Nurses add their voice and support to protest over lack of NHS funding

Protesters took to the streets of London and other parts of the UK on Saturday 3 February to demand better funding for the NHS.

Protesters took to the streets of London and other parts of the UK on Saturday 3 February to demand better funding for the NHS.

NHS rally
Thousands joined the London rally on 3 February. Picture Matthew Mckew

Nurses belonging to health trade unions – the RCN, Unite, Unison and others – were among the crowd.

The rally began at Gower Street, near University College London Hospital, and proceeded along to Trafalgar Square and then to Downing Street.

Crowd grew to an estimated 60,000

Outside Downing Street the crowd, which organisers said had grown to 60,000, stopped to listen to speeches.

Speakers included Labour shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, comic actor Ralph Little and RCN president Cecilia Akrisie Anim.

Watch: RCN president Cecilia Akrisie Anim delivers speech at NHS rally

The demonstration – organised by Health Campaigns Together and the London People’s Assembly – coincided with similar events around the UK.

NHS rally
Emma Hallam (left) with her daughter Sian and Robyn Walkey. Picture: Matthew Mckew

Adult nurse Emma Hallam marched with her 11-year-old daughter Sian and friend Robyn Walkey.

The RCN south west branch member said: ‘It has got to the point where I can’t see how things are going to get better for the NHS. Something has to change.

‘Nurses will always put patients first – sometimes to the detriment of their own well-being and it’s beginning to show now.’

She said colleagues had told her they are ashamed of the limited care they can give, are heartbroken and wanting to leave.

NHS rally
Nurses were prominent in the London rally. Picture: Matthew Mckew

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