This NHS anniversary weekend, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July, a coalition of campaigning organisations and trade unions are calling nationwide local events and an online rally on Sunday 5th July at 4:30pm to say: ‘Our NHS deserves better.’

The three major health unions, UNISON, Unite and GMB immediately declared support, along with the TUC, with additional support including the Royal College of Nursing, the National Education Union, the Fire Brigades Union, Doctors in Unite and the National Pensioners Convention.

July 5 is the 72nd anniversary of the NHS. It was built after WWII, (a conflict that saw 67,100 British civilians killed) to create something better for us all.

The campaign highlights the fact that after the disruption to services caused by Covid-19, a new generation now faces the challenge of rescuing and rebuilding the NHS to equip it for current and future levels of demand for emergency and routine hospital treatment, mental health and GP services.

During the coronavirus crisis, frontline workers in the NHS and social care have been asked to keep us safe. Too often they have had to do so without proper PPE, within an already failing system, in the lowest paid jobs. Hundreds have sacrificed their lives as a result, while analysis of ONS and official figures by Chris Giles of the Financial Times shows that across the UK population the Covid-19 death toll was 65,400 on June 15.

The campaign publicity from the initiators of the events, Health Campaigns Together, Keep Our NHS Public, The People’s Assembly Against Austerity and We Own It, states:

“The NHS deserves better, we all deserve better. Covid-19 has exposed what’s wrong with society, it’s time to rebuild, and go further. Our ‘2020 vision’ for the NHS says:

  • Rebuild and properly fund the NHS
  • Proper pay and respect for all NHS and care staff
  • End racism in the NHS and end all migrant charges
  • NHS out of all Trade Deals
  • Public Health back in public hands
  • Go further: Radical reform of social care “

Local campaign groups and branches are encouraged to organise a socially distanced protest or a stunt to celebrate the NHS anniversary weekend and say, ‘Our NHS deserves better’.

The national online rally on Sunday 5th July at 4:30pm will be streamed live across YouTube channels and social media accounts. More details from Keep Our NHS Public.

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