Voluntary Sector: Taking action ... Unison vs The Government

Protesters: Unison
Target: The Government
Location: Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Date: 5 April

THE LOWDOWN

Protesters donned jester costumes to voice opposition to the Government's plans to reform the NHS. Members of Unison targeted Doncaster's biggest hospital to make their position clear as Labour MP Rosie Winterton visited the hospital during their protest. Winterton is the Labour Party's chief whip. The protesters held signs saying: 'Don't be a fool Mr Cameron - leave the NHS alone.'

- Why the protest?

Under the Health and Social Care Bill, GPs will take control of 80 per cent of the NHS budget - £80bn a year - and hospitals will be given more freedom from central government. A spokesman for Unison confirmed to local newspaper The Star that the protest was held to tie in with Winterton's visit.

- How did the NHS respond?

Although there was no response from the Government over this specific protest, the Prime Minster launched a fightback against criticism on the same day, stating: 'The status quo is not an option ...

Modernisation is not just a good idea to save money and build a better health service. It is, in my view, essential for a better NHS for our future.'

- How did the media cover it?

The protest was sympathetically covered in The Star, a local newspaper in Doncaster, under the headline 'Union protests over NHS shake-up plans'.

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