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Your spotlight on local services

National 'It's our NHS' demo planned for 4 March


Health campaigners are urging Hackney residents to join the national demo in central London on 4 March to protest against NHS cuts and closures.

Campaign group Keep Our NHS Public says the NHS is at 'breaking point' and 'grossly underfunded' with 25,000 nurse and 3,500 midwife vacancies in NHS England alone.

The group warns that sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) being implemented by NHS England will pave the way for greater privatisation of health services.

'By March the 'winter crisis' will not be over and the full reality of the STPs will have become clearer to many more people,' the group said.

'We believe this could be a massive demonstration, bringing together the growing number of community campaigns with the trade union movement.'

NHS England insists the plans will make the NHS more 'sustainable' and are necessary.

The plans are expected to lead to the closure of some A&E deparments and bed closures with funding cuts of around £22bn nationally and around £578m in North East London by 2021.

Meanwhile, North East London Save our NHS is stepping up activity to oppose the STPs locally, organising a protest against the closure of the A&E deparment at King George Hospital, Ilford.

They have also launched a petition calling on councillors, mayors and MPs to refuse to endorse their local STP.

A number of councils around the country, including Waltham Forest Council, have already refused to endorse their local STPs.

Other London councils refusing to accept STPs include Easling, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow.

Sign the petition here. Read the North East London STP here.