Hundreds back NHS campaign in Leyland

Labour's parliamentary candidate for South Ribble, Veronica Bennett, with the borough's Labour leader Matthew Tomlinson and campaigners outside Leyland Ambulance Station, who are fighting to save the NHS from privatisation
Labour's parliamentary candidate for South Ribble, Veronica Bennett, with the borough's Labour leader Matthew Tomlinson and campaigners outside Leyland Ambulance Station, who are fighting to save the NHS from privatisation
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A campaign to save the NHS from privatisation has been launched in South Ribble.

Last week, hundreds of shoppers in Leyland town centre signed a petition calling on MP Lorraine Fullbrook to “put people before profits”.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for South Ribble, Veronica Bennett, took to the streets to speak with members of the public about how the proposed changes could affect them.

She told the Guardian: “Around 300 people from Leyland and 500 in total across South Ribble signed the petition within the first two hours.

“People are very enthusiastic about this. The result of the changes have meant that we’ve lost 24 hour cover at Leyland Ambulance Station, and two out of five patients across South Ribble and Chorley wait more than a week to see a GP.

“Every single service is open to private company takeover, and it seems the whole community wants to rally round the NHS.”

Labour’s push back on NHS privatisation was launched by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, and the bill will be debated in the House of Commons in November.

Veronica, who has also written to every single household in the borough about the campaign, added: “Everyone has their own stories about waiting times, and when you talk to them about why this is happening, they want to sign the petition.

“This is a community campaign - saving the NHS is not a Labour campaign, everyone wants to get involved.”

Lorraine Fullbrook was unavailable for comment.