Campaign news

Hands Off Our NHS

1st February 2017

By Cathy Augustine

On Saturday 28th January 2017, Hands Off Our NHS! organised a HOWL of protest event in Westminster against STPs and the defunding and privatisation of our NHS. Our aim was to raise awareness of the further damage that the government’s secret “Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) will inflict on our NHS - and to build for the national demo on 4th March organised by Health Campaigns Together and People’s Assembly.

The STPs are designed to underfund the NHS by a further £22bn, leaving our services ripe for sell-off and privatisation, with our NHS remaining merely as a logo stamped over companies running healthcare for profit, not for patients and staff.

We are fighting to restore our NHS as a publicly funded, publicly owned, publicly managed and publicly delivered – free at the point of use, depending on need, not the size of your wallet!
There were more than 300 people at the protest and the amazing campaign groups present included:

Keep Our NHS Public (KONP)
Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital!...
Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC)
Bursary or Bust
Keep Our St Hellier Hospital!
Unite Health/Unite Community
Momentum NHS
Horton Hospital Campaign
Junior Doctors’ Alliance
Ealing Save Our Hospital Campaign
999 Call for the NHS
Save Charing Cross Hospital
Save Lewisham Hospital

Speakers included:

David Matthew Bailey - A&E nurse and NHS activist
Aneira Thomas - the first NHS baby born 1 minute after midnight on the day of it’s introduction; named after Nye Bevan
Fiona Dent - Labour Party National Policy Forum
Jac Berry - Nurse and Unison NEC member and organiser of ‘It’s our NHS’ Demo
Kishan Rees - WatMed media and Junior Doctor
Aislinn Macklin-Doherty - Junior Doctor JDA
Paula Peters - DPAC
Eve Turner - Ealing Save our Hospital Campaign
Sarah Stock & Melissa Darcey - Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital
Tony O’Sullivan - KONP co-chair
Peter Stefanovic Lawyer and campaigner

There were also HOWL events in Leeds, Liverpool and Barnstaple.

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