HEALTH demonstrators have voiced their disgust over Government-planned changes to the NHS.

Pressure groups held a public demonstration outside the main entrance of Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester on Saturday.

Members of Worcester Against The Cuts (WATC) and 38 Degrees were voicing their displeasure at Government-imposed changes to how healthcare is delivered across the country, accusing health ministers of turning the health service “into a business”.

They displayed placards supporting NHS staff and some wore facemasks of Prime Minister David Cameron next to signs saying “Cuts Won’t Hurt Me”.

Neil Laurenson, WATC spokesman, said: “The Government’s NHS plans will turn the NHS into a business where our taxes will increasingly pay for profit-driven companies to provide our healthcare.

“The Government has very craftily delayed its plans by three months so that it isn’t a local election issue.

“Actually, it is an election issue and it’s an issue that will affect everyone, as proper healthcare will become a lower priority than private profit.” The group says that NHS Worcestershire’s proposed £60 million cuts to its 2013/14 budget – in answer to Government cuts – will lead to a loss of an unacceptable number of hospital beds and medical staff jobs.

Councillors on the county council’s health overview and scrutiny committee will be meeting representatives of NHS Worcestershire on Friday, May 13, to discuss the Government’s plans for the NHS.

The possible closure of acute stroke beds at Worcestershire Royal Hospital has recently attracted controversy, as has the closure of the Aconbury unit, which is scheduled to be decommissioned by Monday, August 1.

The unit contained 76 beds but some have already been closed ahead of the closure as NHS Worcestershire moves towards a model of care where people are cared for closer to home.