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Essex protestors march against NHS cuts and hospitals merger plans

PUBLISHED: 18:11 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:11 20 February 2018

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

@ de Vere Photography 1997-2015

Almost 200 campaigners marched through Chelmsford city centre to protest against plans to merge three Essex hospitals.

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

The demonstration took place on Saturday and participants were also there to speak out against further cuts to NHS services in the county.

A public consultation is currently underway about proposals to merge Broomfield, Southend and Basildon hospitals. If the green light is given, the trusts will start working as a single organisation by April 2019.

Andy Abbott, campaign coordinator for Defend Our NHS Chelmsford, said: “Our NHS is not failing, but it is being failed by this government’s underfunding. We sent out a clear message on Saturday: no cuts; no privatisation; no merger.”

During the rally, protestors were addressed by Liberal Democrats councillor Stephen Robinson and Clive Perrett for the Labour Party.

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Dr Shan Newhouse, a retired GP, spoke on behalf of Support the NHS Halstead.

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

Campaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERECampaigners march in Chelmsford to protest against NHS changes. Picture: GAZ DE VERE

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