DOCTORS and patients from across the community are today helping the Echo celebrate a victory for people power.

As we reveal today blood testing services from Basildon and Southend Hospitals will not now move to Bedford, those who have been firmly behind the campaign welcomed a climb down which will mean the services will remain local.

More than 120 Southend hospital consultants, ninety plus GPs from south east Essex and thousands of members of the public called for the plan to shift screening of non urgent pathology to Bedford to be scrapped.

Echo: 50 in protest over blood test plan

John Gibson, founder of the Aset Trust, which has funded millions of pounds of equipment at Southend Hospital, including in the laboratories was a prominent supporter.

He said:” This is good news. “It's been successful. I still need to see it in black and white because I don’t trust them. It seems to be a result.”

The husband of a Southend Hospital pathology lab worker rang the Echo to thank us for a campaign.

The man who asked not to be named, said: “I can’t thank the Echo enough for the campaign. My wife has been told she will keep her job. We are over the moon because we were looking at losing our house and now that won’t happen.”

People like Barbara Williams who was saved from needing kidney dialysis after a routine blood test came back within a few hours showing she was in kidney failure were also celebrating.

Echo: Hospital consultants worried about patient safety in blood test move

Her husband Neil of Waxwell Road, Hullbridge said: “This is great news. I have watched the various to-ing and fro-ing and the other stories which show that a blood test is not always urgent until you get the result showing you should have been in hospital half an hour ago.

“All power to the Echo for keeping it alive and the doctors and specialists who really added weight to it.”