Calls grow for new hospital

THOUSANDS of people have put their names to a petition demanding a new hospital for an Essex town.The existing Clacton hospital does not have 24-hour accident and emergency cover and there is not a children's ward, meaning people often have to travel to Colchester for treatment.

THOUSANDS of people have put their names to a petition demanding a new hospital for an Essex town.

The existing Clacton hospital does not have 24-hour accident and emergency cover and there is not a children's ward, meaning people often have to travel to Colchester for treatment.

But campaigners have collected more than 12,000 signatures on petition, launched earlier this year, urging Tendring Primary Care Trust (PCT) to fund a project.

But yesterday a plan to gather one final batch of names had to be put on hold because of the wet weather and there will now be a final week's effort.


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People from various community groups worked to gather the signatures, often braving cold and wet conditions.

Roy Smith, a Tendring district and Essex county councillor, has supported the efforts and he said: "There is not 24-hour cover in the town which affects everyone here, whether they are local or just visiting and there is not a children's ward since it was lost 20 years ago.

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"There are now more children and families in this area and this is clearly demonstrated because there is now a 2,000-place school being built in Jaywick Lane.

"If the hospital does not go-ahead, there will be very serious deficit in healthcare in this catchment area as they are vast numbers who need the services."

There will shortly be a meeting with Essex Strategic Health Authority, the body which creates policy in the county, where the issue will be discussed and the petition handed over.

Earlier this year Paul Unsworth, chief executive of the Tendring PCT said: "Our view is that the existing hospital is in a good location - with just a few minor works needed to be carried out to ensure it remains at the required standard."

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