Socialist Worker

Angry march to save hospital in Torrington, Devon

by Dave Clinch
Issue No. 2364

Hundreds protested for Torrington Cottage Hospital last week

Hundreds protested for Torrington Cottage Hospital last week (Pic: Dave Clinch)

Over 300 protesters with banners rallied against proposals to close inpatient beds in the Torrington Cottage Hospital last Saturday.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust and the local clinical commissioning group plan to close ten of the beds.

Shirley Bere, a retired healthcare assistant who lives in the town, dressed in a hospital gown and took up residence in a bed in the Square before the protest set off.

She said, “I feel very angry at this whole situation. I feel it’s just a ploy to close the hospital altogether, which is what they have wanted to do for some considerable time.”

The League of Friends has raised over £2,000 to help keep beds at the Cottage Hospital but the decision was made to cut them anyway.

The campaign is community based and extremely polite at present. The mayor even said a prayer at the opening rally and there was an emphasis on a peaceful march. 

However, there was clear anger from the crowd.

It’s a glimpse of what is possible. 

People are extremely protective of the Torrington Cottage Hospital as many have family and friends who need to use it. 

We’ll be back to make life uncomfortable for the Trust bureaucrats by being less “peaceful” and more demanding!

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Article information

Tue 30 Jul 2013, 17:24 BST
Issue No. 2364
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