Trafford residents will march on ‘the birthplace of the NHS’ this Saturday after a leaked report revealed its emergency care facilities could be under threat.
Members of the 'Save Trafford General' campaign will walk with residents from Urmston's Golden Hill Park to Trafford General Hospital at 11.45am.
Matthew Finnegan, campaign chair, is vowing to use the demonstration – involving a stiltwalker, skeleton and coffin – to boost their cause.
“Saturday is not the end. Saturday is just the beginning of this campaign,” Mr Finnegan said.
“Nye Bevan had a fight on his hands to get an NHS in the first place so the least we can do is carry on some of those fights,” he added.
‘Save Trafford General’ began in April 2011 when the hospital – christened as the first NHS hospital in 1948 – faced the prospect of privatisation.
The latest battle comes after a leaked NHS report revealed a £19m shortfall at the hospital with suggestions to reduce the accident and emergency and intensive care departments to reduce costs.
Public consultation is planned to run from the week commencing July 16 until October – a move which Mr Finnegan criticised.
“We think the consultation has been rushed through during the summer holidays when people are away. Why the rush? We want the consultation to be extended,” said Mr Finnegan. “
Campaign leader Matthew Finnegan praised the public backing with a petition to save the services reaching 6,000 signatures.
Mr Finnegan said: “That's been the most encouraging, the most heart- warming and most inspiring part of the whole campaign, that they've got involved.”
“This is going to be a battle. The battle lines have been drawn and we're certainly not walking away from it at all,” he added.
The hospital was opened in 1929 and became the first NHS hospital in 1948 when it was inaugurated by politician Nye Bevan.
Details of the march are available here.