Weekend shoppers in Chorley, Lancashire will be able to show their support for the NHS, nationally and locally, when about 20 Unite members stage a ‘bed race’ through the town tomorrow (Saturday 28 September).
Unite members will be racing the specially modified hospital bed from Chorley hospital, starting at 11.00, to the town’s market square to highlight the ‘Save our NHS’ rally in Manchester on Sunday and, more locally, the ‘dangerously low’ staffing levels in the pathology departments at the Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals.
Unite members staged the first leg of the bed protest race this morning (Friday) from Preston hospital to Bamber Bridge.
The TUC organised rally in Manchester is expected to attract an estimated 30,000 people, nationally and from across the north west, who will march through the city to protest at the accelerating pace of NHS privatisation, as Tory delegates gather for their annual conference.
Members of Unite, the country’s largest union, who work in the pathology departments, already staged a 24 hour strike last month to protest at low staffing levels, high levels of stress and excessive hours, which, the union says, could jeopardise patient care.
More industrial action could be on the cards at the hospitals, if the management don’t address the issues raised by the biomedical scientists, who examine and analyse patients’ blood samples.
Unite regional officer Steve Davies said: “The bed race is designed to raise awareness of what is happening to the NHS, nationally and locally, and we hope that the Chorley public turn out tomorrow to cheer our members on.
“We need to send a strong message that the NHS, founded by Aneurin Bevan in 1948, is not for sale to profiteering private healthcare companies, but should remain free at the point of delivery for all those in need.”
For further information please contact Steve Davies on 07960 091904 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.