CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep pathology services in Dorchester protested as councillors arrived for a health scrutiny committee.

Members of the Dorset Health Campaign were at Dorset County Hall ahead of yesterday’s meeting.

They are concerned a current tendering project for Dorset County Hospital could lead to pathology services being shipped out to a private company with a loss of local jobs.

More than 1,000 signatures have been collected by the group as part of a petition to keep the services.

Cllr Ros Kayes, who’s supporting the campaign, brought the matter up as the committee discussed minutes from the last meeting. Cllr David Jones said whilst he respect the urgency of the matter, it wasn’t the time or place to discuss the issue.

Committee chairman Ronald Coats-worth said he would consult with the hospital’s chief executive and, if needs be, a meeting could be arranged at short notice.

Speaking after the committee, Ms Kayes said: “I understand that an update on the pathology lab will be considered at the next meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee and I am going to request that this is a full report.

“Questions certainly need to be asked.

“When an existing service is not being allowed to submit a bid to continue what it's already doing then there’s clearly something wrong. I do not want to lose this essential service from Dorchester.”