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Hundreds march against "increasing privatisation" of NHS

Hundreds of campaigners staged a march through central Leeds earlier - against what they describe as the 'increasing privatisation' of the health service. The protestors say they are also worried about what they call 'cost driven cuts and closures'.

However, the Department of Health say use of the private sector in the NHS accounts for only six percent of overall budgets:

Department of Health defends use of private sector

The Department of Health have issued statement in response to today's anti NHS privatisation march.

Department of Health say private sector accounts for just 6% NHS

"Use of the private sector in the NHS represents only 6% of the total NHS budget - an increase of just 1.7% since May 2010. Charities, social enterprises and other providers continue to play an important role for the NHS as they have done for many years. The NHS will remain free at the point of use and patients can already choose where they have NHS treatment."

– Department of Health

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Protestors fear healthcare will only be available to rich

Protestor calls for an end to NHS cuts

Leeds Hospital Alert say 80% of England's hospitals are already in financial deficit and struggling to cope with rising demand. They are expected to reduce hospital admissions and send patients into 'the community' while the share of the health budget for GPs has been cut, spending on social care slashed by 20%, and the number of district nurses halved in the last ten years

"We must not allow a return to pre July 5th 1948 when only the rich could afford health care. It is our NHS. We must make crystal clear at the election that the NHS is not for sale."

– Beatrice Rogers, Chair of Leeds Hospital Alert

Victims of 'tainted blood' scandal still seeking justice

Thousands of people who were infected with deadly diseases during routine blood transfusions a quarter of a century ago are fighting for justice.

The tainted blood scandal has been described as one of the biggest disasters of the NHS. Those affected are awaiting the publication of a report, which they hope will finally give them both the answers and the recognition they've been looking for.

Some contracted HIV - others Hepatitis C.

One of those with hepatitis C is Glenn Wilkinson from Hull. Tomorrow he will be in Edinburgh where the results of the six-year long inquiry will be released.

This report from James Webster includes photos showing the medical effects of Mr Wilkinson's condition:

NHS whistleblower: report doesn't go far enough

The most senior NHS whistleblower has said a major new report into the problem, published today, doesn't go anywhere near far enough. Gary Walker, the former Chief Executive of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, who lost his job five years ago before speaking out, says not enough is being done to tackle those who victimise staff who voice their concerns.

The Freedom to Speak Up report was written by the QC Sir Robert Francis who says the NHS needs to undergo a culture change when it comes to whistleblowing. Those who do speak out, he says, often find themselves in a "toxic mix of grievance and disciplinary action" from their bosses.

He's laid out 20 principles and wants freedom to speak up guardians in every hospital and an independant national officer to review complaints. He says something needs to happen now.

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