Press Releases

Hug the Hospital Day 7th May 2012

The Say YES to Newark Hospital campaign is planning to repeat the Hug the Hospital event that took place on May Day 2010.

On a cold wet bank holiday Monday two years ago over 450 people turned out to show their support for Newark Hospital by forming a human chain around the hospital.  Once the chain was completed the crowds disbursed.

The event will start at 12 midday and continue until the chain is completed and so the more people that turn up on time the quicker the event will be over.  To avoid congestion the organisers are asking participants to arrive between 11.45am and 12 midday.

Francis Towndrow, Chairman of Say YES to Newark Hospital campaign said, “This event is about showing the health authorities that we care about our hospital and want the services back that we have lost.”

Details of the event can be found on the Say YES to Newark Hospital website  (


Fewer patients at Newark Hospital – 20th February 2012 

A Freedom of Information Act request by the ‘Say YES to Newark Hospital’ campaign has revealed that outpatient appointments at Newark Hospital fell by 1587 last year.  This is despite Alison Knowles of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust informing local councillors on the 15th September 2011 that SFHFT “have increased the number of outpatient clinics run on the site – 43 more clinics each month compared to last year.”

The information also reveals that outpatients attending Kings Mill has increased by nearly ten percent and that patients admitted to Kings Mill from the Newark area has grown by 20% in two years.

Requests for information from Lincoln County Hospitals has also revealed that patients admitted to LCHs (Grantham and Lincoln) has grown by 49% over two years and perhaps most surprisingly, admissions to Grantham, a town similar in size to Newark, has seen the biggest rise in patients from Newark of 58% in two years.

The Chairman of the ‘Say YES to Newark Hospital’ campaign Francis Towndrow stated, “Once again local councillors have been misled.  We have consistently provided evidence that since the reconfiguration of services at Newark Hospital local people are having to travel further for their healthcare.  This is bound to have an impact on the viability of Newark Hospital in the future.”

All of the figures can be viewed on the campaign’s website ( which was re-launched on Valentine’s Day, the 14th February.


Hospital Campaign Calls for Full Independent Review – 13th February 2012

The newly rebranded ‘Say YES to Newark Hospital’ campaign has submitted a report to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel calling for a full Independent Review of the services provided by Newark Hospital.

The report argues that since the reconfiguration and downgrading of services at Newark Hospital, people in Newark and Sherwood are having to travel further for their healthcare and local people are being denied an the opportunity to be treated at Newark Hospital close to their friends and family.

The report includes statistics which shows the number of people being repatriated to Newark was only at 25 per month, in comparison to the target of 130 per month. Meanwhile, 100 patients per month are being transferred to alternative hospitals, rather than the promised 80 per year. The report also contains evidence that Ambulance response times in the NG22 and NG23 areas are well below the targets set by the Department of Health and highlights the inequality of services in comparison to Worksop and Grantham.

The chairman of the ‘Say YES to Newark Hospital’ campaign, Francis Towndrow said about the report – “’This report provides clear evidence that Service Users in Newark and Sherwood are now disadvantaged. There is now an inequality of the levels of health care provision locally, in comparison with other towns of similar size, and this is totally unacceptable”

Local Town and District Councillor Tony Roberts MBE commented that, “I am more than concerned that there seems to be an apparent disconnect with what was promised and what is actually being delivered by the trusts that provide health and ambulance services. It is time for clarification about what can and cannot be provided. It is also time for pledges to be made that can be delivered.”

Last week campaigners were also given the opportunity to put their case to the Health Minister, Simon Burns.  At the meeting the Minister was asked how will local health authorities improve emergency healthcare in Newark and Sherwood and ensure the ‘democratic’ development of healthcare services to meet the governments stated aim of ‘No decision about me, without me’

Patrick Mercer MP who attended the meeting said, “”there is no doubt that Newark will expand in terms of overall population and the over 60′s.  This must be reflected by an increase in hospital capacity and services and I don’t believe that the previous Review accounted for this fully.  That is why there must be a full, Independent Review of all that has gone before”.

The full report and the question the SYNH campaign asked the Minister can be viewed on the campaign’s website ( which was re-launched on Valentine’s Day, the 14th February.


Hospital Campaign Rebranded – 6th February 2012

The Save Newark Hospital Campaign is to be rebranded as “Say YES to Newark Hospital’.

The objective of the change is to provide an opportunity for local people to demonstrate their support.  Campaign organisers want to attract as many members as possible and it is their intention to produce wristbands and badges in campaign colours as a sign of their commitment to their local hospital.

The changes include a new website (, as well as new Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages to consolidate the main site.

The new website will include regularly updated articles and latest news, enabling members to stay in touch with the campaign. The renewed plans also come with a new logo, and campaign colours, both of which will appear on the website.

The chairman of the campaign Mr Francis Towndrow said about the re-launch – “Grantham Hospital has 200 beds and Worksop has 300 Newark has less than 100, this in grossly unfair.  We need as many people as possible to the support the development of Newark Hospital by becoming members of the Say YES to Newark Hospital campaign. “

The official re-launch date is Valentine’s Day – the 14th February 2012.

In conjunction with the re-launch, the campaign conducted a survey of nearly 450 people in the Newark, Southwell, Ollerton and Bingham. The survey asked service users to indicate how important a good level of emergency care and assessment, admissions 24/7, improved ambulance provision, re-opened wards, the same level of services as other similar towns and improved public and patient transport is to them.

From the survey it is clear that local people were most concerned about the level of emergency care and assessment, admissions 24/7, the inequality of service provision and the closure of wards which all scored over 92%.  The area which people are slightly less concerned is improved ambulance provision and improved public and patient transport, which both scored 88.5%.

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