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Bedford Shoppers Flock To Sign Hospital Petition

October 27, 2006 5:19 PM
Christine McHugh and Andrew Duff MEP (right of picture) with Cllr Michael Headley and Cllr Mark Chapman in Bedford Town Centre campaigning in support of Bedford Hospital

Christine McHugh and Andrew Duff MEP (right of picture) with Cllr Michael Headley and Cllr Mark Chapman in Bedford Town Centre campaigning in support of Bedford Hospital

Christine McHugh was joined by Bedford's Lib Dem MEP, Andrew Duff in Silver Street on Saturday, asking shoppers to sign the petition to "Save Bedford Hospital" from the well publicised cuts.

Christine McHugh said "There was an overwhelming response from shoppers. At times people were queuing up to sign the petition. Many people stopped to tell us about the care they had received at the hospital and were outraged at the cuts already in place and the prospect of the loss of many services altogether."

"The Health Watchdog's recent grading of Bedford Hospital as 'Fair' and 'Weak' is further bad news that will make the hospital and the range of services it provides even more vulnerable in the Strategic Health Authority review of acute services in the region. The Strategic Health Authority has made clear that financial considerations will be a key factor in determining how acute services will be 'reconfigured.' The government's drive for centralising into super-hospitals has echoes of their failed centralisation of Police forces. Isn't it time for the government and SHA to put a price on providing services close to people, especially at a time when the population of Bedford is increasing?"

Hundreds of names were added to the petition, launched by Christine McHugh earlier this year, which will be presented to the government. Local residents can also sign the petition on-line at www.savebedfordhospital.org .