Council appeals for review of Newark hospital changes

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A Nottinghamshire council wants the government to reconsider its decision to downgrade the accident and emergency department at Newark Hospital.

Newark and Sherwood District Council wants Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to hold an independent review.

Campaigners oppose a move to turn the emergency department into a minor injuries unit.

But Newark GP Mark Folman said serious conditions need to be treated at a major hospital.

Clot busting

"We have reviewed a lot of evidence… in particular there are some life-threatening conditions that Newark Hospital can no longer host such as heart attacks or strokes - they need to go to specialist centres," Mr Folman said.

"For heart attacks, instead of clot-busting treatments you can now receive immediate radiological ballooning of the vessels in the heart."

Council Liberal Democrat leader Brendan Haigh said: "I get the impression… that people are being discouraged from going to Newark Hospital for any sort of injury or problem.

"We have to watch that it doesn't wither on the vine from people not using it."

The council is also calling for a meeting between Newark MP Patrick Mercer and Mr Lansley.

"We want the Secretary of State to reconsider his decision not to intervene as we think that every avenue should be explored," Mr Haigh added.

The hospital will still look after people with minor conditions and some patients with long-term health problems.

Previous action to show opposition to the plans have included a 5,000-name petition and human chain around the hospital.

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