The Mancunion

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1000s to demonstrate Manchester NHS cuts

Students among those to protest local NHS cuts at Conservative Party Conference

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Students plan to demonstrate against cuts to the NHS and the government’s austerity programme next week.

Around 30,000 people are expected to turn out to protest at the Conservative Party Conference which will take place in Manchester this year. The rally was called by the Trade Union Congress to raise awareness of NHS cuts and increased privatisation.

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC said: “This September’s march and rally will allow thousands of ordinary people to show the government exactly what they think of their policies.”

“Austerity is having a devastating effect on our communities and services, with 21,000 NHS jobs lost over the last three months alone.

“The NHS is one of Britain’s finest achievements and we will not allow ministers to destroy, through cuts and privatisation, what has taken generations to build.”

Both the University’s Save Our NHS society and the Student’s Union are supporting the demonstration.

Ellen Mclaughlin, co-chair of the Save Our NHS society said: “It is crucial that we send a message to the Tories that we will defend our NHS against cuts, closures and privatisation.”

“We have seen thousands of nurses sacked across the country, and many of our NHS contracts sold off to the highest bidder, rather than the best quality provider- and this is just the beginning.”

“It is important to show the government that young people value their NHS and won’t sit quietly whilst it is ripped apart. We therefore encourage any student who cares for their health service to join us at the demo!”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has stood by the government’s re-organisation of the NHS, suggesting that the health service needs to make efficiency savings or risk facing a bleak future. He has also argued that increased competition within the NHS for contracts will result in improved standards of care.

The Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, who is to speak at the rally, has condemned NHS job cuts in his blog.

“It is clear that the NHS simply cannot continue to take nursing cuts on this scale and maintain standards of patient care,” he said.

“David Cameron must urgently intervene to ensure safe staffing levels in our hospitals. These dangerous cuts show that you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.”