12,000 say save the A&E

ALMOST 12,000 concerned Comet country residents have signed the petition to keep emergency services at Lister Hospital. Following plans for a new super-hospital in Hatfield being scrapped, acute and emergency services will be centralised at either Lister

ALMOST 12,000 concerned Comet country residents have signed the petition to keep emergency services at Lister Hospital.

Following plans for a new super-hospital in Hatfield being scrapped, acute and emergency services will be centralised at either Lister or the QEII.

One hospital will receive a cash boost of around £200m and one will be left with a scaled down A&E.

The Comet has secured more than 8,000 signatures since its campaign to save emergency services at Lister was launched four weeks ago.


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The battle is also being backed by MPs representing Comet country constituents.

Barbara Follett, MP for Stevenage, and her team of campaigners have collected more than 2,000 signatures.

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Mrs Follett said: "This is marvellous. I am really pleased with the progress we are making but we must keep the pressure up."

MP for Hitchin and Harpenden Peter Lilley and his team of petitioners have secured more than 1,000 signatures and MP for Hertfordshire North East Oliver Heald has been out on the streets of Letchworth GC collecting more than 500 signatures with the help of his team of campaigners.

Mr Heald said: "I was impressed by the strength of feeling as people queued to sign the petition. Many just could not comprehend how we could be facing a possible downgrading of either hospital, but there was strong support for Lister.

"One lady actually said that her mother aged 99 years had only survived cancer because of the care at the hospital.

"Another man literally got off the Shuttle bus after visiting Lister and signed straight away.

"One young boy with his mother had just finished painting a poster at Norton St Nicholas School as part of The Comet campaign.

"The community is right behind the local paper on this one."

You can still sign the petition by:

* Going online to The Comet's Lister link at: www.thecomet.net

* Popping into The Comet's office at Bank House, Primett Road, Stevenage, SG1 3EE and signing a form in our reception area.

* If any business or individual would like to help collect signatures contact The Comet on 01438 866200 for a supply of petition forms.

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