From Kingston Guardian.
A petition has been launched in a bid to stop a hospital ward being axed.
Derwent ward, which looks after rheumatology, haematology and general medicine patients, is under consultation to be closed from level six in the Esher Wing of Kingston Hospital by the end of the month.
The closure, which comes as the hospital looks to make £2.6m in savings, would mean 20 general medicine beds out of 500 will go.
The rheumatology service would be relocated elsewhere in the hospital.
The petition, which has 28 signatures so far, calls on the hospital not to close the ward, which helped former patient Richard Cranefield.
It also calls on Surbiton and Kingston MP Ed Davey, who campaigned against cuts to accident and emergency and maternity in the past, and Kingston Council to condemn the job cuts and ward closure at the hospital and across the NHS.
A spokesman for Kingston Hospital NHS Trust could not confirm if there would be any redundancies but said a consultation was in progress.
He said: “In the past 12 months, Kingston Hospital has successfully reduced the average hospital stay for medical patients from 7.2 days to 6 days.
“As a result, our patients are now spending less time in hospital and so we need fewer beds. Consequently, we are in a process of consultation to close 20 beds.
“Our services to patients will not be affected by the proposed changes; in fact, the decision has been made in order to improve efficiencies.”
A Unison spokesman said the threat of job losses and the reduction in beds were a major concern.
To view the petition visit gopetition.com/petitions/save-derwent-ward-stop-the-cuts-at-kingston-hospital.html.