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Petition against hospital changes gathering pace

MORE than 2,000 people have now signed a petition calling for the Prime Minister to intervene to stop planned changes to hospital services.

The online petition on the 10 Downing Street website, calls for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to reconsider the effects of changes to services proposed by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.

It would mean fewer 999 "blue light" emergencies being dealt with at Maidstone Hospital's A&E unit. They would be diverted instead to other A&E units in Medway, Ashford, Dartford and Tunbridge Wells.

The petition asks for the proposal to be "seriously reconsidered" in light of objections from Maidstone council, Kent County Council and many residents.

Last week, just 243 people had signed the petition but this week, 2,398 people added their names.

The decision lies with the new Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, after it was referred to his predecessor Patricia Hewitt by Kent County Council’s NHS overview and scrutiny committee. It is thoguht his decsion may be imminent.

Click here to view the petition, which is available until August 3 >>>

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