Burton’s Muslim community has got behind a petition set up by the local MP, Andrew Griffiths, calling on NHS chiefs to reconsider their proposals to downgrade Burton’s A&E department to an urgent care unit.
Youssef Mahboob and Tariq Hussain from Burton took the initiative to collect petition sheets from Mr Griffiths’ office and then visited the local mosques as well as the wider community to gather signatures from people opposed to the downgrade. After visiting the five mosques locally, Parker Street, Princess Street, Victoria Crescent, York Street and Uxbridge Street, Mr Mahboob and Mr Hussain were able to gather over 700 signatures for the petition.
Speaking on why they felt urged to help, Mr Mahboob said, “I was horrified at the thought the A&E department could be downgraded and the impact this would have on everyone – particularly the elderly in Burton. The downgrade would affect us all equally, regardless of ethnicity, and so I felt compelled to do something to help.”
Mr Hussain added, “Living in a diverse community that relies on good local services it was no surprise to me that there was considerable interest from people to sign this petition. People are concerned what these proposals would mean for healthcare locally as well as the knock on effects it would have. The community want reassurances that the A&E department will remain open and continue to serve us all.”
Andrew Griffiths gave thanks to Mahboob and Tariq and said, “I am really grateful to the Muslim community for getting behind this crucial campaign. The A&E department at Queen’s Hospital is there for us all and as a town we all must be united in our opposition to these proposals”.