Sign for Lister

Every Comet reader must put their name to our Lister Hospital petitionNOW is the time to step forward and declare your support for Lister Hospital.Today The Comet officially launches

Every Comet reader must put their name to our Lister Hospital petition

NOW is the time to step forward and declare your support for Lister Hospital.

Today The Comet officially launches its petition to keep acute and emergency services at Lister.

And we need the backing of each and every Comet reader to ensure we do not lose these services to the QEII.


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

The unseemly fight between the two hospitals will end with one receiving a cash boost of around £200m and one being left with basic services, including a scaled down A&E, outpatients, blood tests and X-rays.

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There will be a public consultation period from March until June and a final decision could be made as early as September.

Now is the time to come forward and be counted.

BIG names including MPs, a council leader and a TV presenter have backed the battle to keep acute and emergency services at Lister.

Now it's your turn.

Every Comet reader's signature is needed to give our petition maximum weight in the fight to save our services.

Already backing the campaign is Pam Rhodes, presenter of BBC's Songs of Praise for 15 years and a Biggleswade resident.

She cited Lister's proximity to the A1(M), the site's size and its possibilities for expansion, the condition of the hospital's buildings, and its location within one of the most deprived areas in Hertfordshire as reasons to support Lister over the QEII.

Echoing these sentiments is Barbara Follett, MP for Stevenage.

She said: "I think the arguments for consolidating trauma and other specialist services at Lister are strong."

Such is the strength of her support that Mrs Follett and The Comet have joined forces with a petition to save Lister's emergency services. She will be collecting signatures in Stevenage town centre on Saturday (January 27).

Also lending support are Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, Oliver Heald, MP for Hertfordshire North East, and Alistair Burt, MP for North East Bedfordshire.

Mr Lilley said: "I share my constituents' concerns about the future of Lister and welcome the Comet campaign."

Mr Lilley and his team of campaigners have already collected over 1000 signatures in Hitchin and will be out in force over the coming weeks.

Mr Heald said: "I fully support Lister as the fully functioning A&E and it would be disastrous if it were to be wound down."

Mr Heald said a team of campaigners with petitions will shortly be dispatched into the streets of Letchworth to drum up support for Lister.

Mr Burt added: "A&E is a vital local service, a real heartbeat for the whole community, and I hope it stays a key part of the services offered at Lister."

Speaking in her capacity as leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Sharon Taylor said: "We are supporting Lister for Stevenage people."

Now it is over to you, the public, to make hospital bosses sit up and listen to the people who ultimately use the services under threat.

The road to losing our A&E is paved with indifference.

So make your view matter and make your opinion count. Sign the petition.

You can sign the petition by:

* Cutting out and filling in the coupon in The Comet and returning it to: SOS Lister campaign, The Comet, Bank House, Primett Road, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 3EE.

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

* Signing the petition set up by MP for Stevenage, Barbara Follett, by visiting the Labour Party stall in Stevenage town centre outside Woolworths from 10.30am on Saturday (January 27) or by visiting: www.barbara-follett.org.uk

* You can also sign up via Stevenage Borough Council's website at www.stevenage.gov.uk and follow the link.

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