England

Leeds and Sheffield protest marches over NHS reforms

Protest marches have taken place in Leeds and Sheffield against what demonstrators say are cuts to the NHS budget.

The Keep Our NHS Public group marched from St James Hospital to Leeds General Infirmary on Saturday morning.

At the same time, the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield was the start of a march towards the centre of the city.

A spokesperson from the Department of Health has denied the NHS budget is being reduced.

"The NHS budget is not being cut. It has been protected from ‎the spending cuts needed to deal with the deficit," he said.

"This government believes passionately in the NHS and is investing an extra ‎‎£11.5bn over the next four years, a sign of the commitment to ‎protecting it for the future, so there is no excuse to cut back on services ‎that patients need. ‎‎

"The plans to modernise the NHS will help to ensure that ‎bureaucracy is cut and resources are reinvested into improving the quality of care ‎for patients.‎"

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