Members mark NHS’s 68th birthday in Newcastle

Public get birthday cake and sign birthday card – and petition to protect the NHS bursary

“Taking away student bursaries will make it harder for a lot of people to take up nursing, and understaffing could lead to the government privatising everything,” UNISON rep Helen Kilpatrick said at a rally to mark the 68th birthday of the NHS in Newcastle this week.

“We want to celebrate the birthday and the next 68 years,” she told local paper The Chronicle as she joined other union members and activists at Grey’s Monument in the City Centre.

The rally marked the NHS’s birthday with balloons and birthday cake for passers by – and collected signatures on a petition calling on the government not to scrap the NHS bursary for student nurses, midwives and other health professionals.

UNISON Northern regional convenor Nicky Ramanandi said that the rally came at a “really critical time” for public services.

With the NHS under attack and the threat of privatisation growing, she told the The Chronicle that “events like this today are really important in highlighting the good work that our NHS workers do.”