MP urges people to join rally to help protect the NHS

Emma Lewell-Buck.
Emma Lewell-Buck.
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A South Tyneside MP is urging people to join her in a rally where she will address concerns over the future of the NHS.

Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, will be taking part in a march and rally o Saturday organised by the Keep Our NHS Public North East campaign group.

The purpose of the event is to highlight the underfunding of the NHS, and the potential negative impact that the draft Northumberland, Tyne, Wear and North Durham Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) would have on local health services.

The plan, which covers South Tyneside District Hospital’s future, is one of 44 which have been carried out by NHS England to address key care, quality, health, welling and funding issues, in a bid to make savings, for the region, of £64 million by 2021.

There’s already fears for the Harton Lane site in South Shields, after an alliance was formed with City Hospitals Sunderland to create the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group.

Mrs Lewell Buck has previously spoken out on how important it is for the borough to have a thriving hospital and has supported the Save Our South Tyneside Hospital campaign group on its mission to protect the borough’s acute services.

She said: “Our NHS is in crisis. The Government’s answer to that crisis, instead of looking at new ways to fund the NHS and ensure its future,is to force local areas to come up with plans predicated on massive cuts.

“This is placing hospitals, including South Tyneside Hospital, right across England under threat.

“It is a deliberate attempt by the Tories to dismantle the NHS. I would encourage anyone who cares about the NHS to come along on Saturday to hear myself speak and support saving the NHS.”

People are asked to assemble at 11.45am at Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne (adjacent to the RVI) for the March to Greys Monument, and the rally will commence at 1pm.

The event is being held to build support for the national #ourNHS demonstration in London on March 4.