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Minister’s surprise visit boosts campaigners

 
Created on 11/02/2011 @ 10:02
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Campaigners fighting to block a proposal to move vital maternity and children’s services from Shrewsbury to Telford received a Ministerial boost to their efforts.
 
Cheryl Gillan MP, Secretary of State for Wales, was invited by Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies and Conservative Assembly candidate Russell George to meet a group of expectant and young Montgomeryshire mothers in Newtown last night.
 
And after airing their concerns, the mothers believe that the visit couldn’t have come at a more crucial time as the campaign steps up another gear this weekend.
 
“She was very nice and listened to all our concerns and worries,” said Helen Jervis, a mother-of-three who has started an online petition that has 3,500 signatures already.
 
“I explained about the travelling that us Welsh patients already have to make is long enough to Shrewsbury. We mentioned children travelling with serious illnesses only have a 60-minute window to get the antibiotics they need and currently just about make it to Shrewsbury in time. Telford would be too late.”

Helen and fellow mum Donna Benbow are enlisting the support of residents from across the border to step up the pressure on Shropshire health bosses and will attend a public meeting tonight at Shrewsbury Town’s football ground.

“She said she could clearly see the concern on the faces of everyone at the meeting and said she would do everything she could to help,” she added.
 
Mr George, who is also a County Councillor, added that the move would be “disastrous” for the area.
 
“My other concern is what this will mean on the long-term viability of Shrewsbury as a major district general hospital,” he said.
 
Public meetings are scheduled for the next fortnight in Llanidloes, Welshpool and Newtown to fight the proposals which would leave Shrewsbury with no consultant maternity service, no children’s service, no neo-natal service, no special care baby unit and no Head and Neck Service.
 
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