PROTEST art has been installed in Thornbury after news that NHS services in South Gloucestershire could face “unthinkable” measures to combat overspending.

The county is one of 14 areas nationwide that have reportedly been told by to draw up radical plans to save money by the government, which could include measures such as closing wards and services, limiting choice of private providers, extending waiting times, and stopping some treatments.

A report from the Health Service Journal said that senior managers have been told to “think the unthinkable” and that measures are currently under discussion privately between NHS England and NHS Improvement officials, with decisions expected after the general election.

Concerns have been raised over the potential for selling off assets following advice put forward in the controversial Naylor Report.

In a visual protest against the plans, Bristol-based urban artist JohnDoh has created a piece in Thornbury, a skeleton in a hospital gown sat on a bench near Thornbury Castle, holding a sign saying “Save the NHS Vote Labour”.

The 2017-18 NHS services budget for South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset is £1.15billion.

The Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have previously announced a commitment to work collectively to improve health services and ensure value for money.

A South Gloucestershire CCG spokesman said: “Together with our neighbouring CCGs, we are currently developing proposals to ensure there are affordable, high quality health services that meet the needs of close to one million local people.

“Many of the proposals will have no impact on patients or the care and treatment they receive. Where proposals may have an impact on patient services, engagement programmes will be carried out to ensure patients and the public are directly involved.”