who attended the march said: “The distance of the march was about 12 miles. This made a lot of people realize how far it would be to go to A&E if they didn’t have a car or live on public transport routes.

“We had great support on the march from passing motorists and even nurses and patients at the hospitals!”

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood, who gave a talk at the rally on Friday evening, warned of possible future trade plans with the USA, which he worries could leave NHS services open to healthcare profiteers from the States.

“The NHS is the cornerstone of our society,” he said. “Once we lose it, we will not get it back.

“The only people who will benefit from the outsourcing services to US healthcare companies are the shareholders of the companies themselves.”