350 MARCH FOR HOSPICE
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 19:11 Written by Gordon Neish Saturday, 16 April 2011 17:20
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DUNOON’s town centre was brought to a standstill this morning (Saturday) as 350 people marched in protest against threatened closure of Cowal Hospice.
People marched from the town’s Castle Gardens to the stadium car park where impassioned speeches were made by march organiser Sybil Baldwin and parliamentary candidates Michael Russell and Alison Hay.
Many shopkeepers left their stores and passing cars sounded their horns to show support as the march snaked through the town.
Mrs Baldwin thanked marchers and said: “This is only the beginning. We will keep fighting until the hospice is open again.”
Mr Russell said that he had personal experience of the hospice movement and, if elected, will make sure that NHS Highland honours an agreement it has with Cowal Hospice Trust to operate a hospice in a dedicated unit within Dunoon Hospital. He said: “NHS Highland must not – and will not – get away with this.” He later said that he had spoken personally with health secretary Nicola Sturgeon and said that she will insist that the health board honours its agreement.
Mrs Hay also gave support to campaigners, emphasising the need for a dedicated hospice in Cowal. Mrs Hay said: ~I will work with whoever is in government to make sure this important facility remains open.”
Marchers then progressed to the steps of the empty hospice building.
There were moving scenes as people laid flowers and messages in memory of friends and loved ones.