Billy Bragg joined campaigners in Dorchester marching in support of hospital services on Saturday.

The campaigners met at Top O'Town car park before marching through the town, shouting chants and waving placards.

It is the third march of its kind and comes as the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) considers the future of areas such as maternity and paediatric as part of its Clinical Services Review.

Mr Bragg said: “It’s very encouraging to see a turnout like this. It is a good hospital – my partner tore a ligament in her foot and they are really looking after her. People want to keep that.

“There are lots of people here with little kids. And it’s the thought of those children becoming ill in the middle of the night that is a worry.

“To lose that 24/7 support is every parent’s nightmare.”

Campaigner Naomi Patterson, whose son contracted meningitis eight years ago, organised the march.

She said: “I have lived my whole life under the NHS. In 2008, my son was struck down with a life-threatening illness and we had no choice but to rely on the NHS

“It saved my son’s life and we are here today to say thank you and to make the NHS happen.

“We want to send a clear message to our government that our NHS is not for sale.”

Edwina and Graeme Ashmore, from Weymouth, have eight-month-old triplets who were born prematurely.

Edwina said: “I spent eight weeks at the hospital over Christmas and they gave us open access. They were amazing.

“It is vital for this area.”

Graeme added: “It’s absent-minded to think of cutting it.”

Dr Forbes Watson, chair of NHS Dorset CCG, said: “Since the launch of the Clinical Services Review we have had several meetings with representatives of the Save SCBU and Kingfisher group to discuss the recommendations for local services and understand their concerns

"In order to ensure people can find out more about the recommendations for maternity and paediatric care we will be publishing a summary via our social media channels. Alternatively it is available via

"As we have been clear about since the launch of the CSR no decisions will be made until we have taken account of the views that will be collected during the public consultation.

"Details of the public consultation will be publicised widely once we are able to confirm the details.”