PICTURES AND VIDEO: Hundreds join hospital ‘red line’ demos around Devon
- Credit: Archant
Health campaigners out in force during day of action around the county.
Hundreds of local health campaigners took to the streets this weekend to rally against cuts to local hospitals.
A series of planned ‘red line’ demos have taken place around Devon, including in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Torrington, Bideford, South Molton and Holsworthy.
Similar events took place outside hospitals in Whipton, Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Sidmouth, Seaton and Torbay.
In Barnstaple, the message was loud and clear: ‘No ifs, no buts, no NHS cuts.’
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Ray Ashman, who addresses the crowd outside North Devon District Hospital, said: “This hospital is special; North Devon is a special case.
“The people of North Devon campaigned for well over a decade to have this hospital built.
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“Nothing has changed since then; we have this hospital because of our rurality; North Devon District Hospital is the most remote in the whole of mainland England.
“Jeremy Hunt and our MPs have acknowledged that this is a special case, whether we can trust them is a different matter.
“We need to make them aware that we need this hospital with all of its acute services – none of them removed.
“We must continue to stand and fight to reverse the decisions that have already been made and demand the re-instatement of services already taken away.
“We are facing a tide of destruction; we are standing against that; we are the red line.”
The countywide ‘You Can’t Fool Us’ day was organised by Save Our Hospital Services (SOHS) Devon amid fear of cuts to services under the looming NHS England Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).
The NHS says savings of £550million must be made in Devon, but campaigners say if cuts go ahead people could die.
The red line theme comes from a quote by Northern Devon Healthcare Trust chief executive Dr Alison Diamond, who said there would be ‘no red lines’ when it came to health services.