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Outrage over A&E cutbacks prompts Kentish Times action

A major campaign to stop health chiefs reducing services at a busy hospital A&E department has been launched by Kentish Times Newspapers.

A Government document outlining proposals to cut back on facilities at Queen Mary Hospital in Sidcup sparked outrage in the community, prompting news staff at the award winning weekly Kent titles to take action.

In the first week of the Kentish Times’ Save Queen Mary’s A&E campaign, hundreds of readers pledged their support.

Group editor Melody Ryall said: “We’ve had calls from so many people explaining how the A&E saved their life, or some wanted to discuss how strongly they believed in retaining the department as it was.

“Many of course pointed out how travelling miles and miles to get to another hospital did have the potential to put lives at risk.”

“We plan to do everything we can to stop any changes taking place. The hospital A&E has a great record of success so why change that?

“The new proposals suggest using the department for only minor ailments. What hasn’t been fully explained it how other hospitals in other neighbouring boroughs would cope with the overspill of patients.

“The concerns of our readers must be addressed.”

Local MPs, Derek Conway, John Austin, David Evennett and Clive Efford are also supporting the campaign which is being co-ordinated by news editor Kate Mead and reporter Matt Cartmell.