37,512 REASONS TO SAVE SERVICES @ Bridlington Hospital 

Health secretary Alan Johnson is to be given more than 37,500 reasons not to cut services at an East Yorkshire hospital.

A petition against proposed cuts at Bridlington Hospital has been signed by 37,512 objectors.

It will be presented to Downing Street as two health scrutiny committees call on him to personally intervene.

East Riding and North Yorkshire Councils are also turning up the pressure on Mr Johnson.

They are to ask him to block the plans of Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Under proposals, the hospital's cardiac monitoring unit (CMU) and acute medical services will be moved to Scarborough General.

But the plans have been widely opposed across the region, with more names on the petition than people living in Bridlington, which has a population of about 33,000.

Bridlington Hospital not only supports the town, but is vital to patients in neighbouring towns including Driffield, Hornsea and the surrounding villages.

The removal of services would see patients from those areas having to travel to either Scarborough or Hull.

Mick Pilling, chairman of the Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign Action Group, has worked tirelessly to collect names for the petition.

It will be handed in to 10 Downing Street next week for the attention of Gordon Brown and Hull West and Hessle MP Mr Johnson.

Mr Pilling said: "It is a remarkable achievement and unprecedented in Bridlington to get so many people signing a petition.

"It shows people are very frightened at the prospect of losing acute services and having to travel many miles for services."

Proposals to move maternity services from the hospital to Scarborough General have also been referred to Mr Johnson by the committee.

Mr Pilling said he hoped Mr Johnson and the trust would listen to the views of the thousands.

"A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into this petition so we feel it will have the impact required to reverse this ludicrous decision to remove our services."

Patients from across East Yorkshire have shown their support.

Christine Skinner, of Northfield Road, Driffield, said: "People from Driffield and the surrounding villages go to the heart unit at Bridlington if they are taken ill.

"They will either have to go to Scarborough or Hull. People will die, there's no doubt about it."

A spokeswoman for Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "The trust's aim is to make sure Bridlington Hospital continues to provide a wide range of the services that are most needed.

But Iain McInnes, chief executive of Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "I would like to reassure the petition signatories that Bridlington Hospital has a secure future, but it must provide the right level of care for the right patients."

Mick Pilling adds... Petition now stands @  37,611