‘Use it or lose it’ is campaign message

Protest, Danetre Hospital
Protest, Danetre Hospital

Protesters are appealing for people to join their march on the streets of Daventry in a row over cuts affecting local healthcare services.

The march, on Saturday November 2, has been organised by Cllr Wendy Randall, who has campaigned about the loss of Daventry’s ambulance station and the impact of the closure of the Grange Care Home.

She said: “The protest is against the healthcare cuts to services we have locally. Some have happened, some might.

“We’ve had the cardiac rehab service and podiatry service at Danetre Hospital, rehab and respite beds, and the ambulance service all under threat.

“There are cuts that have already happened, and ones that could come in the near future. So there will be different groups taking part in the march, and anyone is welcome to join in as well.

“Although I am a Labour councillor, this doesn’t have to be a party political thing. These cuts could affect any one of us in the local area. They’re not reasonable and will end up costing people, and the Government more.

“One woman I spoke to had a heart incident and got her rehab care at Danetre. She looked into the cost of having to travel to Kettering, which is where the NHS wants people to go. It’d be £30 per visit with DACT, £80 to £120 by taxi, and by public transport you’re looking at three buses taking two hours. The woman, who lives alone, said she wouldn’t have been able to afford to go.

“How many others wouldn’t, and how will that hit the NHS with people suffering relapses or repeat episodes?”

Viv Crouch, who set up the cardiac rehab unit at Danetre before retiring, said: “I urge the people of Daventry and surrounding areas to get behind the campaign.

“Danetre Hospital is the heart of Daventry, an excellent centre for providing much needed services to the community. Use it or lose it!”

The march will leave Danetre Hospital, off London Road, at 10am on November 2. It will head up London Road, along New Street, to Bowen Square, and then back the same way.

Cllr Randall said: “I’ve had the go-ahead from the police, and we will have first aiders along the route as we’re expecting older people and those who may have health issues to be taking part. Also as it’s a circular route so people can join in for part of it with ease, and there’s no long walk back if people need to use their vehicles.”