A health authority has angered residents by hiring a professional security firm to steward public meetings on hospital reconfiguration plans.

Hillingdon HA has employed 'bouncers' at the last two meetings called to discuss a controversial package of changes.

Geoff Martin, campaigns director of pressure group London Health Emergency, claimed the extra security was to protect managers from an angry public.

But an HA spokesperson said it was to help the public, many of whom 'are elderly and want help with seating and so on'.

'There were no untoward incidents, but we have subsequently had one or two people saying the men seemed aggressive.'