Leicester community health council has joined the ongoing row over a 150,000-name petition protesting at plans to shake up services at the city's three major hospitals.

The CHC offered to let organisers use its headquarters for the petition after Philip Hammersley, shadow chair of the new Leicester University Teaching Hospitals trust, 'banned' the document from Glenfield Hospital.

The hospital could lose its nationally acclaimed breast and cardiac care services in the shake-up and become a care and rehabilitation centre. The CHC received the petition at a packed meeting last week, and expressed concern about 'the lack of public involvement' in the shake-up.

Mr Hammersley said it would be inappropriate for the hospital to be involved with the campaign once the merger with the trusts running Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary merged on 1 Apr i l.

Leicester Royal Infirmary has been told to tighten up its health and safety procedures or face possible prosecution.

Health and safety inspectors found 11 areas in which the hospital was failing to meet stipulated health and safety regulations. In a further seven areas out of 29 inspected, there were minor faults.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive said improvement notices relating to the handling of clinical waste had been issued to the infirmary and private contractor Serco.

Chief executive David Sissling said it took the non-compliance 'very seriously' and would be working closely with the HSE.