PROTESTORS demonstrated in Leeds on Sunday about the "crisis" they say is facing the NHS.

People from Guiseley, Rawdon, Horsforth, Otley and Ilkley were among those attending the protest at Leeds General Infirmary.

The event took took place as thousands of people demonstrated in London and in other areas of the country.

Kirsty McKay, Secretary of Guiseley and Rawdon Labour Party said: "The NHS is facing the worst crisis in its history, thanks to Government cuts to health and social care budgets and plans for increasing privatisation.

"This chronic under-funding means less doctors and nurses in our hospitals, less resources for them to use, less ambulances to deal with emergencies and less beds available for patients. Lack of social care means that it’s harder to discharge elderly and disabled patients from hospital, and so even less beds are available for new patients on hospital wards."

Demonstrators of all ages brought home-made banners and placards to get their feelings across, and a band played to keep spirits high.

The event was organised by the Keep Our NHS Public Leeds group, who are fighting what they says is a threat of privatisation of the NHS. The group claims Government plans have been quietly paving the way for privatisation over the last five years, and it says the NHS is being privatised bit by bit.

Kirsty McKay added: "New Accountable Care Organisations will look to reduce the NHS to bite-sized chunks, ready to be gobbled up by the private sector. The NHS has been safe in public hands for 70 years, and is one of the jewels in Britain’s crown. It’s one of the most efficient and cost-effective health services, and is the envy of the world."

The Department of Health and Social Care has said the government was aware of the pressures facing the NHS and has supported it with extra funding this winter and with an extra £2.8bn allocated over the next two years.