The lack of specialist maternity care in High Wycombe, and the subsequent lack of neonatal care, has had a huge impact on local families in recent times.

This week, I interviewed a local Wycombe mother who gave birth to a baby girl on 6/2/13 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The mother, who would like to remain anonymous, delivered her daughter weighing 2.1kg via an emergency c-section prematurely at 36 weeks gestation due to complications at birth. Within a few hours, her daughter had been rushed to the Special Care Baby Unit at Stoke and at one day old, was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford via ambulance, due to her deteriorating condition. The parents made their own way via private transport in the early hours, as fortunately a bed had been found there, enabling the mother to be transferred as an emergency.

In an interview, the mother said, "I remember when Wycombe has a maternity unit equipped to deal with such emergencies and had an excellent Special Care Baby Unit too. I have a niece who was born via emergency c-section, two months premature in the late 1970s and also a niece born three months premature in the mid 1980s, both at Wycombe General Hospital and cared for in the SCBU. They are both alive and well now. It is such a shame that local families have now been deprived of this specialist care. Although I cannot fault the emergency care that I received during delivery at Stoke and subsequent specialist care at the John Radcliffe for our baby daughter, having four older children and not being a local Oxford resident has presented my husband and I with quite a juggling act on the home front. But credit where credit is due, we are eternally grateful for all of the staff at John Radcliffe Hospital who have been absolutely wonderful both in my care and my baby's care. God bless them all for the dedicated work that they do."

The baby is still being cared for at John Radcliff Hospital Neonatal Unit in Oxford, who performed on her a life saving emergency operation at one week old. She is making slow, but steady, progress and is due to have further surgery soon.

This case is one of many impacted by the shutdown of such services at the Wycombe General Hospital and further healthcare budget cuts suggest that there will be many more to come. Is there a solution?