Dozens of hospital campaigners flocked to High Wycombe at the weekend to make a stand against “downgrades” to health services ahead of the government’s autumn budget announcement.

Residents and dignitaries from across the town rallied together at All Saints Church in Church Square on Saturday, October 22 to make a call for full A&E and key maternity services to be restored to Wycombe Hospital.

The ‘Hand Back Our Hospital’ campaign has been calling for an A&E department to be reintroduced since it closed in 2006 as well as doctor led births – which are currently held at Stoke Mandeville.

Nabeela Rana who spoke at the event said: ‘’It was clear everyone wanted the hospital back and to serve the community as a whole.

“People are dying due to the cuts. The cost of living means you cannot always access hospitals at a distance as £30 one way is expensive and that’s just to Stoke.’’

Ahead of the government’s autumn statement, campaign leader, Ozma Hafiz, wants to show “our NHS is a priority” in the face of more potential cuts to the health service.

She said: “‘Decisions are being made under ‘Sustainability and Transformation plans’ which could see us losing more. Decisions about us really shouldn’t be made without us.

“I truly hope I and others are wrong, but locally, over the next few years, it is believed this will result in losses of services from other local hospitals including Reading and Stoke Mandeville.”

However High Wycombe’s MP, Steve Baker, said returning A&E and consultant led maternity services is “simply not possible”.

He said: “There is nothing I would love more as MP than to return A&E and consultant led maternity to Wycombe Hospital. But it simply is not possible.

“The only way to do it would be to close Stoke Mandeville and possibly the John Radcliffe in Oxford. That’s because in all of south central region trauma surgery is only available in Southampton and Oxford.

“I am going to continue to fight for what I think is right and possible and in the best public interest and that is an urgent care centre at Wycombe Hospital and to continue expanding treatment for the biggest killer’s heart attack and stroke and cancer all of which are treated at Wycombe.”

Mr Baker also announced this week that the publication of local Sustainability and Transformation Plan - featuring the NHS five year forward review - can be expected by the end of November, and does not “expect a dramatic change”.

Buckinghamshire NHS Trust has insisted that Wycombe Hospital “has an exciting and vibrant future” following investment in the development of a breast care centre and stroke unit in recent years.

Amanda Williamson, from the NHS Trust, said: “We are also committed to continuing to improve facilities at Wycombe Hospital, ensuring that clinical services are provided from our most modern and fit for purpose accommodation on the site.”

Ms Williamson also calmed fears over the suspension to some departments at Wycombe Birthing Centre, which is set to fully reopen on November 1 after a staffing shortage.

“Across the county we offer mothers the full range of birthing options in line with national recommendations. This includes home birth, midwife-led birth and a consultant-led service.

“The consultant-led service at Stoke Mandeville hospital was established more than ten years ago to ensure that mothers had access to the appropriate level of specialist staffing support and infrastructure, such as emergency theatres and neonatal specialist care, which is needed to support a consultant-led service.”