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Sister weeklies launch joint bid to save hospital units

Two sister weeklies have launched a joint campaign to save hospital services on their respective patches.

The Tamworth Herald and Lichfield Mercury have joined forces for the ‘Save The Units’ campaign, after the minor injury units at Tamworth’s Sir Robert Peel Hospital and Lichfield’s Samuel Johnson Hospital were put under threat.

Petitions have been launched by the Trinity Mirror-owned newspapers to be presented to Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which has made the proposal to close the units after a review of facilities.

Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher and Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant have backed the campaign.

The campaign featured on the front page of this week's Herald

The campaign featured on the front page of this week’s Herald

Gary Phelps, who edits both titles, said: “These walk-in units provide quick, local treatment for people who suffer minor injuries. GPs surgeries in Tamworth and Lichfield are already under huge amounts of pressure, as are the A&E units in Sutton Coldfield and Burton.

“We feel that if these units are closed it will either force more people into GPs’ waiting rooms or make them travel significant distances to wait in queues at A&E.

“We understand that tough decision have to be made, but we believe life is local and people expect services of this nature to be available locally.

“The Herald and Mercury are fulfilling their basic role of reflecting their readers’ concerns – our petition gives them a unified voice.

“We’ve been blown away by the response – we’ve had thousands sign forms printed in our papers and on our websites. We haven’t had a full count yet, as they just keep coming in. Local people clearly feel very strongly about this issue.”