Over 150 NHS supporters took to the streets in Liskeard this morning to protest about the failure of the Tory Government to address the NHS funding crisis in Cornwall. Marchers congregated just a few doors down from Tory MP Sheryll Murray’s office, where over 300 letters calling for an end to Tory underfunding of the NHS in Cornwall were hand delivered.
The rally was addressed by speakers including a recently retired GP, a health worker, a UNISON Rep and the Chair of Rame & Torpoint Labour group, Rich Clarke. They each stated that “only under a Labour government” would the NHS be in safe hands.
Jan Macfarlane, a former GP, raised concerns about the move to transform Cornwall NHS into an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO) – an issue that the Labour Party have demanded be the subject of an emergency debate in Parliament. There are concerns that becoming an ACO would mean a reduction in patient services and wholesale privatisation of the NHS.
The campaign has only just begun, and Cornwall Labour NHS Campaign Group’s next step will be demanding that, prior to implementation, the ACO should be discussed by a full Cornwall Council Meeting rather than be approved by a scrutiny committee composed of only 6 councillors’.
The rally came to an end on a high note, with local folk singer, Eddie Farrell, whose songs included calling for more effective measures to combat tax avoidance to better fund the NHS and the very apt “where’s Sheryll” – who was not there to receive the 350+ letters from concerned constituents that were delivered.and Torpoint Labour Group, Rich Clarke. They each stated that “only under a Labour Government” would the NHS be in safe hands.
For more pictures and videos, and press reports on the march, see Rame and Torpoint Branch