Cllr joins hundreds in Candlelight protest over health care in Caithness

Cllr joins hundreds in Candlelight protest over health care in Caithness

Hundreds of people took part in a protest outside Wick Town and County Hospital in Caithness on Thursday night.

Holding mobile phone torches and lit candles and standing in silence, the crowd wanted to show its opposition to potential changes to health services.

The protest ended with a piper playing the tune, The Flowers o' the Forest.

On Saturday, similar protests are to be held again in Wick and also Thurso and in Portree on Skye where NHS Highland plans a redesign of hospital care.

Thursday night's protest had supporters from outside Caithness, including Australia, who posted pictures on social media of lit candles.

Highland councillor Struan Mackie, who joined the crowd, said the hospital was "a fantastic facility" for Caithness and north Sutherland.

He added: "The dignified and emotional lighting of candles, lamps and mobile phone torches was a powerful, powerful message."

Nicola Sinclair, a Highland councillor and a founder member of Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT), said she hoped thousands of people would turn up for Saturday's events in Wick and Thurso.

She said large turnouts would send a "clear message" that local communities "do not want to see an erosion of health services".