MPs have added their support to site the ne w cancer urology centre in Colchester .
Colchester MP Will Quinc e said: “I fully support the Gazette's campaign to keep urology services in Colchester. We have fantastic specialists based here in Colchester, as well as one of the most modern radiotherapy centres in Europe.
“I have requested a meeting with the Secretar y of State to discuss this , amongst other issues about our hospital.
“Colchester General Hospital serves such a wide area that to move it would disadvantage patients .
Unlike Southend, North Essex residents do not have other options, such as travelling to London.
Mr Quince and colleagues will be collecting names on a petition at Asda, in Turner Rise, Colchester, on Sunda y from 11am to 4pm.
Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, said this campaign has his support.
He said: “The NHS should not expect urology patients in Colchester, or Harwich or Braintree, to have to travel t o Southend for cancer surgery.
“We are developing a world-class cancer centre here at Colchester Hospital.
“To lose the capability to operate on urology patients would undermine Colchester as a cancer centre of excellence. Colchester became a urology cancer centre when it combined with the urology unit at Chelmsford.
“Colchester serves as the centre for North Essex.
Southend Hospital serve s South Essex. The dual Esse x centre makes sense for pragmatic and geographic reasons. Nobody in Essex i s pressing for this to change .
“Colchester has increased and improved its urology cancer surgical team. There is excellent radiotherapy and chemotherapy support. It now has the leadership and capability to work with Southend and the urology department in Chelmsford.
Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, said described the plan to move the service from Colchester as madness .
He said: “It would be madness to move it to Southend.
“Many of those using the service are elderly. Tendring has one of the highest numbers of elderly people in the country.
"We need this service in Colchester and need to mak e sure NHS officials see sense."
Witham MP Priti Patel also backed the campaign.
She said: “Colchester General Hospital is a leading, innovative and pioneering centre for urology cancer surgery.
“Patient satisfaction with the service is high and there is a strong and committed team in place. Since 2006, the services at Colchester have grown from strength to strength, with the number of consultants and operations provided increasing .
“The specialist services provided at Colchester are much needed and its location and connections to surrounding areas in Essex and beyond makes a strong case for Colchester to continue to provide these services .
THANK you for your support! ý To support the campaign, cut out and fill in the coupon printed below and send to Save Our Cancer Surgery, Essex County Standard, Unit 1, Brunel Court, Severalls Industrial Estate, Colchester, CO4 9XP. ý Alternatively, send us a letter or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name, address and telephone number, and why you are supporting the campaign. We will hand the letters and e-mails we have received, and petitions, t o NHS bosses next month. ý Petitions and posters are available to download on our website and at newsagents.
To sign our online petition at change.org go to tinyurl.com/qbcj8cm ý Alternatively, start your own petition by going to www.gazettenews.co.uk/resources/files/34 450. ý Anyone needing further help, please call the newsroom on 01206 508288.