I WOULD like to express my concern that Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust has closed The Misbourne Ward at Amersham Hospital comprising 28 care of the elderly beds in order to save money.

The loss of these beds can only place further pressure on beds at Wycombe Hospital. We may well be told that the average length of stay has reduced or that there will be more care provided in the community so the loss can be accommodated. I somehow doubt it.

The more likely event is that the additional pressure on the remaining beds will result in patients being transferred, operations cancelled and A & E closed. Can the loss of these beds really be justified and has the community been consulted?

I have two further points.

The consultation document suggests that if the maternity unit is transferred to Stoke Mandeville Hospital a midwife led unit could remain at Wycombe. It is interesting to note that the former Shrubbery Maternity Home and the maternity unit that was located at Amersham Hospital were both closed following the opening of the maternity unit at Wycombe because consultant medical staff would not be available on site and because there was no SCBU/paediatric support.

In these circumstances how is it that a midwife led unit can now be considered safe particularly when the proposed consultant led unit will be even further away than was the case with both the Shrubbery and Amersham Hospital?

It is also proposed that trauma services will be transferred to Stoke Mandeville. If that were to happen then this must put the future of the A & E service and Wycombe at risk.

Now it may be said that A & E services will stay at Wycombe but what this will effectively mean is that the ambulances taking road traffic victims to hospital will pass Wycombe's door and go direct to Stoke. So Wycombe's A & E will be downgraded and at some stage in the future will be at risk of closure.

Does the story sound familiar.

Well it should do remember the circumstances surrounding the closure of the Amersham A & E. The only difference now is that the distances between Wycombe and Stoke are considerably greater than was the case with Wycombe and Amersham Our local health services are in serious risk of being diluted by a new set of managers who have only recently moved into their posts.

Will they all still be around once their service reductions have taken place? I somehow doubt it.

What is certain is that we who are left behind will be suffering the consequences.

Ron Collins Lacey Drive Naphill