OVER 150 people protested against the threatened closure of the University Hospital in Hartlepool last week.
The march was arranged by local activists when a top-level report about the possible closure was obtained by a local newspaper.
Closure is one of the options in a major review of health services for 400,000 people in an area covering Hartlepool, Stockton, east Durham and parts of Sedgefield, Tony Blair's constituency.
John Wilson, a member of the Hartlepool Socialist Alliance, told the rally it was only the actions of the people who use and work in the hospital which can stop the hospital being closed and services cut back.
Other speakers noted that the hospital was the second biggest employer in the town.
John Bloom, who helped organise the protest, criticised local MP Peter Mandelson for saying that those fighting any proposed closure were 'scaremongers'.