CASTLE Point Council has joined forces with the Echo to fight to keep non-urgent blood testing services in south Essex.

A motion backing the Echo’s campaign, tabled by borough and Essex county councillor Bill Dick, was supported unanimously by his fellow Castle Point members.

The authority hopes its support, along with the backing the Echo’s campaign has already received, could prevent blood tests from being sent 90 miles away to Bedford for analysis.

The plans have been put forward by the south Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) who will make the final decision on the controversial issue that is opposed by GPs, hospitals and patients.

Mr Dick, from Thundersley, represents St Peter’s ward in Castle Point and said he has personally benefited from the “excellent system” that already exists in south Essex at Basildon and Southend Hospitals.

He was rushed into hospital within two hours about a year ago after having a blood test on Canvey and was immediately put on a drip as he was suffering the onset of kidney failure.

Mr Dick said with 2,500 samples tested a day in south Essex, Bedford could not compete with our hospital’s advanced computerised system.

He said: “Bedford can’t replicate what we have got here in the south.

“To me we need to get MPs joining authorities to fight this, it’s not too late. The campaign run by the Echo has been a fabulous campaign.

“With united support here and support of the local paper we can put pressure on the CCGs to stop these proposals that are not wanted by anyone.”

Mr Dick’s motion was seconded by leader of Castle Point Council Pam Challis.

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