HUNDREDS of people braved the gales today to protest over the future of Hartlepool’s hospital.
Mum Sue Little organised today’s protest march from Seaton Carew bus station to the University Hospital of Hartlepool and was overwhelmed with the response.
“I just could not believe how many people turned out,” she said.
“It was absolutely tremendous and it is fantastic that so many people want our services back.”
With half an hour to go to the 11am start, Sue looked like cutting a forlorn figure.
“We had seen the weather forecast for the last two days and then the winds didn’t drop as much as they had on Friday – I was thinking nobody was going to come,” she admitted.
“At about half past ten, there were not many people around at all, but then at about twenty to, quarter to 11, they just started coming from everywhere.
“The NHS has been in the news so much this week – we would love to be able to wait for four hours in A+E in Hartlepool.
“That would be a great pleasure for some people.”
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright joined the marchers for the hour-and-a-half walk along the seafront.
The number of people taking part sent a clear message about the passionate support for Sue’s campaign in the town, he said.
“This shows the strength of feeling among the people of Hartlepool.
“The Government and the local NHS Trust have to listen to the people who have given up their Saturday morning to show how seriously they care about getting back the hospital.”
The Mail’s Bring Them Back petition has now had more than 12,000 signatures, which will be handed to bosses from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and NHS England. To add your name to the campaign, long onto www. hartlepoolmail.co.uk or call into our reception in Wesley Square between 10am-2pm.