March stopping off to defend town’s hospital

Bedford Hospital Accident and Emergency.
Bedford Hospital Accident and Emergency.

A march in support of the NHS is heading to Bedford where Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham will speak on the future of the service.

The People’s March for the NHS is making its way from Jarrow to London, following in the footsteps of the 1936 march to highlight unemployment and poverty.

When it arrives in Bedford on Tuesday, September 2, a rally will be held at Harpur Square, at 6pm, where Mr Burnham will be joined by other speakers..

Bedford march co-ordinator and regional GMB officer Steve Sweeney said: “In Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes services are under threat.

“The Healthcare Review conducted by the Clinical Commissioning Groups could see either Bedford or Milton Keynes Hospitals without a fully functioning accident and emergency service.

“This is nothing to do with improving services, but is a result of a financially driven exercise and Tory ideology.”

He added: “We have been working together closely with campaigners from Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes who oppose any plans to close or downgrade services.

“We are calling on the public to come and show support for the marchers and join the campaign to defend local services.”

The march leaves from Bedford Hospital on Wednesday, September 3 with a send off rally in the Britannia Car Park at 10.30am before making its way to Luton. It was founded by a group of mothers from Darlington, concerned about the future of the NHS.