Shadow chancellor to speak at Brighton NHS demo

Sussex Defend the NHS on the march
Sussex Defend the NHS on the march

Health campaigners are set to march through the city in objection to a new funding plan for the NHS on Saturday (January 21).

The Sussex Defend the NHS group will gather at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, at 11am, before marching through the city, up Queens Road and to Brighton Station where there will be a rally at 12.30pm.

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell has agreed to speak at the rally, according to the campaign group, and representatives from the GMB, Unison, and Unite are expected to attend.

A Defend the NHS spokesperson said: “With our health services collapsing, our social services in crisis and train services in chaos, public anger is expected to fall out onto the streets of Brighton this coming Saturday.

“Sussex Defend the NHS supported by Brighton and Hove Trades Council, are organising a march and rally on Saturday, to channel this anger against the effects of government policy, austerity, public sector cuts and the firesale that is being waged of our health and social services.

“The immediate and impending threat across the city is the imposition of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan on the people of this area, and another 43 areas around the country. These plans will result in the total decimation of NHS services, and the effacing of the NHS as it is at present, a universally available, free-at-the-point-of-need, publicly funded service, and will lead to its transformation into something resembling the system that prevails in the United States.”

The funding plan for Brighton and Hove is included in the Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), which aims to save £530m over the next four years.