Support Stafford Hospital campaigners welcomed a contingent of more than 30 health workers from Doncaster to their protest camp this week. And they are inviting NHS protest groups from across the UK to join the camp in the hospital grounds for a barbecue on Saturday August 9 at 4pm.
The Doncaster campaigners, members of health union Unison, are battling cuts to health and home care services in their area, and travelled to Stafford to show their support for the campaign to retain a full range of hospital services in the county town.
The protest camp, now known online as #OccupySSH, is marking the end of its third week outside the hospital by playing host to supporters from around the country who are also facing the loss or downgrade of essential services at the local hospital serving their communities.
The aim is a demonstration of solidarity against controversial NHS changes, plus the opportunity for campaign groups to build links and work together.
The camp has already welcomed supporters from groups including Save Lewisham Hospital, Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public and Save The Alexandra Hospital, from Redditch.
Julian Porter, who came up with the idea of a protest camp and who was one of the first to set up a tent said: “This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to come together and show solidarity against the destruction of the NHS. So many hospitals in this country are facing downgrade or closures and it’s time that we all stood together as one to say no, we will not let that happen, we need to maintain our local services”.