DOCTORS continue to throw their full support behind the Echo’s campaign to keep blood testing local.

Some surgerues have even printed up additional copies of our paper petition and gathered hundreds of names from their patient list.

The Echo is fighting a move of pathology services including non urgent blood tests from our hospitals to Bedford Hospital 88 miles away.

Hospital consultants and GPs have backed us in huge numbers amid concerns of increased times for results as samples are transported by road and worries about losing a good reliable service where they have access to consultants.

Dr Lal Vashisht who has a practice in Warrior Square, Southend has with the help of his staff collected more than 500 signatures.

He said: “The local service is definitely better than what would replace it. “We get tests results easily and quickly often within half an hour.

“We have easy access to consultants to discuss a patient.

“The pathologists are so good they work so hard they have a lot to do but still they cope.”

A crash which caused delays of several hours on the A127 near Rayleigh Weir last week has also had people worried about the effect of traffic on transporting samples.

Dr Lal added: “There are always crashes which will make the journey worse. “The Echo’s campaign is very good and I hope the CCG listens.”

The contracts has to be agreed and signed by each of the Clinical Commissioning Groups in the region including our four south Essex groups for the move to go ahead from April 2014, a delay of a year on the original plan.

Sign the Echo's petition online at