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Thousands march against overnight closure of Shropshire A&E
Rachel Jenkins, student nurse and Birmingham Socialist Party
Princess Royal Hospital faces overnight closure. 3,000 people marched against plans that would force people to travel an extra 17-23 miles for emergency health services after 8pm.
Local hospitals in Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury would feel a knock-on effect of increased admissions. The mood was sombre on the silent, steady march, but lifted for speeches and chants.
Gill George, local Defend Our NHS chair, noted the absence of Wrekin's Tory MP Mark Pritchard. The hospital board justified closure because seven more doctors are needed to keep the department open, and these vacancies had not been filled. But the jobs had not been advertised!
We need new NHS training facilities in Shropshire. There are very few at the moment.
Susan, a local resident, commented: "It's great that new housing developments are continually being built, encouraging people into the area. But they're also cutting funding for services, continuing to close healthcare facilities, the demand for which is steadily increasing."
The health trust say closure is temporary, but we know it would be permanent.
It is clear from this display that the people of Shropshire will not let go of their health services without a fight.
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