A PROTEST over the NHS attracted crowds to Halton Hospital on Saturday.

Campaigners from Fighting 4 Our NHS staged co-ordinated protests at Halton and Whiston Hospitals in support of a national day of action.

Campaigners want to raise awareness of various critical issues facing the NHS including privatisation and outsourcing, underfunding, staff cuts and reductions in pay, Protestors were joined by Halton residents, angry over proposals for the demolition and redevelopment plans for Halton Hospital.

Widnes resident Jayne Kinsella said: "I work in social care and I'm disgusted by the plans for Halton Hospital and the destruction of our NHS.

“My dad has regular appointments here and it's a fantastic resource for Halton. “We're here today to say no to privatisation and to support our fantastic NHS staff who work so hard for all of us. “We're not scare mongering or being over dramatic, this is happening and we need to stop it now"

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, who attended the protest outside Halton Hospital, said: “Many are quite rightly concerned about these plans and myself and Halton MP Derek Twigg will be meeting with trust bosses, calling on them to ensure no services are lost from the local community.

"I'm very proud to be here today, not just with members of the wider Labour movement but with residents and NHS users who have braved the cold to show their passion for our wonderful NHS.

“The NHS was created at a time when access to Health care was determined not by need, but by what was in your pocket and sadly the government plans are taking health care back down that dark road again.”

Protest organiser Angela Walsh told crowds: "We are so proud and grateful to you all for coming out and supporting today's actions.

“This is just the beginning and we have more in the pipeline.

“What we need now is for every Halton resident to write to councillors and other members that sit on our Health and Wellbeing Boards and Policy Performance Boards and ask them to stop the roll out of the One Halton Plans to allow for proper scrutiny and consultation.”

Warrington and Halton NHS Foundation Trust has announced plans to create a pioneering £40 million health and wellbeing campus in Runcorn.

All the operating theatres, wards, clinics and services currently available at Halton Hospital are set to be transferred to state-of-the-art facilities built in an extension to the neighbouring Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre.

All surgery currently carried out at Halton Hospital would be transferred to the new site.

A new Runcorn Urgent Care Centre will be built.

When the new medical development opens, Halton Hospital - dating back to 1976 - would be demolished to pave way for a medical plaza.

Halton Lea has been chosen as one of 10 places in the UK to be transformed into Halton Healthy New Town as part of an ambitious government-funded programme.