'I'll fight it tooth and nail'

BASSETLAW MP John Mann says he will "fight tooth and nail" to prevent the closure of the town's A&E department.

BASSETLAW MP John Mann says he will "fight tooth and nail" to prevent the closure of the town's A&E department.

This week he announced a major referendum run to General Election rules of everybody in Bassetlaw over the issue.

People all over Worksop, Retford and surrounding villages will receive ballot papers within the next two weeks.

And the aim is to find out what YOU think about the threat of the hospital losing its A&E department.

"As long as I am MP of Bassetlaw they won't be closing our A&E department without a fight and it will be a hard and aggressive fight," said Mr Mann this week.

"This will be a major referendum on the issue, involving everybody on the electoral role in Bassetlaw."

"The hospital trust needs to hear loud and clear what the Worksop public think about any plan to shift the A&E department to Doncaster."

"If this happens, it will be a major blow for the town."

"By supporting the Guardian's campaign, we can all try and make sure it does not happen."

Mr Mann reacted strongly to our exclusive story last week when we revealed that a six-month review of clinical services within the trust involving Worksop, Doncaster and Mexborough hospitals had just begun.

No statement had been issued about the review from the trust the only way the Guardian found out about it was when a senior source within the hospital voiced his concerns over the route the review already seemed to be taking.

"I got the impression certain things were already cut and dried," said the source. "It seems a lot of the key decisions have already been taken."

The Trust branded the comments as "emotive, inaccurate, negative and destructive".

But they did confirm that by the end of the review, in June, it may well be that some services could be relocated or centralised on one site.

Mr Mann said: "If closing the A&E ends up being their proposal, then the whole board should resign."

"There are people on that board who are appointed and paid to represent our interests."

"If they agree to the A&E closure they are going back on the promises they made only two years ago, when the two original trusts merged."

"What are we expected to do sit back and accept it?"

"They need to hear and understand that everyone in Bassetlaw is very much against it."

Ballot boxes will be set up around town, including the Guardian reception, within the next two weeks.

See John Mann's column p8