Horncastle Atkins condemns ‘NHS Uprising’ hospital march

Victoria Atkins has welcomed the recruitment of more GPs in the county - and warned against ‘scare mongering’ over Louth Hospital ahead of the ‘NHS Uprising’ march which took place on Saturday.

The MP said: “I was elected on a promise to fight for better healthcare in the constituency.

“Since 2015, I have lobbied NHS leaders tirelessly about the particular health needs and pressures of our local area.”

She said she ‘welcomed’ more than two dozen new GPs who have been recruited in Lincolnshire, including some in the east of the county.

Ms Atkins continued, “In addition to the need for more GPs, I have highlighted the important work of Louth 
Hospital to the Secretary of State and NHS leaders.

“The Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has assured me that the first round of public 
consultation regarding the STP, taking place in 
January 2018, will not include Louth Hospital.”

Speaking last week ahead of the ‘NHS Uprising’ protest march which took place at the weekend, Ms Atkins said: “As I explained to the campaign group (Fighting 4 Louth Hospital) some months ago, we must deal with the facts and there must be no scaremongering.

“I am surprised therefore that the group, led by a former Labour parliamentary candidate, are choosing to hold a carnival ‘uprising’ at this stage, when Lincolnshire’s NHS leaders have stated 
their position.

“I will continue to do whatever I can to ensure a secure future for our hospital in Louth. I hope that others will realise that, rather than turning our local hospital into a party political football, we should work together using the evidence to sing the praises of our local hospital.”

Julie Speed, founder of Fighting 4 Louth Hospital, said that she has never referred to her own 
political affiliation in relation to the hospital campaign.

She added that her campaign praises the hospital’s staff and their ‘incredible’ level of care.

The self-styled ‘NHS Uprising’ march, headed by an energetic Samba band and belly dancers, attracted more than 300 people from around the county and beyond, marching through Louth town 
centre and up to the hospital.

Afterwards, there were rousing speeches from half a dozen campaigners, followed by refreshments and live music until the late evening.