Liberal Democrat Leader, Sir Vince Cable, has given his support to local campaigners fighting NHS cuts.
Sir Vince said: “The overnight closure of Weston-super-Mare’s emergency unit is another symptom of the crisis in our NHS. Every day seems to bring yet more bad news about the state of the health service, and patients are paying the price.
“Despite talk of the fictional Brexit dividend, Ministers have no idea how they will fund the NHS to the extent top NHS officials tell us is necessary. It’s time to give the NHS and social care the extra cash desperately needed by putting a penny on income tax.”
Councillor Mike Bell, the Lib Dem Leader on North Somerset Council, and a leading member of the ‘Protect Our NHS’ campaign group, said: “It’s great to get Vince Cable’s support for the fight we are making.
“But more important than politicians, is the support of members of the public who want to get our A&E open 24 hours a day again. We’ve got a protest march and rally taking place on Saturday 7th July, started at noon in the Italian Gardens in Weston. Please come along and show your support.”
The Protect Our NHS campaign group will hold a candlelit vigil at the hospital on July 4 at 9.30pm – a year to the day since Weston Area Health NHS Trust introduced the ‘temporary’ measure.
The department has been closed from 10pm-8am every night since, with hospital bosses saying it would be unsafe to run a 24-hour service due to staffing shortages. Recruitment of consultant and middle-grade doctors is ongoing and no date for a return to around-the-clock emergency care in Weston has been announced.
Protect Our NHS will also hold a picnic on the beach near the Grand Pier on July 5 at 5.30pm to mark the NHS’ 70th birthday. Cake and games will be provided.
And it has organised a march and rally to start at the Italian Gardens at noon on July 7.