RESIDENTS from across North Gloucestershire will gather outside the North Cotswolds Hospital in Moreton-in-Marsh on Thursday (December 13) to protest against the cut in X-ray provision.

However, the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says the cuts have been unavoidable.

The rally follows a campaign by District Councillors Alison Coggins and Dilys Neil, with the support of the thousands of petition signatures.

The campaign aims to reverse the reduction in X-ray provision, which was implemented by Gloucestershire NHS Acute Trust on Monday, November 19.

Cotswold District Councillor Alison Coggins said: "On account of the petition to date, we have an evidence base that over one third of the North Cotswold patient population is unhappy about proposals to reduce X-ray services to the North Cotswolds Hospital (NCH). To strengthen our case I would urge that residents write a quick note to the decision makers, Deborah Lees Chief Executive of the Glos NHS Acute Trust and Paul Roberts Chief Executive of Gloucester Care Services, more information as to how to do this can be found on the Moreton-in-Marsh Facebook page, local Parish websites and social media pages. We need to convert this public groundswell of opinion into a win and reverse the decision to cut X-Ray services at NCH"

The rally has been organised by a working group of Moreton-in-Marsh Town Council. "We saw the risk to residents across the north of Gloucestershire when the cuts were announced," said Cllr Clive Webster, Chair of the Save Our X-ray Department Working Group, "while the North Cotswolds Hospital is based in Moreton-in-Marsh, it serves the needs of a huge area. We took it upon ourselves to highlight the cut in provision throughout the north of Gloucestershire, and to support our District Councillors' efforts to reverse it."

The petition has gathered 7,000 signatures, securing a debate a Shire Hall.

Moreton-in-Marsh GPs Dr Furn Davies and Dr Morton have said, "As GPs we welcome the support of the council in raising awareness regarding this worrying development. X-Ray provision is vital to the ongoing care and investigation of patients from GP Surgeries and Outpatients/Inpatients at North Cotswolds Hospital and a robust service underpins our valued M.I.U. [Minor Injuries Unit]"

The petition only needs 3,000 more signatures to secure a response from Parliament on this issue. The issue is down to insufficient numbers of X-ray staff.

Fellow member of the Working Group, Cllr Rosemary Mason said: "We want to know why that is, and what is being done to recruit more radiographers across Gloucestershire."

There is a 17% shortage of radiographers nationally, but that number is 24% locally - we're worse off here than in other areas of the country."

The Gloucestershire County Council debate at Shire Hall will take place on 15th January 2018, and will be live-streamed via the Gloucestershire County Council Webcasting service (see

A statement from the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The temporary revision of X-ray services at North Cotswolds Hospital implemented almost a month ago (19 November 2018) is regrettable but unavoidable in order to ensure all of our diagnostic services are safe. We have worked hard with our partners to ensure that every locality retains access to x-ray and in a way that doesn’t impact on other services such as outpatients and minor injury services.

“These temporary changes mean we can continue to provide life-saving interventional radiology (IR) services (around the clock, seven days a week) at Cheltenham General (CGH) and Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals (GRH).

“By working closely with our partners in this way we have ensured that patients across Gloucestershire won’t need to travel to regional centres for specialist life savings services, or be subjected to more invasive surgical treatment, whilst maintaining local access for routine x-ray albeit on a reduced basis. Importantly, our goal remains recruiting additional radiographers and retaining the excellent staff we have so that we are able to restore services as soon as possible.”