Video: North Devon NHS marchers in London
- Credit: Archant
North Devon campaigners join thousands from across the country for the mass demonstration in London against NHS cuts
Two coach loads of health campaigners from North Devon joined an estimated 250,000 NHS protesters to march on Parliament on Saturday.
Thousands of people streamed from Tavistock Square to Westminster in a two mile long procession for the #OurNHS march to protest against austerity and potential health service cuts.
A total of 110 Save Our Hospital Services campaigners set off from Barnstaple and Bideford to fight their corner against feared cuts to the local NHS and the loss of services at North Devon District Hospital.
Barnstaple campaigner Ian Williams said: “It was a great day. We got to see so many people from all over the country that we have talked to online.
“We also saw so many young people there who recognise the threats that we are under. It would be great if we could encourage more youngsters from North Devon to recognise the real difficulties that are facing our healthcare.”
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At Westminster, speakers including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd.
The marchers are worried by the 44 sustainability and transformation plan (STP) reviews across England which they claim could see hospital services cut back.
In North Devon, there are fears for the future of A and E, stroke, maternity and paediatrics.
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Locally, a review of acute services is under way, with work completed by clinicians now going out to various public discussion groups for more feedback.
It has been stressed any recommendations made as a result of the review will not go out to public consultation until the summer.
* The next discussion group is tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Lantern Centre in Ilfracombe from 2.30-4.30pm.
There is another on Wednesday at Bideford College’s Stucley Hall from 6-8pm and finally at Stanbury Hall, Petroc, in Barnstaple on Friday, March 17 from 11.30am-1.30pm.
People are welcome to attend but are asked to call 01392 267642 or email d-ccg.CorporateServices@nhs.net to register for a place.