MEMBERS of Winchester Labour Party have presented a massive birthday card to staff at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

The card was crammed with signatures and messages of thanks from members of the public who were happy to sign the card at the regular Labour street stall.

Gillian Connell, chairman of Winchester Labour Party, said: “The National Health Service has saved the lives of almost all of us here today, and has recently treated our secretary, Andy Adams, for a badly broken leg.

“We are still collecting signatures on a petition calling on the Government to halt the backdoor privatisation of our NHS and to restore funding to the levels it used to enjoy.”

The long-term future of some services at the hospital on Romsey Road is being questioned.

Concerns have been raised in recent years that increasingly specialist services will be offered only in Basingstoke and Southampton, partly due to a lack of suitably trained staff.

Ambitious plans to build a new, state-of-the-art £150million critical treatment hospital for north and mid-Hampshire residents on the A30 near junction 7 of the M3 outside Basingstoke were scrap ped last autumn.