Villagers fight for local hospital link

A 100-SIGNATURE petition, aimed at keeping at least part of Papworth Hospital in the village of Papworth Everard, has been sent to Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt. The petition, signed by the village s residents and people living in nearby towns and vil

A 100-SIGNATURE petition, aimed at keeping at least part of Papworth Hospital in the village of Papworth Everard, has been sent to Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt.

The petition, signed by the village's residents and people living in nearby towns and villages, opposes a planned move to the Addenbrooke's site in Cambridge, as proposed by the hospital trust.

The petition has also been sent to Stephen Bridge, Papworth's chief executive, and Andrew Lansley, MP for South Cambridgeshire and Shadow Health Secretary.

The signatories do not oppose a Cambridge move in principle. They welcome the idea that the world-renowned heart-and-lung facility should set up a "centre of excellence" close to Addenbrooke's, where specialist treatment would be available for other health problems developed by patients already suffering from chest conditions.


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But they want the site at Papworth to be retained as a less frenetic environment for patients to recover from serious illness and major operations, with friends and relatives at their bedsides.

They believe this would be the best of both worlds, said petition organiser, pensioner Sonya Allerton, of Brookfield Road, Papworth, chairman of the village's over 60s club and a nurse at the hospital for 43 years, whose late husband worked on the hospital switchboard for more than 40 years.

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The hospital trust, which until recently had consistently opposed moves to leave the village, has now decided that it is in patients' best interests to re-locate to a specialist bio-medical campus in Cambridge.

As reported in The Hunts Post on January 4, the £170 million move would not go ahead unless road transport links were improved to make access for staff, patients and relatives reasonably feasible, according to Stephen Bridge, chief executive of Papworth Hospital Trust.

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