People will ‘die in the streets’ if NHS cuts go ahead, claims TV star ahead of Trafford General protests

By Ben Southworth

Shameless star Maxine Peake has spoken of her fears that people will ‘die in the streets’ because of NHS cutbacks, ahead of protests tomorrow in Trafford.

Anti-cut campaigners will gather at several hospitals including Trafford General Hospital, the birthplace of the NHS, to protest about plans to close the accident and emergency unit.

A decision over the future of Trafford General is due in the next five to ten days, not long after planned celebrations for Trafford General’s 65th birthday.

In a message to organisers, Maxine said: “I am furious about the continued smearing by the Tory press of our most treasured and necessary institutions.

“If this facility is closed it will be a travesty. It will only be a matter of time before there will be people dying in the streets.”

Following the protest at Trafford General on Friday lunchtime, and after a birthday celebration in Golden Hill Park, Urmston, the North West Trade Union Congress rally supporting the NHS will begin at 7pm at Manchester Town Hall.

Maxine told how she had been moved to tears by the fantastic care given to her grandfather by NHS staff at Bolton General, which also faces accident and emergency closures.

The Shameless and Dinnerladies star added: “We have to stop the governments vicious and ruthless class victimisation before it is too late. Enough is enough!”

Maxine’s words will no doubt be backed by all speakers at tomorrow’s protests and celebrations.

Dave Prentis of UNISON, also against the NHS cuts, said: “If the Government has its way the NHS as we know it now will not make it to 75 years old.

“Unless we act to protect the NHS now, we could face treatment rationing or patients may have to pay top ups for different treatments. But UNISON will fight to protect the NHS every step of the way.”

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