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Doctors run ‘Cleggython’ to protest against NHS reforms

Two doctors, including a BMA Council member, have run 35 miles dressed as Prime Minister David Cameron and ‘Cleggy’ to raise awareness of their objections to the Government’s NHS reforms.

Dr Clive Peedell, a consultant oncologist and BMA Council member, and fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson ran the 35-mile ‘Cleggython’ from the Department of Health Leeds base to Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency.

Dr Peedell, who co-founded a political protest party against the Government’s reforms last November - was dressed as the prime minister and was accompanied by Dr Wilson on a lead and dressed as an orange poodle.

Once there, the false PM and his Cleggy pet delivered an NHS ‘death certificate’, which they say the Liberal Democrats have co-signed by allowing the Health and Social Care Act to become law.

There will be a crucial vote in the House of Lords on the 24 April attempting to block the Government’s controversial rules on competition for CCGs. The rules were redrafted in March due to opposition from commissioning leaders and the RCGP, but commissioning leaders still warn they will place unnecessary obligations on CCGs that will hinder their ability to put patients’ needs first.

Dr Peedell said: ‘With the new legislation having come into effect on April 1st 2013, it signalled the end of the English NHS as we know it. We now have an English Health Service, not an NHS.

‘To mark this momentous point in the history of the NHS, a mock death certificate of the NHS [was] issued at the start of the “Cleggython”, which aimed to raise public awareness of the role the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats have played in dismantling and increasingly privatising our NHS, despite having no democratic mandate to this.’