Stepping Hill Hospital petition bound for Downing Street

Councillors Lisa Smart, Beth Atkins and David Lomax collecting signatures.
Councillors Lisa Smart, Beth Atkins and David Lomax collecting signatures.

High Peak councillors have taken a petition with 6,020 signatures opposing ward closures and job losses at Stepping Hill Hospital all the way to 10 Downing Street.

They hope to put enough pressure on the Government to secure funding to stave off planned hospital closures in the future.

It comes against the backdrop of plans to close Stepping Hill’s B3 surgical ward, cut 420 jobs and increase car parking charges for NHS staff.

Beth Atkins, Derbyshire county councillor for New Mills, Birch Vale and Hayfield, said that 6,020 people, including 1,700 from the High Peak, shared the view that hospitals needed proper funding.

“Measures need to be taken so that doctors and nurses do not lose their jobs and the ones that do are not taxed for parking at work,” she added.

David Lomax, county councillor for Whaley Bridge, said: “The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Health Secretary have now been told this is not acceptable. Not just by me, but by 6,020 of us who need Stepping Hill.

“They have no mandate now to keep refusing to fund this and all of our hospitals properly.”

Charles Lawley, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Chapel and Hope Valley, said: “I have been knocking on door after door with this petition, working tirelessly to get as many signatures as possible and the amount of people who are just glad that someone is taking action and who speak so highly of Stepping Hill is overwhelming.

“We all love our NHS and hope the government finally listens and gives it the funding it deserves.

“We are worried about its future and simply cannot afford for it to go the same way as our hospitals in Buxton.”