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November 15, 2009 7:00 PM

The Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign against plans that may see sick Newcastle patients requiring emergency treatment being rushed by ambulance to a hospital near Cramlington.

Newcastle North campaigner Ron Beadle has launched a petition against a decision that might see patients taken to a new hospital being built in Northumberland instead of going to the Freeman or Royal Victoria Infirmary hospitals in Newcastle.

A petition features in Ron Beadle's latest newspaper Newcastle News, which is being delivered across Newcastle North during November, and online at www.newcastle-libdems.org.uk

The decision by the NHS North of Tyne could see thousands of residents living in Gosforth, Kingston Park, Hazlerigg, Brunswick and Dinnington taken to Cramlington in an emergency.

Ron Beadle, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle North, said: "I would urge local residents to sign the petition.

"The more people that sign the petition the stronger the case we can present to NHS North of Tyne to get the decision reversed.

"Local people in the north of Newcastle who are really angry at this announcement, which was taken without consultation - and came totally out of the blue."

"This decision was taken by an unelected and unaccountable body, without offering the opportunity for full comment on the detail of the proposals."

The new accident and emergency hospital is being built off the A19, close to the Moor Farm roundabout.

The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is opposing the plans, citing the close proximity of the new hospital to the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

The Trust also said the new hospital threatened development of the Great North Children's Hospital at the RVI because of proposals for paediatric care at Cramlington.

The £100 million Great North Children's Hospital is due for completion in spring of next year and will be centre of excellence for the North East.