We want an NHS which is comprehensive. That means it doesn’t target people’s lifestyles and blame them for their illnesses.

This is Deborah Harrington’s speech to the Fighting for Hartlepool Hospital rally on Saturday 15th October, as read by Steven Carne from 999 Call for the NHS

First of all I would like to say how sorry I am not to be here today.

I wanted to start by telling you about something I witnessed at a major London hospital recently after a physiotherapy appointment. I was at the bus stop, waiting for my bus home, when two security guards came out of A&E pushing a wheelchair. In it was a man who looked semi-comatose. At the bus stop one security guard tipped the wheelchair, while the other helped the man out. He couldn’t stand. They laid him down on the ground and left him there. It was a cold, wet day. His shirt and jacket were twisted up and I could see his back. It was covered in what looked like fresh burns. I called out to the security guards. They replied that he didn’t need emergency treatment so had no business being there. He was ‘just a drunk’. Continue reading