Hull hospitals ward closures spark protest

Image caption The rally was attended by MPs Alan Johnson and Karl Turner, along with union officials and campaigners

About 150 people have protested in Hull over plans to close wards at hospitals in the city and East Yorkshire.

One of the six heart wards at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham is to close at the end of the month under the NHS Trust's plans to save £94m by 2015.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has said it plans to close 300 beds at Castle Hill Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary.

Campaigners said it was "imperative" that action was taken.

MPs Alan Johnson and Karl Turner, along with union officials and campaigners, attended a rally held at Hull's Queen Victoria Square.

'Poor people'

Campaigner Dermot Rathbone, who organised the rally, called for the trust to reconsider the closures.

"We don't want it to be a poor service for poor people," he said.

Dr Yvette Oade, chief medical officer at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said it would do "everything to ensure that care was not compromised and that patients remained safe".

The closure of heart ward six at Castle Hill would affect patients from North East Lincolnshire, Scarborough and York, as well as those from Hull and East Yorkshire.

Alan Webb, from the trust, said: "Currently we are not making the best use of our beds on Ward 6, many of which are being used by non-cardiology patients."

He added that all cardiology beds would be moved to Castle Hill's new Centre for Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

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