Placard-waving protesters target Blyth MP
Campaigners gathered outside MP Ian Levy’s office in Blyth to protest against the Health and Care Bill currently making its way through parliament.
Carrying banners and placards, the protesters have branded the bill a “corporate takeover” of the NHS as it will allow private healthcare companies to sit on NHS boards and make key decisions about the care that NHS patients receive.
In July, Mr Levy voted to support the legislation, but there are more votes expected in the autumn before it becomes law, and campaigners hope they can build enough pressure to defeat the government.
Campaigners Kath Chandler and Eileen Whitenstall said " We are absolutely furious about the Conservatives’ plans for the NHS and the health bill currently being debated in parliament.
"This bill will result in yet more privatisation from within of our beloved NHS.
“These companies only want access to the NHS to make money and are run for profit, not with the patients’ well-being at their heart. The result will be yet more money being funnelled out of NHS coffers and into the hands of private company shareholders. They make this profit by cutting services.
“The bill is being sold on the pretext that this will improve the health service but in truth, all it means is that private companies will make yet more money and have more say on how the health service is run.”
The protest formed part of a national day of action co-ordinated by Just Treatment, a patient-led healthcare campaigning group.
The Blyth campaigners have also launched a petition which they plan to send to Mr Levy. It can be accessed online via https://www.nhsnewdeal.org/your-mp?constituency=73