A friends group has vowed to fight plans to axe another service at Halstead Hospital.

The integrated orthopaedic service at the Hedingham Road hospital offers tests and treatments for patients with complex musculoskeletalconditions on the second Thursday of every month, including Xrays, MRIs, ultrasound and blood tests and physiotherapy.

Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) insists patients will not be disadvantaged by its closure and claim it was only ever a temporary measure aimed at reducing hospital waiting times elsewhere.

Robin Waters, chairman of Halstead Hospital League of Friends, disagrees.

He said: “Anything that removes services from Halstead Hospital we will fight.

“Part of Halstead is officially recognised as an area of deprivation and it’s not possible for some of those people to travel to Colchester or Chelmsford and if they do have to it will be quite an expense."