Campaigners hold protest to ‘save the NHS’

Sarah Owen, Nick Perry and Jake Bowers with campaigners

Sarah Owen, Nick Perry and Jake Bowers with campaigners

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Protestors took to the streets in Hastings on Saturday (April 25) to demonstrate against privatisation of the NHS.

A dozen people met in Wellington Place in the town centre to gather support for their Save Our NHS campaign.

The national Save Our NHS day, held just 11 days before the General Election next Thursday (May 7), was coordinated by independent campaign group 38 Degrees.

People in Hastings joined thousands of others protesting on the same day in high streets and town centres across England.

They are now calling on people in Hastings and Rye to use their vote next Thursday to save the NHS.

More than 2,400 people in the area have already signed a petition calling on support from parliamentary candidates. Local campaigners estimate that 400 more signatures were added on Saturday in just one hour.

After collecting hundreds of new signatures, campaigners delivered their 2,845-strong Save Our NHS petition to three of Hastings and Rye’s parliamentary candidates, Sarah Owen (Labour), Nick Perry (Liberal) and Jake Bowers (Green).

Roderick Osborne, a 38 Degrees member from St Leonards, said: “Collecting signatures for the petition was an amazing experience. “Person after person praised the NHS for the treatment they had received in the past, a surprising number volunteering they owed their life to the NHS.

“More than one older petitioner commented that they don’t want a return to the days before 1948 when you had to pay to see your doctor.

“This is what our campaign is about. We want to protect the NHS. It’s an incredible public service - free at the point of use whenever our family, friends and neighbours need it.

“Experts have also named it the most efficient health system in the world. So it makes no sense that some politicians are trying to hand huge sections of our NHS over to private companies. The threat to our NHS is very real. I don’t want any of my family to be cared for by profit-driven companies.

“This is why I’d encourage anyone who feels the same to vote on May 7 with the future of our NHS in mind.”