DOZENS of Keighley shoppers signed a giant birthday card to celebrate the 66th birthday of the National Health Service.

The card was available for an hour in Keighley town centre as part of a joint initiative by Keighley Trades Union Council and Keighley Labour Party to support the NHS and its workers.

Volunteers also handed out "I love the NHS" stickers and voiced their opposition to what they described as Government undermining of NHS services."

Keighley TUC president Steve Davison said: "The NHS is 66-years-old today, but we're concerned that if the Conservatives and Lib Dems are re-elected in 2015 it won't make it to its 67th birthday.

"The secret privatisation of the NHS will mean it'll be unrecognisable within the next couple of years."

Also among those present at the card signing were Labour prospective parliamentary candidate John Grogan and Labour Keighley ward councillor Kaneez Akthar.

Mr Grogan said: "The NHS unites our nation like no other British institution just like in Keighley constituency Airedale Hospital unites the area. The future direction of the NHS will be one of the defining issues of next May's General Election."

Coun Akthar said: "We've received fantastic support from the general public. Everyone appreciates the great work the NHS does and they want this quality service to continue.

"We recognise the hard work put in by our frontline NHS staff, and we hope today's event will send a message to those in other political parties who want to see our NHS become a privatised company."