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Re-open Chorley A&E - end the staff shortages
Residents have been protesting weekly outside Chorley and South Ribble Hospital A&E department since it closed suddenly in April because of staff shortages. The campaign called a mass protest on Saturday 11 June to demand it is reopened.
Despite torrential rain and the Health Trust CEO, the night before, assuring us it was only a temporary closure, over 3,000 people joined the march.
Nobody is convinced the A&E will re-open in August, as is being suggested. Nearby Wigan and Preston Hospitals are feeling the strain, telling people to stay away.
The demo was made up of families in the main, with the whole community coming together. Hundreds of bikers headed up the march, revving their engines and making plenty of noise. As the sea of people dressed in yellow with homemade placards and trade union banners made its way through the town centre, people stopped and applauded.
Unity was shown from the Hands off HRI campaign as Huddersfield campaigners (see below) joined the protest.
The campaign has pledged to protest every week until the A&E re-opens. The NHS is under attack but people are fighting back. There needs to be a linking up of the local NHS campaigns into a national network.
The health trade unions and the TUC should call a mass national protest to defend the NHS, uniting with junior doctors and student nurses.
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