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Campaign attracts 17,688 names

The Stoke Sentinel’s popular Caring About Tomorrow campaign has ended with backing from 17,688 readers.

The campaign for a new £200m single-site hospital was launched by the newspaper to put pressure on Health Secretary Alan Milburn, who has to make a decision in the spring about whether to build a new hospital in North Staffordshire.

If approved, new facilities would be built at the City General by 2007 with the whole of the old Royal Infirmary swept away.

But North Staffordshire is just one of 24 districts in the UK fighting to be included in a list of eighteen schemes the Government will approve.

Readers signatures flooded in to support the campaign after the Sentinel published a week-long series of articles revealing how dedicated hospital staff were struggling to practice modern medicine in buildings more than a century old.

Mailbags full of names have now been delivered to Downing Street by the Sentinel’s “face” of the campaign, five-year-old Jacob Bradbury.

His mother Emma said: “He has loved all the attention and some of his schoolmates are envious.

“But the central message is serious and if this campaign works, when he grows up he will have something to be proud of for the rest of his life.”

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