A Conservative parliamentary candidate for Eastleigh is fighting to stop the closure of Winchester Hospital's A&E and maternity services.

It comes as the NHS announced that the A&E department in is set to be closed as part of a restructuring of hospital provision in Hampshire.

As part of the restructure the consultant-led maternity services are also set to be closed.

Tory Samuel Joynson said he recognises that these services form part of the critical local healthcare provision for Eastleigh's residents and has called on the Hampshire Integrated Care Board to reconsider its proposals.

He said: "Winchester Hospital is not just a hospital for Winchester, but a critical service for residents of Eastleigh too.

“So many families across Eastleigh, Chandler's Ford and Fair Oak have relied on Winchester Hospital's A&E department and consultant-led maternity services for generations, so I launched a petition to showcase our community's strength on this issue.

“The response so far has been fantastic, and I would encourage anyone who is concerned about this issue to sign.”

The Conservative candidate said it is not a political issue.

He added: “This consultation is being held by the non-political NHS Hampshire & IoW Integrated Care Board, and the ultimate decision will be made by clinicians and executives on this board rather than any politician.

“Therefore, I have called on our community to put politics to one side, and to come together as a single united voice on this critical local issue."

Samuel has launched a petition on behalf of Eastleigh's residents calling on the Integrated Care Board to retain Winchester Hospital's A&E and maternity services in their current form.

Back in July, the members of the Conservative Party in Eastleigh selected Eastleigh resident31-year-old Mr Joynson to stand in the next election.

This comes as serving Eastleigh conservative MP Paul Holmes will stand for the newly-created constituency of Hamble Valley.

Mr Joynson said he has been fighting to represent the needs of Eastleigh residents including their access to health care.

The petition can be found at samjoynson.uk