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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006, 13:40 GMT
Mother leads NHS campaign group
Vanessa Carey
Vanessa Carey said her life was saved at the George Eliot Hospital
A NHS campaigner has called on local groups across the country to join in a co-ordinated protest about reforms.

Vanessa Carey set up People United Saving Hospitals (PUSH) because of plans to downgrade services at her local hospital in Warwickshire.

Now 100 local NHS campaign groups are planning a series of marches across England to demonstrate against cuts and increased private money in the NHS.

The first of the co-ordinated marches is planned for 15 December.

Ms Carey, from Nuneaton, said: "Myself and my daughter, who is 15, we wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for the George Eliot Hospital.

We feel the time is here for people to come together
Vanessa Carey
"They are planning to take away the exact services that we used - ie maternity and paediatrics."

Groups from around the country plan to join PUSH to try to protest at a local and national level.

"We believe that we do need to continue having local demonstrations and local groups but now we also feel the time is here for people to come together," said Ms Carey.

The marches follow numerous local protests across England and Wales against changes to hospital services.

Issues include acute services being switched from hospitals, the increase in private money being used in the NHS and huge job cuts brought about by debts incurred by hospital trusts.

There was also a national demonstration about the cuts in London on 1 November.

But the government has said it is pushing ahead with its reforms saying it is spending more money to bring patient care into the community.

It said it is investing in community hospitals, better GP surgeries and more one-stop health centres.


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