A&E SOS petition delivered to minister in Whitehall

Chichester Observer chief reporter Steve Pickthall delivers the A&E SOS petition to the Department of Health in Whitehall
Chichester Observer chief reporter Steve Pickthall delivers the A&E SOS petition to the Department of Health in Whitehall

Our A&E SOS petition, signed by almost 25,000 readers, has been taken to health minister Jeremy Hunt in Whitehall.

The petition calls on Mr Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, to guarantee that accident and emergency and orthopaedic services at St Richard’s Hotpital, Chichester, and at Worthing Hospital, will be safeguarded.

Readers clamoured to sign the petition after local NHS bosses awarded a milti-million pound contract to private operator Bupa CSH.

It sparked alarm over the wider implications for A&E.

Although Bupa has since pulled out of the deal, uncertainty remains over the future of our hospitals.

Chichester Observer chief reporter Steve Pickthall presented the petition to officials at the Department of Health in London as Mr Hunt himself was unavailable.

For a full report on the petition presentation see the Observer series and the Herald & Gazette series newspapers and websites next week.