CROWDS packed an East Oxford church hall to watch Jeremy Corbyn deliver an impassioned speech about healthcare ahead of a hundreds-strong 'funeral procession' for the NHS in Oxfordshire.

The Labour leader pledged to 'defend our NHS' and said he wanted to 'put social care back in public hands' as he spoke at the Richard Benson Hall on Saturday afternoon.

His talk at St Mary and St John Church coincided with an NHS day of action being staged across the country by the Labour party and campaign groups.

About 200 people gathered in Manzil Way at 12pm to join the procession led by Keep Our NHS Public and Hands Off Our NHS.

Mr Corbyn was not part of the 'funeral procession'.

Leading the group, which included two cardboard coffins and one donated by Cowley firm Colourful Coffins, was Oxford nurse David Bailey in full undertaker garb.

He said: "We are now aware, because of a leak, of the sustainability and transformation plans for BOB [Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West]. It means £146m is going to be removed from the health budget for Oxfordshire, £62m of which is on staffing because we are the most expensive commodity the NHS has - but also the most vital.

"Nurses are the most numerous but I expect it will be some physios and radiographers and we may see some doctors as well. It's going to have a devastating effect.

"We will probably see the downgrading of the Horton and community hospitals will close and that will affect services around the county.

"Our worry is that this is going to be the end of the NHS."

Campaigners put up street stalls around Oxford to highlight concerns about cuts to the health service and Labour supporters also went door-to-door spreading the same message.

Wood Farm resident Gina Ravens, who is on dialysis as her kidneys do not work at all, said she had joined the march as further cuts to the NHS could kill her.

She said: "I am terrified. Even if dialysis continues on the NHS, if staffing is cut people will die on the ward.

"As the NHS is squeezed more and more financially, it appears to the public that they are not coping very well and it might as well be private. But it's the current government that are doing the squeezing."

Fellow patient and Didcot Labour Party member Brian Barefield said: "I have a physical disability and, more importantly, I've suffered from depression since I was 15 years old in waves about every seven years.

"I've lost five different helping agencies and to get a psychiatrist in Oxford now you practically have to cut yourself. It's scary."

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith also showed support for the campaign and stood alongside Mr Corbyn as he spoke to crowds off the Cowley Road.