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Health campaigners call for support

Eric Hotson
Eric Hotson

Longer journeys for Maidstone patients needing emergency surgery and mothers giving birth could put lives in danger.

That's the fear of people fighting to keep services at Maidstone Hospital who have set up a new campaign group.

MASH - Maidstone Action for Services in Hospital - is due to be formally set up at a public meeting on Monday, July 21.

It has cross-party backing and Cllr Eric Hotson, Maidstone council’s former Tory group leader, has put his name forward for nomination as the group’s chairman.

In December it was announced that emergency and orthopaedic surgery would move from Maidstone to the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells.

When the new Pembury PFI Hospital is built, it will handle complicated births, with a midwifery-led birthing unit remaining either at Maidstone Hospital or in another location.

This week it was also revealed that a government review of road building schemes could put back the dualling A21 from Tonbridge to Pembury from starting in 2010, despite Pembury Hospital being due open in 2011.

Health campaigner Heather Morsley said: “If you care about Maidstone Hospital or even about your own health, you should come to the meeting on Monday."

The MASH meeting takes place at Maidstone Town Hall, High Street, at 7.30pm.

Full story in this week's Kent Messenger

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