Thousands of protesters took to the streets of central London on Saturday to protest about the the closure and downgrading of A&E departments in hospitals across the capital, as well as the increasing privatisation of health services.
Billed as ‘Defend London’s NHS,’ the demo was supported by a host of unions and made a colourful and noisy display as it marched from Waterloo to Whitehall, dropping off a petition to Downing Street on the way.
The government has announced plans to downgrade the A&Es at Charing Cross, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith, Ealing and Lewisham Hospital.
At the protest was the actor Roger Lloyd Pack, who said
The NHS has saved and improved countless lives since its inception in 1948.
Now we find it is under attack as though it was the cause of all our ills when in truth it is a national treasure.
Neurologist Professor Simon Shorvon, voiced his concerns about the decision to close four west London A&E departments.
He told the BBC:
It will leave a huge swathe of residents far from a local casualty.
Time matters in an emergency situation and being stuck in an ambulance after a coronary or stroke or life-threatening accident will play havoc with survival and recovery rates.
Sue Tarr, of the Royal College of Nursing, added: “London’s nurses are here today because they’re worried that changes are being made to the NHS to save money, rather than to improve services for patients.”
Here’s some photos from the protest.
Marching across Waterloo Bridge.
Along the Strand.
There’ll no doubt be more protests coming up as this hideous government continues to dismantle the NHS. Please make the next one because once they’ve taken the NHS away, it won’t be coming back.