Thousands of UK residents have taken to the streets of London to protest potential cuts to NHS services.
A crowd marched on Downing St on Saturday (3 February) and publicly berated Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. They held picket signs with campaign slogans such as "No ifs, no buts, no NHS cuts". Protest organisers have said around 250,000 are attending the march.
According to the Evening Standard, union leaders are claiming that NHS services are already "on their knees". Planned changes could mean around 100,000 vacant positions in vital health roles.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the NHS service in the UK was "in crisis". "It is a crisis created by the Tories and austerity," Corbyn said, according to the Evening Standard. "In face of all the evidence - patients being treated in hospital corridors, people dying in the back of ambulances, hospitals in dire need of repair - they are refusing to give our NHS the money it needs and now."
"It can't have escaped anyone's notice that our NHS is in crisis. The NHS will only survive if we fight for it."
Signs at the protest lamented Hunt's salary and one even showed a vulture picking away at an NHS logo. English actor Ralf Little attended the march after he engaged Hunt in a Twitter feud in November. Little was demanding better services for mental health conditions.
Bristol teenager Becky Romero died in July last year, 13 days after being released from a mental health unit, due to "NHS neglect". Her mother Nicola has since become an advocate for better NHS funding and services.
Despite the rainy weather in London, buses still brought thousands of people in from other UK cities to protest.