People from across the county united in Dorchester to challenge proposed cuts in vital children’s hospital provision at Dorset County Hospital. The Kingfisher; the Special Care Baby Unit and maternity provision are all under threat as the Clinical Commissioning Group plan to meet the government’s austerity cuts in public services. Political and non political groups alike came together to make their voices heard that vital services for the care of sick children and the delivery of new born babies are being threatened with closure or reduced provision meaning that for some it could mean an extra three hour plus round trip.  The message aimed at local and national decision makers could not have been clearer.

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Representatives from the local Labour Party;

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the Green Party;

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the Liberal Democrats;

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Wessex Solidarity;

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Dorset Socialists

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and many members of the public who want the wards to stay open in the county town to deliver the excellent care currently provided to families across the region. Unfortunately none of the regions MP’s were in attendance although one cheeky attendee did suggest that they had sent a representative in their place.

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The aim is to keep the pressure on and ensure that the consultation process takes on board the enormous strength of feeling across the Dorset community.

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Starting from the top of town car park the demonstration walked, sang and chanted its way down High West Street, the march concluded at the end of South Street with speeches from Ros Kayes and Alistair Chisolm (Town crier); a very enjoyable boogie with Lou Sams’ local Zimba group and a very powerful sketch depicting the selling off of our health service in to the hands of corporations and shareholders.

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A terrific atmosphere and some lovely people made this an event to be proud of.

Wonderfully organised by Naomi Patterson; Nicky Dear; Emma Stoodley and Ros Kayes (join the Facebook page), who deserve all of our thanks and appreciation, saving these services will not just mean a warm glow within the community but could potentially save a number of lives and bring a great sense of relief.

Success is vital and given the support by locals as the march progressed through the town there are a great number people who agree. 

Jason Cridland