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Britain rallies to save our beloved NHS

Thousands to descend on Tory conference to save service

Axe-mad Tories in Manchester for their annual jamboree will be besieged by thousands of members of the public on Sunday in a huge show of strength against the privatisation of the NHS.

Among them will be trade union activists from the region who are pushing a hospital bed from town to town to raise support for the massive demonstration on the first day of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Unite members in Lancashire have been resisting cuts which they say threaten services in the pathology departments at the Royal Preston and Chorley hospitals.

The bed-push began yesterday and involves around 20 Unite members from Preston hospital heading to Bamford Bridge three miles away.

Today the team is continuing the bed-push in Chorley.

Unite regional officer Steve Davies said: "The bed race is designed to raise awareness of what is happening to the NHS, nationally and locally, and we hope that the Chorley public turn out to cheer our members on.

"We need to send a strong message that the NHS is not for sale to profiteering private healthcare companies, but should remain free at the point of delivery for all those in need."

Unions and campaign groups will be heading for Manchester tomorrow from across Britain, with coaches booked from as far away as Brighton in the south, Dundee in Scotland, and from the north of Ireland.

The main march and rally will be headed by the banners of public-sector union Unison, followed by Unite, general union GMB and other health service unions, teaching unions and others in both the public and private sectors.

The march will assemble at 11am in Liverpool Road and move off at 12.15pm.

The three-mile route culminates at Whitworth Park where the rally will take place.

For people with disabilities and others who may prefer a shorter walk, there will be an assembly point at Barbirolli Square, outside Bridgewater Hall.

People wishing to attend only the rally are being asked to assemble at All Saints Park, off Oxford Road.

A feeder march will begin in Bexley Square in Salford at 10am.

The rally will addressed by journalist and Chavs author Owen Jones and Morning Star supporter and actor Maxine Peake, who lives in Salford and has featured in TV's Shameless, Dinnerladies, Silk, and most recently The Village.


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