‘WE are having a good response to our picket today,’ North-East London Council of Action Secretary Bill Rogers told News Line at Chase Farm Hospital yesterday.
He added: ‘We’re getting good support for our policy of occupation in the fight against cuts and closures at Chase Farm and the NHS in general.
‘People are horrified by this Care Quality Commission and its powers to fine and close hospitals.
‘People are determined to fight and to defeat this government’s privatisation plans.’
Workers at the hospital, out-patients and local residents all gave their support to the campaign.
Over 40 people joined the picket yesterday morning, despite the rain.
Marcin Roszczyk, a maintenance worker, said: ‘The closure plan is no good.
‘I live very close. Every time I have a problem with my daughter I go to the Emergency.
‘Everywhere else is difficult to get to.
‘We have to keep this hospital open.
‘The picket is good. There are a lot of people working here, they need their jobs.
‘I agree with occupying the hospital to stop the closure.
‘Everybody should keep together and we will be strong enough.’
Chase Farm Hospital worker Diane said: ‘The closure plan is ridiculous.
‘I don’t think Barnet Maternity would cope.
‘It’s not so much now, it’s the future as well.
‘When they closed the A&E at Highlands it was the end of the whole hospital.
‘It’s all about money. We have to stop the closure. I’d support a sit-in.’
Out-patient, hairdresser Amanda Coombs, added: ‘I’m not happy about the plans to close the A&E, Maternity and Paediatrics departments. We need them all. We need this hospital.’
‘The elderly people need it. There’s a lot who live round here.
‘All they need to do is upgrade, the money is there.
‘We won’t let them take this hospital away.
‘We’re going to fight, take action against the closure.
‘We should sit in to stop them.
‘People would be out of jobs if it closed as well.
‘They are trying to force people to go elsewhere. I will never accept it.’