More than 320 protesters attended a demonstration against the planned closure of a hospice in Surrey. They gathered outside the Marie Curie Cancer Care Hospice in Caterham on Saturday.
WHY THE PROTEST?
Campaigner Richard Holloway, whose father was cared for by the hospice, decided to launch the protest after sensing anger from other locals about the planned closure. He enlisted the help of Peter Ainsworth, Tory MP for East Surrey, who made a speech at the event.
HOW DID MARIE CURIE RESPOND?
The charity has announced it is giving £500,000 to Surrey Primary Care Trust to transfer services to other providers. Marie Curie Cancer Care chief executive Thomas Hughes Hallett said a consultation with the staff was under way. The charity has also offered to invest up to £500,000 in the Marie Curie Nursing Service from 2010 onwards.
HOW DID THE MEDIA COVER IT?
The story was picked up by BBC News Online, which quoted a Surrey PCT spokeswoman as saying: 'We can't do without those services in Caterham.' Campaigner Richard Holloway has also appeared on local radio stations.
Holloway plans a petition and a protest outside Marie Curie's London offices.