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Hand Back Our Hospital - your views
2:50pm Tuesday 13th October 2009 in Hand Back Our Hospital
THE Bucks Free Press is calling on readers to air their views on the transferring of key hospital services to Stoke Mandeville Hospital - as the BFP gets ready to re-launch its Hand Back Our Hospital campaign.
Inpatient children's and women's services will transfer over to Stoke Mandeville on Monday in a controversial shake-up of healthcare services in south Bucks.
Now the BFP is reviving its Hand Back Our Hospital campaign, four years after it was first launched, in a bid to bring back a multi-purpose hospital back to High Wycombe.
We want readers to join us in calling for key services - such as Accident and Emergency, doctor-led births and the care of sick children - to be returned to Wycombe and south Bucks.
We want to hear from pregnant women who are about to face the potentially tough choice between the lengthy trip to Stoke Mandeville for doctor supported births or the shorter trip to Wycombe for the midwife-led birthing centre.
If you are about to give birth in the newly revamped maternity unit in Aylesbury – we want you to tell us about your experiences – good or bad.
If you are the parent of a sick child or you are concerned about how the move may affect your family, then get in touch.
Or if you are just a worried resident who fears for the future of our hospital, then tell us your views.
The BFP has campaigned relentlessly since the shake-up plans were first proposed in early 2004. Thousands of readers backed us, but the moves still went ahead. Now the paper is having one more try.
Editor Steve Cohen said: “While we realise this new campaign is too late to stop Monday's move, we want the people of Wycombe to make their feelings known now.
"There will be a General Election in the next few months, and we want the next government of this country – irrespective of its political colours – to have south Bucks’ health care concerns at the very top of its list.
“We want the people of Wycombe and south Bucks as a whole to not only have their hospital services returned to them, but for them to have more control over their key hospital services. And we know this wish reflects the views of a vast number of our readers.
“We do of course wish the new unit at Stoke Mandeville every success and we hope the public will keep on fundraising for services such as the Special Care Baby Unit when it moves there.
“We have to accept the reality that our services are now based there for the foreseeable future, while at the same time continuing to battle for the day when they can be returned to Wycombe. This will undoubtedly take years, but it would be wrong to give up now.
“So keep shouting as loud as you can until someone in power listens. If we don’t keep on campaigning, then one day in the future we might even find more devastating changes to our local health services.”
Email your your views, comments and opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsdesk on 01494 755091.