CAMPAIGNERS launched a protest against lack of NHS funding following two deaths on trolleys at a Worcester hospital.

A group of 25 campaigners with placards gathered outside Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Saturday to invite people to sign a petition about NHS funding and to hear about the experiences of patients and visitors.

We have previously reported how three people died at the Worcester hospital over the New Year period. One patient was found hanged on a ward and the others on trolleys in A&E. One patient died following a cardiac arrest and the other following an aneurysm.

Despite having just two days’ notice of the event, people from across the county came along to lend their support.

The 38 Degrees petition, which was set up by a Worcester resident now stands at a total of almost 7,000 signatures.

It calls on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Prime Minister Theresa May to improve funding to make the NHS safe for everyone who needs it and demands an investigation into the deaths.

The trust has said the deaths did not take place in the corridor but on trolleys in A&E cubicles.

While outside the hospital, members of the group heard many distressing stories from patients and visitors to the hospital, including that of one elderly woman who had recently had to wait several hours to have six cracked ribs treated. Another had had to spend a night on a trolley in a corridor along with 22 others back in November, showing that the crisis has been happening for some time.

Sue Avery, a member of 38 Degrees in Worcester, who set up the event said:

"The fact that so many people came along to support the petition and the reaction from everyone we spoke to show the strength of feeling amongst people in Worcestershire right now.

"They are really worried about the state of our NHS and are demanding proper funding to keep it safe for patients and to ease the terrible stress being placed on staff.”

We reported last week how 109 emergency patients waited over 12 hours on trolleys at Worcestershire Royal Hospital or the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch between December 20 and January 4.

Worcester's MP Robin Walker has met with the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the hope he will look favourably on a £29 million bid for capital funding to create extra capacity at Worcester's hospital.

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, urged people to only go to A&E if they have a serious problem and to make use of minor injury units where possible.

She added: “I realise A&E departments have been under enormous pressure, particularly over the New Year. Clearly we need to find a way to manage these pressures that enables patients to be treated with greater dignity.

“The staff are absolutely amazing and are coping with a huge demand for services.”