As the NHS celebrates its 65th birthday this week, it faces the greatest challenge to its founding values of a universal service free for all those in need, Unite, the country’s largest union, has warned.
Unite, along with other unions, has been taking part in the People United bus tour of England for the last fortnight asking people for their solutions to get the country moving again in a progressive direction.
One of the two buses will be at Trafford general hospital – the ‘birthplace’ of the NHS in 1948 – at 14.00 on Friday 5 July to join with Save Trafford General campaigners and the local community in a linking hands celebration of NHS values. The other bus will be parked at Golden Hill Park at 15.00 where there will be a party in support of the NHS.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The founding values of our NHS are under dire threat from this government which is hell-bent on privatising it for the benefit of private healthcare companies.
“We want a NHS – one of this country’s greatest social achievements – free at the point of delivery for all those in need; not just for this generation, but for our children, and our children’s children.
“We must fight and campaign to save our NHS from the clutches of the privateers to ensure its values endure for generations to come.”
Tomorrow at 11.00 (Thursday 4 July), both buses will be at Salford City Council, City Hall, Chorley Road, Swinton M27 5DA for a civic reception with the Salford city mayor, Ian Stewart.
Then one of the buses will be heading to Royal Oldham hospital for a park up until 14.30 and then to Salford Hope hospital for a further bus stop. The other bus will be parked from 14.00 until 18.00 at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester M1 1RN.
There will be a People United ‘question time’ event in Manchester from 19.00- 21.00 tomorrow (Thursday 4 July) to which the public are invited. Speakers at the event in the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS will include Salford’s mayor, Ian Stewart and musician and journalist John Robb.
Details of other events celebrating the 65th birthday of the NHS can be found on:
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940; Unite NHS campaign officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777; and/or the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065
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.