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NHS chief: We're failing with our message
THE top NHS boss in Bucks has admitted that her organisation is "clearly failing" to get key messages across as resentment over the loss of Wycombe's A and E continues.
The A and E department was closed in 2005, with a downgraded service called the emergency medical centre replacing it.
But this was also shut at the end of last year, with Stoke Mandeville becoming the location for A and E services.
Various campaigns have been launched by angry opponents of the move, with petitions still being launched as recently as this summer.
Chief Executive Anne Eden, said the message to the public about why the changes had been necessary appeared not to have got through.
The trust has recently acknowledged it must make it clearer where patients should go and where key services are based.
MP Steve Baker said bosses had failed to properly publicise the fact Wycombe Hospital is where a specialist stroke and heart department is based. Speaking at Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust's AGM, Ms Eden said: "We have been working in terms of trying to get these messages out.
"Clearly it is not working, so I think it's asking the public what more can we be doing in terms of getting these messages out because try as we may through mail shots, public meetings, etc, we don't seem to be getting there. Clearly we are failing."
Officials have recently said they will embark on a new publicity drive to address these issues, including to direct patients away from A&E and into the replacement Minor Injuries and Illness Unit in Wycombe Hospital.
The non emergency 111 phone line and out of hours GP service, will be promoted as alternatives to A&E.
Regarding continued anxiety and complaints about the loss of A and E at Wycombe, despite the transfer now being a relatively long time ago, Ms Eden said: "I think part of it is human nature, people wanting the facilities on their own doorstep."
She also confirmed that plans are afoot to get an X-ray machine into Wycombe Hospital's minor injuries and illness unit. She said the money is there and assured patients there is still a good service.
Currently there is not an integrated X-ray department in MIIU and patients have to go across to the main hospital for scans.
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