CAMPAIGNERS have increased the pressure for a minor injuries clinic to be included in Aldershot's new £20 million health centre.

They have backed their demand with a 2000-signature petition handed to local health chiefs at their Winchfield headquarters on Monday.

Wilky Healthcare Centres, which is building the Aldershot centre as part of a private-public partnership, has already agreed to donate rent-free space for a unit.

Now the town's Lib-Dems, who organised the petition, hope their campaign will help nudge the NHS into funding it.

Hampshire County Councillor Adrian Collett, who led the delegation, said: "I think our petition indicates the strength of feeling on the issue.

"Hopefully it will help to persuade the Primary Care Trust to find the money to pay the running costs."

He added that the unit, which would treat minor ailments such as cuts and minor burns, would spare local residents the long drive to Frimley Park Hospital for treatment.

The petition was received by Dr Cathy Winfield, planning and partnerships director for the Blackwater Valley and Hart Primary Care Trust.

She confirmed that the trust had already identified space for a unit in the centre, earmarked for a site at Hospital Hill.

"We are currently assessing the affordability of this new service," she said.

One idea being explored is for the unit to be run jointly by Surrey Ambulance Service, the Primary Care Trust, and the army, which is to lease part of the centre.

The aim is to set up a telemedicine link to Frimley Park Hospital, enabling doctors to carry out a range of work, including viewing x-rays of patients attending the unit.

They would then be able to give the go-ahead for nursing staff to plaster broken limbs, thus doing away with the need for patients to visit the hospital's accident and emergency centre.