Hereford & Worcester

Worcester protesters call for NHS improvements

Protesters in Worcester
Image caption Placards called for "no cuts" and protection for the NHS

About 300 people have taken part in a protest calling for improvements to NHS services.

The march through Worcester city centre comes four days after inspectors again rated Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust inadequate.

Nigel Gilbert, chair of campaign group Betrayed by their Trust (BBTT), said: "Inadequate resources and staff shortages must be urgently addressed."

The trust has said it is working to make services "better and safer".

The march and rally were organised by Our NHS Worcestershire, which is backed by numerous organisations, including trade unions and some political parties, as well as individuals.

Protester Rob Davis, 68, said he was at the event because the "National Health Service is a national treasure".

"It's got to be looked after and if it isn't we are going to be in a lot of trouble," he said.

"I feel passionately about the NHS. I'm not a political animal but the NHS needs to be protected."

Image caption Rob Davis said the NHS was a "national treasure"

Another protester, a GP practice nurse in the area, said she was marching because she was seeing the "cuts and the effects of the cuts" first-hand.

"It's so important to keep the NHS going for the younger and the older generations," she said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gilbert, whose BBTT group campaigns against the abuse of NHS staff in the county, said the pressure on services and staff was "not fully recognised".

The trust, which has been in special measures since December 2015, runs Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre and Alexandra Hospital, Redditch.

Last week, inspectors raised concerns over leadership, patients being treated in corridors and a consultant shortage.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The trust must remain so for a further three to six months, the Care Quality Commission said.

The trust said it accepted the findings and that a new leadership team was "determined to put things right".

MPs in Worcestershire have called for the Department for Health to release £29m to improve services at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

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