TWO candidates for the Hexham constituency have pledged to take the NHS off the table in a Brexit trade deal with the USA.

All candidates were asked to sign the pledge as part of a campaign coordinated by a coalition of NHS campaigners, led by Keep Our NHS Public and We Own It.

So far, Labour’s Penny Grennan and the Green Party candidate Nick Morphet have signed the pledge.

Campaigners met outside Hexham General Hospital on Saturday as part of a week of action taking place across the country.

The campaigners claimed the NHS could not be protected from a trade deal without ending privatisation.

Local NHS nurse Deborah Barrass Barker said: “I’ve already seen the effect of Brexit on the workforce in the NHS with many nurses leaving.

“Now we have the threat of a trade deal with the USA.

“Prices for drugs will rise because pharmaceutical companies will want to charge the same here as they do in the States.

“Healthcare shouldn’t be about competitive contracts; chasing profit always results in poorer care and worse outcomes.”

More than 250 candidates from all major parties have already signed the pledge to protect the NHS, including one Conservative candidate.

And Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has vowed the NHS would never be put up for sale in a Brexit trade deal.