Former prime minister John Major has backed a campaign to save the place of his birth, St Helier Hospital.

In a letter to Tom Brake MP, Mr Major's chief of staff said the ex-PM had "great personal affection" for the hospital and would write to Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, expressing concern about its "danger of closure".

The cash strapped Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust has removed light bulbs from corridors, stopped giving patients pyjamas and taken milk for tea and coffee away from staff in a bid to save millions.

Mr Brake and fellow MP Paul Burstow fear the moves are the beginning of the end for the hospital and are behind a campaign to keep it open.

Mr Brake said: "I am delighted that Sir John is backing the bid to save our St Helier. Local residents have signed my petition in the thousands and Sir John's backing for the campaign heaps further pressure on Patricia Hewitt to intervene."