HUNDREDS of vocal protesters marched through Poole on Saturday to show their opposition to the government’s NHS reform proposals.

The rally, opposing plans to place much of NHS into the hands of GPs and private providers, was the latest to be organised by the Bournemouth and Pooled Anti Cuts Coalition (BPACC).

Placard-waving protesters paraded down the High Street to the Quay, where a rally was held.

Speakers at the Quay event included Steve Warwick, from the public sector union UNISON, and Paul Mackney, who is vice chair of the Coalition of Resistance – the group co-ordinating the anti-cuts campaigns across the country.

Dorset health campaigners also used the platform to voice their opposition to the changes.

Darren Brown, chair of the BPACC, said: “There is growing concern about the role of the private sector in healthcare and the danger that expensive operations and treatments will be pushed to the bottom of the waiting list.

“Looking after people when they are ill is not the same as selling cornflakes – the idea that you can introduce a market into the NHS undermines what the service is all about. We want an NHS that is driven by the needs of patients, not the needs of shareholders.”