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Health workers hold protest vigil as MPs vote

8 September 2011 - 12:19pm

CSP council chair Ann Green joined a vigil outside the Houses of Parliament as MPs debated the latest version of the Health and Social Care Bill.

File 101420TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, physiotherapist Vickie Yeardley, CSP chair Ann Green and Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis at the NHS vigil in London. Photo: Stefano Cagnoni

Lesley Mercer, Employment Relations and Union Services director, and other CSP representatives were also among demonstrators at the candlelit vigil, which was co-ordinated by the TUC’s All Together for the NHS campaign.

They joined protesters from other health unions, including the Royal College of Midwives and the Society of Radiographers, condemning the government’s NHS reform proposals.

Tide of privatisation

‘I am really concerned about the direction of the Health and Social Care Bill,’ said physiotherapist Vickie Yeardley (pictured), who works for Camden PCT, on the vigil. ‘It feels like the last chance to stop the advancing tide of privatisation in our NHS.’

Scores of other events took place in the week before the Parliamentary vote, including demonstrations outside the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Warrington Hospital.

The Health and Social Care Bill’s third reading was passed in the Commons with a majority of 65. It will appear before the House of Lords next month.

Informed campaign

The CSP and other health unions will now be lobbying peers.

‘The CSP has run a very strong, informed and passionate campaign around the Health and Social Care Bill,’ said Ann Green. ‘Our participation in the vigil further demonstrates our concerns for the future of the NHS and the dire consequences for patient care.’

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