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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 18:23 GMT
Local NHS staff in day of action
The NHS protest in Maidstone
NHS protesters in Maidstone gathered outside County Hall
NHS workers across the south-east of England have been protesting against cuts in jobs and services as part of a national day of action.

Unions claim the NHS is being damaged by the pace of reform and budget cuts.

In Kent, protesters marched through Maidstone and Folkestone, while dozens in Tunbridge Wells campaigned over the closure of the Homeopathic Hospital.

In Crawley, West Sussex, people dressed in nightgowns, bandages and slings took to the streets in protest.

'Better care'

A series of street theatre sketches were also held on the bandstand in Crawley, while a rally was held outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.

Staff at St Helier Hospital, in Surrey, which was branded "the meanest in Britain" following reports light bulbs were being removed to save money, protested outside their building.

And a rally was held in the town square in Woking in support of Ashford and St Peter's, Frimley Park and the Royal Surrey hospitals.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton said unions and staff signed up to the principles of the NHS Plan, which sets out reforms over 10 years.

She said: "If we know that change will deliver better quality care and better value for money for taxpayers, then standing still is simply not an option."


SEE ALSO
NHS staff protest over job cuts
03 Mar 07 |  Health
Light bulb hospital 'is meanest'
15 Feb 07 |  England

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