GRANDMOTHER Angela Bignall said her agonising trip to an Aylesbury hospital after falling in Wycombe Hospital was the “most horrendous thing I have experienced”.

The Marlow resident, 70, tripped over a chair leg while in for a routine blood test – but had to wait for 30 minutes for an ambulance and then endure a 16-mile journey to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury.

The retired civil servant said: “I was in an awful lot of pain.

“I asked if I could be x-rayed at Wycombe in case I did not have a fracture, so the lady from A&E went to the department to make enquiries, but as I was a trauma case, they could not x-ray me at Wycombe.”

Emergency and trauma surgery was axed from Wycombe in 2005 over managers’ safety fears.

She was given gas and air – but said this was not possible at Stoke as “no one could find the correct mouthpiece”. This meant she had to be given morphine.

Mrs Bignall – who praised the ‘wonderful’ staff – said: “I would not wish that journey on my worst enemy.”

She said: “What in heaven’s name is happening to Wycombe Hospital?”

Mrs Bignall had a hip replacement and is now recovering.

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Steve Bell, spokesman for the Unison union, said: “What this demonstrates is the effect of all the reorganisation and changing in services which are no longer run to meet the needs of the patients.”

Marlow hospital campaigner Terry Price said: “It’s a perfect example of the stupidity of moving accident and emergency from such a huge centre of population to Stoke Mandeville. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Yet the county’s official health watchdogs refused to slam bosses.

Andrew Clark, chairman of the Buckinghamshire Local Involvement Network, said: “We are aware that there has been a lot of people talking about the problem, but as yet we haven’t had hard evidence that there is a problem.

“We can’t act on rumour and supposition.”

And Councillor Mike Appleyard, chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council’s health watchdog committee said he would not comment on individual cases.

He said: “If it is the case that is something that everybody in the hospital trust would regret”.

Bucking-hamshire Hospitals NHS Trust spokesman Zosia Katnik said: “We are sorry that Mrs Bignall was unhappy to be taken to Stoke Mandeville for her treatment.

“We always try to ensure that patients are seen in the most appropriate place according to their injury.

“Stoke Mandeville Hospital is the designated hospital for trauma (such as broken limbs) and emergency surgery, whilst the Emergency Medical Centre at Wycombe Hospital can treat patients with a range of medical conditions including stroke and heart attacks, as well as more minor injuries.”

She urged Mrs Bignall to contact the trust.

This week reader John Everson wrote to the BFP slamming the hospital’s policy of transferring patients away from Wycombe as ‘barmy’ after we reported last week that two victims of car accidents in town were sent to Stoke Mandeville.

Mrs Bignall's letter in today's print version of The Bucks Free Press incorrectly states that Anne Eden is chief executive of "Wycombe PCT". She is, in fact, chief executive of Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Wycombe Hospital. We apologise for not correcting this error.