Around 50,000 people are expected to attend an NHS march and demonstration planned for tomorrow, Saturday 3rd February, to call on the government to properly fund the National Health Service.

On the 70th anniversary of the NHS, the People’s Assembly is organising a mass protest, beginning at 12pm starting on Gower Street and going to Whitehall at 2pm for a demonstration outside Downing Street.

The march comes as the NHS reaches peak crisis, with figures revealing that hospitals are fuller than at any other point this winter.

According to figures, bed occupancy for the week ending 28 January has increased to 95 per cent, the highest weekly average since reporting began in November. This is above the Government target of 85 per cent for this winter period.

Doctor, Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, one of the organisers of the march, says: “The NHS has been pushed into a political crisis. We have suffered eight years of austerity, cuts, closures and privatisation; it is politically and ideologically driven, and it is resulting in patient deaths. So I am organising the march to demand an end to the crisis.”

She is calling on the Government to end austerity driven cuts, increase funding, eliminate the market, end privatisation, and ensure fair pay for NHS staff.

“It’s terrible. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen it. Patients are needlessly suffering, staff are needlessly suffering. We feel handcuffed, in that we’re unable to provide the level of care that we want safely and yet we then feel as though we are blamed when things go wrong.”

Macklin says that increasingly care is being denied to patients, which “goes against the fundamental principles of why I became a doctor.”

“I think in the sixth richest country in the world, it’s totally avoidable and unnecessary.”

She is optimistic that there will be a good turnout tomorrow.

“We’ve had the support of all national unions, the national press, Ralf Little who had a spat with Jeremy Hunt. John Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State is coming and so are lots of union leaders, nursing staff, and doctors. I think it’s going to be very well supported because everyone loves the NHS and wants to support it.”

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, has received an invite, but he is yet to answer.