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Save hospital' campaigner goes independent

PUBLISHED: 17:10 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 12 August 2010

A HOSPITAL campaigner is standing as a parliamentary candidate with the aim of keeping an A&E unit open.

A HOSPITAL campaigner is standing as a parliamentary candidate with the aim of keeping an A&E unit open.

Chislehurst resident John Hemming-Clark is standing as a candidate in Old Bexley and Sidcup, for the party Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital, in a bid to re-open the Sidcup A&E.

This comes after the Kentish Times' Save Our Services campaign, which lifted the lid on proposals to axe A&E and in-patient paediatric services, at the much loved Sidcup hospital.

In September 2007, we took our petition with thousands of your signatures to 10 Downing Street, to show the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the strength of feeling about the proposed changes.

Hundreds of readers marched through the streets of Sidcup, with Boris Johnson and fellow London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, on a frosty Saturday morning to say Save Our Services.

Your campaigning Times also scrutinised the flawed consultation process from start to finish and even had a Freedom of Information Act battle with healthcare bosses, who were trying to pull the wool over residents' eyes, in their claims that the cuts backed by 100 clinicians.

Despite all of this, the decision to axe the A&E at QMS was due to come into affect at the end of this year. But the department closed temporarily last autumn due to recruitment problems.

Mr Hemming-Clark said: "With so little to choose between the major parties on the national issues, now is the time for Parliament once more to be stuffed full of independents, working together but putting you first and not party politics.

"With most voters in the constituency undecided I believe that there is all to play for in this election. I will fight for thehospital because it is my local hospital. I will fight for residents' concerns because they're my concerns.

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