UNISON South East members joined the biggest demonstration ever seen in support of our NHS in London on Saturday. They marched alongside thousands and thousands of others to protect our finest “national treasure” and a “wonderful symbol of human civilisation”.
In their own words, UNISON members told us why the NHS was so important to them, and why they felt they had to stand up and march in defence of our health service.
Members told us stories of what they owed the NHS, how it had saved their lives, and how they feared this institution they were so proud of was in danger of being dismantled by the Conservative government.
Speaking to the rally at Parliament Square, UNISON vice-president Carol Sewell told protesters that the union is “proud to be supporting this event. Proud to be standing up for our NHS. And proud to be fighting back against the Tory cutters.”
Ms Sewell noted in her speech that next year will mark 70 years since the health service was set up by the post-war Labour government. But “now May and Hammond repeatedly refuse to give it the money it needs.
“They are content to let it be run down; to watch as the waiting lists pile up; to stand by as patients lose out.”
She told the protest that “we have to make the government realise this can go on no longer.
“Our NHS has been there for all of us, and our families, through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad.
“Now is its time of need: the NHS needs us and we cannot be found wanting.”