Campaigners hold rally in Sunderland to ‘protect NHS’

Sunderland's People Assembly holding a Valentines Day Rally for the NHS campaign.

Sunderland's People Assembly holding a Valentines Day Rally for the NHS campaign.

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A MAJOR rally calling for the protection of the NHS is to take place in Sunderland this weekend.

A gathering on Saturday will see Sunderland People’s Assembly and others meet to have their say on changes and proposals ahead of the General Election.

Speakers at the meeting will include Dr Helen Groom, a North East-based GP who is involved in the Keep Our NHS Public group, Pete Burnett, of the People’s Assembly, and Jo Adams, of the 999 Call for NHS campaign, followed by a question and answer session.

The event will be staged in preparation for a rally the following Saturday, which will see campaigners gather in Park Lane as they call for action and lobby Sunderland Central constituency’s prospective parliamentary candidates and present a petition, which has already been signed by more than 600 people, calling for the protection of the NHS.

Mark Tyers, convener for the Wearside branch of the organisation, said: “There is going to be quite a broad swathe of people coming along to the public meeting and anyone can come along.

“I’m sure many people who work for the NHS and politicians will be among them. We have some great speakers who will be providing a varied view of how this Government has chopped up and sold off the NHS and given it to corporations such as Virgin, Serco and Circle. This meeting is for anyone who is concerned about the NHS and how it is being run.”

Saturday’s meeting will be held in the hall at St Mary’s Church in Bridge Street and is expected to run until 2.30pm, with refreshments afterwards. The rally in Park Lane will begin at noon on Saturday, April 25.