Patients, staff and Enfield and district residents yesterday welcomed the mass picket of Chase Farm Hospital by the North East London Council of Action.
Called to prepare to occupy the hospital to stop the closure of the A&E, Maternity and Paediatrics departments, the picket got hoots of support from passing cars, and hundreds more signed the Council of Action petition, saying they will be joining the July 26 march through Enfield.
Local resident Yvonne Hayward told News Line at the picket: ‘They should keep Chase Farm open.
‘My grandchildren were born here. I’ll be on the march on July 26.
‘The consultation is a load of rubbish, they intend to close it.
‘We should occupy and stop them.
‘The trade unions must take action, if they don’t nobody else will.’
One of the pickets, Beth Dorey, Hackney YS said: ‘I’m here to stop the privatisation of the NHS.
‘Occupying Chase Farm hospital to stop it closing is a great thing.
‘This government are not listening to people demonstrating. It calls for stronger action.’
Outpatient Julia Hunt told News Line: ‘I’m most certainly against the closure. It’s so near to the M25 to deal with accidents.
‘Closing the A&E would be crazy.
‘I’ll support an occupation. I was on the last march and I’m coming with my family on July 26.’
Hospital worker May Smith added: ‘The closure plan is mad. It’s disgusting.’
Medical secretary Annie Crouch said: ‘The closure plan is disgusting. We have to stop it.
‘I’m in favour of a sit-in, because they won’t listen to us.’
Pas Parente said: ‘Being a local resident, obviously I don’t want to go all the way to Barnet.
‘I agree with occupying the hospital and getting the trade unions to back it.’