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Times takes A&E fight to number 10

Kentish Times Newspapers has taken its fight to save under-threat services at a busy hospital A&E department to Westminster.

Group editor Melody Foreman, reporter Matt Cartmell, news editor Kate Mead and photographer Simon Hildrew marched on Downing Street as part of a campaign to retain the full range of services at the Queen Mary Hospital Accident and Emergency Centre in Sidcup.

They were joined by Old Bexley and Sidcup MP Derek Conway as they presented tens of thousands of signatures, coupons and e-mails to the Prime Minister’s office at number 10.

  • Melody and Derek
  • The newspaper campaign was launched earlier this year after the Times reported on a Government document which outlined proposals to cut back on facilities at Queen Mary Hospital to save money.

    It has since reported dozen of stories from readers about how the A&E saved their life, and has told how proposals are anticipated to go for public consultation in late November or early December.

  • L-R – Matt, Kate, Derek and Melody
  • Melody said: “The idea of no complete A&E at one of London’s largest boroughs appeared to us and the readers as ludicrous.

    “A government-led report which suggested siphoning off those poor victims of local car crashes or other serious accidents to the already pressurized Queen Elizabeth at Woolwich sparked a dispute that got everyone including celebrities like Olympic medal winner and local lad, Steve Backley, jumping in outrage.”

    Tory leader David Cameron also joined the campaign, promising readers ‘a bare knuckled fight over this’.

    And following the presentation of its petition the Times has vowed to fight on.

    Melody said: “This is just the first step – there is no way we are going to let it drop.”