THOUSANDS of people have backed a campaign to save a children's ward from closure.

Families, trade unionists and community activists are hoping to stop NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde from moving forward with plans to close a ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and transfer services to Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Health bosses are conducting a review to get feedback from patients and parents before a final decision is made. Campaigners said yesterday they expected hundreds of people to turn up to two public meetings at the Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Paisley on Wednesday to discuss the plans.

Karen Meikle, whose son has cerebral palsy, said that if the ward closes, it will have a devastating impact on families across Renfrewshire and beyond. “So far no-one seems to be listening,” she said.

Sandra Webster, another local mother whose two sons have autism and have used the ward, said: “Public anger is growing at the possible closure of this ward, with our online petition attracting 3000 signatures in just three weeks, mostly from local parents who feel that they are not being listened to.

“These meetings will not only give concerned families a voice, but will create a powerful group that can work with politicians and other groups to challenge the health board’s plans.”