Thousands back hospitals battle
MORE than 13,500 people have so far backed a petition to save Felixstowe's hospitals, it was revealed today. The number of signatures on the petition - organised by The Evening Star and the action group fighting the possible closure of either the General or Bartlet Hospital – has "overjoyed" petition co-ordinator Ian Heeley.
MORE than 13,500 people have so far backed a petition to save Felixstowe's hospitals, it was revealed today.
The number of signatures on the petition - organised by The Evening Star and the action group fighting the possible closure of either the General or Bartlet Hospital – has "overjoyed" petition co-ordinator Ian Heeley.
But organisers say every last signature is vital and are urging people to hurry and beat the deadline on Friday.
Mr Heeley said: "We are overjoyed at the number of signatures so far but it would be great if we could reach 15,000 by Friday.
"When we started out a month ago we didn't know how many to expect.
"The fact we have 13,500 highlights the feeling of people in and around this town.
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"The Trimleys, Kirton and Felixstowe have a population of about 30,000 so we have reached a good average.
"We are very incensed and don't feel we should have to lose either of the hospitals.
"If we have to lose one, we must save the other – and it must facilitate everything we need here."
Campaigners argue the people of Felixstowe want more health services in the town, not less, and are against the prospect of having to travel to Ipswich for care.
There are also fears if the Bartlet closes it will cause problems for Ipswich Hospital.
Plans are to hand the petition to Health Minister Patricia Hewitt if she accepts an invitation from the action group to visit the town.
If not, it will be presented to Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust at the next public meeting.
Forms are still available at pharmacists, surgeries, shops, restaurants, the Star office at 172 Hamilton Road, and other outlets in Felixstowe.
Completed forms must be brought into the Star office by Friday.
What do you think about the possible closure of the General or Bartlet Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk