Protesters to take to Sheffield streets over NHS closures

A protest march is due to take place on Saturday against plans to close two key health services in Sheffield.

Activists have been campaigning against the proposed closure of the Minor Injuries Unit and Urgent Eye Care at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and the walk-in centre at Broad Lane.

They claim this will build up pressure at the Northern General Hospital and patients will need to travel further.

Ruth Milson, a member of Sheffield Save Our NHS group, said local councillors need to be pressurised into taking action to protect the services.

She said: “Local decisions made for budgeting are quite important but a lot of people tend to think it’s being taken care of nationally.”

Ms Milson said almost half the people she spoke to while campaigning for the Labour party for the upcoming council elections were unaware or unconcerned about the proposed plans.

The closure of the services would result in creation of two urgent treatment centres, one at Northern General Hospital for adults and one at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

The NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had held public consultations between September 2017 and January 2018 about the proposed plans.

Dr Tim Moorhead, the chair of NHS Sheffield CCG, said they had received 2,290 completed consultation surveys and 2,106 responses to telephone surveys they ran.

They also received several letters and comments from 30 public meetings, social media, and through five petitions.

The final recommendations are not expected to be put forward until autumn.

Mr Moorhead said: “It is important we take the time needed to look carefully at all the voices we have heard and put forward the best recommendations to the committee for the people of Sheffield.”

The march will start at 1.30pm from Sheffield City Hall.