VIDEO: Protest marks Andrew Lansley visit

PUBLIC sector trade union Unison staged a protest against NHS reforms to mark the visit to Pilgrim Hospital by health minister Andrew Lansley today.

They were protesting against the possibility of regional pay, which they say could deter staff from joining the hospital in favour of more well-paid jobs.

They also opposed the Health and Social Care Act which they said could result in the privatisation of the hospital.

Protestors and their supporters, including Labour councillors, gathered outside the hospital while the minister toured the accident and emergency, intensive care and maternity wards.

The protest itself took place at 3pm, after the minister avoided the press and protest and left through a back entrance of the hospital, avoiding the press.

The union originally planned a funeral procession, however, they changed their plans due to fears of looking insensitive about the recent investigation into the death of a man at the hospital.