300 signatures on petition to safeguard the future of Royston hospital

RESIDENTS of Crow Country have delivered a clear message to the East and North Herts PCT: hands off our hospital. Campaigner Terry Hutt this week presented Royston MP Oliver Heald with a 300-signature petition signed by people who want the town s hospital

RESIDENTS of Crow Country have delivered a clear message to the East and North Herts PCT: hands off our hospital.

Campaigner Terry Hutt this week presented Royston MP Oliver Heald with a 300-signature petition signed by people who want the town's hospital to remain open in the long term.

Mr Hutt started his petition as part of our Hands off our Hospital campaign, which aimed to highlight the importance of the hospital to the local community after fears were raised that it may have to close.

"Royston Hospital belongs to the people and no one else," said Mr Hutt, who is chairman of Royston pensioners' action group.


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"People have been coming up to me and telling me stories of how it has been used down the years by their loved ones.

"Even today it plays an important role, especially for those who don't have transport to get to Addenbrooke's or Lister."

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The future of the hospital was thrown into doubt last year when the PCT blocked plans for a new day room on the site because it would "be in use for very little time".

A summit meeting held before Christmas involving the PCT, Mr Heald, and the friends of Royston Hospital failed to resolve people's concerns, with health bosses insisting there are no plans to close the site, but that decisions would be made about the future in the coming year.

Last week Mr Heald met with the PCT to discuss its review of intermediate care beds, which will have a direct effect on how the hospital site is utilised in the future.

The North East Herts MP said: "I am concerned that in the current review of intermediate care Royston Hospital is at risk.

"I believe many in the town would not want to see Royston use intermediate care beds or put at risk the many clinics at the hospital. This week I again asked for assurances that the hospital was safe, and was told that the review would continue until the early summer.

"I know that Terry will be collecting more signatures and I will make sure that these reach the PCT.

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