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Steve Barclay finds NHS protest lands on his door step

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NHS supporters – whether backing a new hospital or supporting nurses – have taken the battleground to Steve Barclay’s doorstep.

Days after a protest was staged outside his constituency office in March, Cambridgeshire, flyers are being spread thick and fast across the town backing nurses.

Protest in support of new QEH outside Steve Barclay’s constituency office, March, Cambs.

‘Pay the nurses what they deserve’ posters are appearing in shops throughout the Fenland town.

The campaign has been organised by the Wisbech, March and District Trades Union Council.

Organisers say many shops have agreed to display the posters; managers of local branches of national chains are pinning the posters up in staff rooms.

It is the second full on reminder to Mr Barclay – MP for NE Cambs since 2010 – of the mounting anger in his own constituency where his majority in 2019 was 29,993.

The new pro nurses pay rise campaign is also sharing copies of the poster on social media, inviting supporters to print off their own copy and display it.

 

 

 

Posters in shop windows in March, Cambridgeshire

On Saturday QEH campaigners rallied at his constituency office.

This protest was for a new hospital at King’s Lynn to replace the ailing QEH.

“Sadly, he wasn’t there,” said campaign spokesperson Jo Rust.

“So, we had to leave our card and the hundreds of letters we got signed for his to see when he does attend there. We must have a new hospital and we must have it now.”

The protest was organised by King’s Lynn Trades Council whose members stood outside the locked gates of the complex where the NE Cambs MP has his constituency office.

Hospital bosses, meanwhile, are keeping their fingers crossed over Christmas for an announcement in the New Year about whether the QEH is to be replaced as part of the Government’s pledge for 40 new hospitals.

 

 

Some of the protest leaflets now displayed in shops in March, Cambridgeshire

Alice Webster, acting chief executive at the QEH, said: “We understand that a decision on QEH being added to the government’s new hospital programme will be announced in early 2023.

“We continue to do all we can to press our case for a new hospital, which is extremely strong, and very much hope we can bring good news about the future of our hospital early next year.”

Meanwhile Mr Barclay, as health secretary, is battling on multiple fronts over pay and conditions for NHS workers.

And he has urged the public to “use their common sense” today as ambulance drivers took part in a strike, leaving the possibility of 999 calls being left unanswered.

“We’re saying to the public to exercise their common sense in terms of what activities they do, being mindful of those pressures that are on the system,” Mr Barclay told Sky News. He refused however to say he would resume talks with health service unions.

Steve Barclay share of vote at 2019 General Election. He had a majority of 29,993

Sharon Graham, the leader of the Unite union, told LBC radio: “We are in a crisis in the NHS.

“If we do not get around the table and start these negotiations and seriously look at how retain and recruit staff, we have got a very serious situation – not for one day, but for 365 days a year.”

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