NHS reform protest

Members of Occupy Lancaster carry a coffin through Lancaster on Saturday as a memorial service for the National Health Service.

Members of Occupy Lancaster carry a coffin through Lancaster on Saturday as a memorial service for the National Health Service.

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PROTESTORS made their feelings known about the Government’s NHS reforms by leading a mock funeral procession – complete with coffin – through the streets of Lancaster.

A black-hatted “funeral director” led the cortege of mourners from Occupy Lancaster. The plaque on the coffin reads RIP NHS July 5 1948 – March 27 2012.

At Horseshoe Corner and Market Square the procession paused to hold a memorial service consisting of a reading of Nye Bevan’s three core principles for the NHS, a eulogy and a reading of “balm 23”, a satirical reworking of psalm 23.

“Orders of service” were handed out proclaiming that the NHS has been killed by the Health and Social Care Bill and a black and white photo of Nye Bevan taken on the first day of the NHS adorned the front.

Clare Long-Summers, of Occupy Lancaster, said: “The service was an emotionally charged event.

“Two years ago my nephew was in intensive care and his condition has a greater than 95 per cent mortality rate.

“It is a tribute to the NHS that he is still with us and making a steady recovery.”

See the Lancaster Guardian (05-04-12) for full story.