Burnley General hospital campaigners call for MP to protect health services (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Burnley General hospital campaigners call for MP to protect health services
HOSPITAL campaigners in Burnley have challenged the health authorities and the town’s MP to organise a public meeting to discuss health issues.
Burnley and District Friends of the Earth said it has concerns about the town’s hospital and claims that Gordon Birtwistle MP has told them such a meeting ‘would serve no useful purpose and would become a slanging match’.
However, Mr Birtwistle countered that he has offered to meet the group at one of their meetings, but has not yet received an invitation.
Pete Smith, from Friends of the Earth, said: “Just over three years ago we had the first of two public meetings on the local health service.
“They were well attended, lively and constructive.
“We now have a new MP who has fought a strong campaign on saving Burnley General Hospital and we have been pressing Gordon for the last year to call another public meeting.
“His reason for delaying the meeting was that the NHS Bill was passing through the legislative process, but that act has now passed.
“We are concerned about the financial and environmental costs of journeys to and from Blackburn and inadequate public transport links.
“We believe the changes are business-led rather than patient-led, and are calling on other interested groups and organisations to join with us to organise a public meeting.
“Gordon Birtwistle can then choose whether or not to attend.”
Mr Birtwistle, said he would be more than happy to attend a group meeting to talk about the concerns and had asked Mr Smith for an appropriate date.
He added: “I’m freely available to any constituents if they want to meet to discuss these matters. I have regular surgeries on a Friday and am in the town centre on Saturday mornings to talk to people.”