Pilgrim protest changes from funeral theme

UNION protestors say they will no longer use a funeral theme as part of their demonstration against Health Minister Andrew Lansley in Boston today in light of an investigation into a death at the Pilgrim Hospital.

As revealed in this week’s Standard the minister will be touring the hospital this afternoon on the invitation of MP Mark Simmonds.

The Lincolnshire branch of Unison were planning to mark the occasion with a funeral procession to signify what they feel is the death of the NHS as a result of Mr Lansley’s controverisal health service reforms.

Area Organsier David Kirwan told The Standard that the plans have now changed in the light of an ongoing police and health and safety executive investigation into a death at the hospital.

The joint inquiry centres on the death of patient John Biggadike on April 10 on ward 8A.

Mr Kirwan said: “We were just thinking that it may not be in the best taste at the moment.”

The protest will still take place but in a more ‘traditional’ format.

Mr Lansley will visit the accident and emergency department and intensive care and maternity wards.

The Standard has had requests to talk to Mr Lansley before, during or after his visit turned down. The Department of Health says the minister will not be speaking to the press due to local elections, which take place in other parts of the country next week.