Louth Labour: ‘We will fight tooth and nail for NHS’

Some of the campaigners outside Louth County Hospital on Saturday morning (January 21).
Some of the campaigners outside Louth County Hospital on Saturday morning (January 21).

More than two dozen residents, concerned over the state of the NHS locally and nationally, demonstrated outside Louth County Hospital and in the town on Saturday.

The campaign, spearheaded by the Louth and District Labour Party, began outside the hospital on Saturday morning (January 21), attracting speakers, activists and supporters.

Elsie Luna (8) at the NHS campaign in Louth.

Elsie Luna (8) at the NHS campaign in Louth.

Speeches came from chairman of the local party branch Ros Jackson - who is also a Louth town councillor and East Lindsey district councillor - in addition to heartfelt speeches from town councillor Julie Speed, and David Bolland.

Following the speeches, the campaigners split into groups to leaflet the town - with Coun Jackson claiming that members of the public she spokes to were ‘frequently horrified by what’s happening’ in the NHS - adding that the campaigners received ‘a lot of support’ for their message.

Coun Jackson said: “This protest highlights how important the NHS is to people locally.

“The STP (Sustainability and Transformation Plan) document hides a multitude of potential cuts that will be very dangerous.

“The main one for Louth is the proposal to ‘re-provision ... community facilities at Louth and Skegness Hospitals with single site’). How far are people going to end up having to travel to hospital?

“This is the precursor to privatisation: concentrate the best facilities on fewer sites, de-fund the whole system so that it can be argued it doesn’t work under public ownership, and then sell it off.

“It’s not acceptable. Central government must invest in the NHS because countless lives depend on it, and it should be free at the point of use. That’s the hallmark of a caring civilisation.”

Before the demonstration took place, Coun Jackson said: “Louth County Hospital is precious to me. Their staff have helped me and members of my family countless times, and I will fight tooth and nail to keep it properly funded and open.”

A Lincolnshire NHS spokesman told the Leader: “Our objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of our patients whilst delivering a resilient and sustainable service in terms of finances and other resources, such as our staff. No decision has been made about community facilities in the North East locality of Lincolnshire.

“There will be further engagement with the general public about specific options before a full public consultation in the summer before any changes are 
made.

l What are your thoughts on the topic? Email louthleader@jpress.co.uk.