Campaigners battling to save services at an East Yorkshire hospital are taking their fight to Health Secretary Alan Johnson.

A petition has been launched by campaigners in Bridlington who are desperately trying to stop service cuts, despite a management decision last month to forge ahead with closures.

The petition will be handed over to the Hull West and Hessle MP, asking him to stop the planned closure of the hospital's cardiac monitoring unit and acute wards.

Mick Pilling, chairman of the Save Bridlington Hospital Action Group, said: "The decision to go ahead with these cuts is disgraceful. "

"We will fight tooth and nail until we have no fight left to keep these services at Bridlington Hospital."

"This petition is our last stand and everyone in the area needs to get involved." Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare Trust, which manages the hospital, first launched a public consultation on its plans for the future of the site last September.

Plans included the removal of cardiac care and acute medical services.

Campaigners handed over a 22,500-name petition against the cuts to trust chief executive Iain McInnes.

A protest march attended by about 3,000 people was held last year.

However, despite the opposition to the plans, the trust's board of directors finally agreed to go ahead with the cuts last month.

Mr Pilling said: "We are taking this fight to the source and we really need everyone to support it.

"People feel the hospital is being downgraded bit by bit and it has to stop.

"There are 44,000 people in Bridlington and we want every one of them to sign it to send a clear message to Mr Johnson."

The petition is being backed by Unite the Union and will run for about two months before being handed over to Mr Johnson.

The trust has indicated a final decision on the plans is unlikely to be made until March.

The action group is appealing for businesses and shops to help collect signatures, as well as volunteers who can distribute the petition across the East Riding.

The petition can be downloaded from the action group's website at www.savebridlingtonhospital.co.uk