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Echo opposes health chiefs' plan

The Gloucestershire Echo has launched a campaign to try and prevent a hospital children’s ward from leaving the town.

Health chiefs are discussing plans that could signal the closure of the 26-bed ward at Cheltenham General Hospital, with services switching to Gloucester – eight miles away.

Parents claim the move could put the lives of youngsters at risk – a fear which prompted the Echo to launch a campaign Save Our Children’s Ward.

The paper featured the case of eight-year-old patient, Molly Allen, who has written to Tony Blair demanding that he intervenes in the controversy.

The Echo has joined forces with a number of parents and more than 5,000 have signed a petition that will he handed over to health bosses next month.

A major show of public opposition took place when 2,000 stickers paid for by the Echo were distributed to members of the public.

Editor Anita Syvret said: “We have been inundated with calls from concerned parents supporting the campaign.

“Many have had children treated at the Battledown ward and they aren’t prepared to risk the lives of their sons and daughters in travelling over to Gloucester.”

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