VISITING my sister in Poole from Swanage, I was very struck by the letter in the Echo from retired nurse Sarah Jackson with regard to closure of Poole A&E and maternity units.

In the Purbecks we have been following this issue for three years. For us it is going to be even more dreadful. The distance from Swanage to Royal Bournemouth Hospital is 31 miles. It will take an ambulance nearly an hour and a half. And that is 30 minutes longer than getting to Poole A&E.

And what breaks my heart is the thought of all the babies born in Poole, including our own, and such a lovely friendly maternity department – 4,500 babies born there last year and this all to be moved to 10 miles out on the A338 a mile from Christchurch.

I hope all in Poole will do all they can to get Poole Council to support Dorset Council in putting this whole issue back to the secretary of state.

As matters stand the chancellor of the exchequer is saying they have found £13billion to help out the NHS budgets. That then could mean all the difference of saving Poole A&E and maternity if Poole councillors would speak up and support Dorset district councillors who voted to refer this back to DHSS.

In Poole this then, I understand, all rests with Cllr Janet Walton, leader of Poole council. High time then this councillor speaks up and lets the people of Poole and Dorset know why Poole council has kept so quiet on this issue all the many months.

CAROL BOWDER, Kings Road, Swanage