Across north-west England the threat of NHS privatisation has met widespread opposition - both from longstanding organisations such as trade unions and newer groups like 38 Degrees.
The mounting resistance reflects how people feel about the NHS - that it is their service and part of the essential fabric of this country.
In greater Manchester up to five local accident and emergency units are facing closure or downgrading under the proposed "Healthier Together" review.
In Rochdale the A&E has already closed. In Trafford, the birthplace of the NHS, local people have campaigned to save the A&E and, although last month NHS Greater Manchester approved its downgrading to an urgent care centre, the matter has been referred to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt by Trafford Council's health scrutiny committee.
Other local NHS services have also been privatised or face the axe to achieve alleged "efficiency savings," the further "rationalisation" of services and spending cuts.
In Trafford, Steven Tennant-Smythe is typical of the people not previously active who have become involved in campaigning against NHS cuts through the internet lobbying organisation 38 Degrees.
"I am not an NHS worker, not in a trade union, not politically active and I have voted for all the political parties," he tells me.
He first encountered 38 Degrees by signing their petitions and it was almost accidental that he became involved in a group.
"Thirty-eight asked if anyone would organise the handing-in of the petition.
"I waited a few weeks hoping someone else would do it and when they didn't come forward I agreed to do it."
Together with 15 other 38 Degrees members from his area, he handed in a petition concerning the make-up of the new clinical commissioning groups.
Since then Tennant-Smythe has regularly organised street stalls across the towns of Trafford warning of the increased marketisation of the NHS.
He gets people to sign postcards against the use of private providers and then delivers the postcards to GP surgeries.
"There are about 35 people in our group and their ages vary from twenty-somethings to people in their seventies."
He speaks highly of 38 Degrees: "It has got all kinds of people involved and has been a resurgence of democracy in getting people interested in the issue."
Gary Parvin from Glossop in Derbyshire would echo those sentiments.
He is a local Labour councillor, NHS worker and Unison member. Parvin became a councillor in 2011 and was involved in setting up a local NHS Watch.
"Thirty-eight Degrees is a new way of organising politically," he says.
"It has brought in new people to the NHS cuts campaign who have not been politically active before and has given them confidence in getting involved."
But while online petitions have been useful, Parvin feels that this doesn't always lead to people coming to meetings and doing collective work.
"I am not sure whether it's a question of time poverty - maybe the older people who turn up at the street stalls have more time to get involved."
In Glossop he has been involved in doing street stalls to raise awareness of the use of private providers by GPs and alerting people to the threats over the closure of local A&E services.
"NHS Watch is a broad-based campaign and we want to see as many people as possible get involved."
Stephen Hall of the Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils (GMATU) sees NHS cuts as a crucial issue for the left.
"Greater Manchester is at the vanguard of the privatisation of the NHS. We need to step up to the plate and empower local people to organise their own campaign group."
Over the last few months he has been organising groups across Wigan to alert people to the closure of the local A&E and encourage them to set up a local group.
"Most of the people who turn up have never been active in a campaign, but once we tell them about the threat to their local services they understand how important it is to do something."
GMATU is not just offering to help people set up a campaign but has also established a fighting fund so that people can afford to book rooms and speakers and pay for leaflets.
As he says, "It is not a question of GMATUC doing everything but of empowering people at a local level to set up their own campaign. We cannot substitute ourselves for a mass campaign, which is what we need."
GMATUC and a number of other groups and individuals have called an emergency summit in Manchester to bring together all those who want to do something about the NHS cuts.
Among the speakers will be Dr John Lister - information director of the national Health Emergency campaign - and Dr David Wrigley, a local GP who is a member of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign group.
Local organisations such as the Campaign Against Manchester Ambulance Privatisation and NHS user groups are also involved.
The conference will be an opportunity for people to meet together and plan a strategy for opposing the cuts.
It will also allow individuals and groups to find out about what is happening locally and gain skills in how to set up local NHS campaign groups.
"Local community campaigns have already started across the city region - we want to bring them together to share their experience, pool resources and make the strongest possible impact," Hall says.
"The NHS belongs to local people. We urge them to come and join us in the fight to save vital life-saving services which we all value.
"The NHS is a much-loved public service. Now the public need to stand up to save it. People power can save our NHS."
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.