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Support Stafford Hospital urged thousands to join in celebration of NHS

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: June 30, 2014

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RESIDENTS are being urged to join Stafford Hospital campaigners to help celebrate the anniversary of the NHS this weekend. Support Stafford Hospital is hosting the Picnic in the Park event at Rowley Park on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the NHS. They are hoping to get as many of the marchers who packed into town and joined the infamous procession from Market Square to the hospital in April last year, to go along. The event, from 2-8pm, will include a picnic and games. It is one of a raft of events to raise money for the campaign to continue fighting to save services at the hospital, which is being downgraded, with acute services moving to Stoke and only a midwife-led maternity unit operating in the town. On Monday Bopping Dolphin fish bar in Bridge Street, will donate net profits on Monday to Support Stafford Hospital. There will also be a quiz night at the Morris Man, from 7pm on July 16th. Two judicial reviews have been lodged against the hospital plans, one by a member of the public backed by Cheryl Porter and Karen Howells, from Support Stafford Hospital, but not Support Stafford Hospital itself, and one by Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Kate Godfrey. Meanwhile, Sue Hawkins, who founded Support Stafford Hospital with Cheryl Porter and Karen Howells, stepped down from the group last week. It comes as fellow members Maurice Blisson, Brian Henderson and Eleanor Tristram have also left the group and just weeks after Councillor Rowan Draper announced his departure because of differing views about whether or not to pursue a judicial review. Mrs Hawkins did not explain her reasons for leaving but paid tribute to hospital staff and all those she had met during the campaign. Mrs Porter insisted there was no split in the group, although there had been differences of opinions over whether to go for a judicial review. She added: “Support Stafford Hospital will continue the fight.”

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