I was saddened to read the news article that appeared on the news section of this site earlier in the week about a teenage girl being hit by a bus on Marlow Hill.
After hearing of the tragedy I paused for a few moments to reflect and offered a prayer for the girl involved and her family.
According to reports the injured person was taken to a hospital in Oxford however just a few hundred yards away, at the bottom of Marlow Hill, is Wycombe Hospital.
As everyone knows the Accident and Emergency department of Wycombe Hospital was closed in 2005, around eleven years ago.
How daft it seems that someone can have a serious accident, of any kind, so close to a hospital in a town as large as Wycombe yet the local hospital can only deal with minor injuries.
The town of High Wycombe has a Motorway, an aerodrome and railway line close by which, if an accident occurred, would leave people requiring emergency treatment. The town also has hundreds of thousands of residents who could, in the course of their daily lives, have an accident but we are lacking an A&E department at the hospital.
It’s not as if people aren’t trying to get the lost services restored, indeed the ‘Fair Funding for Buckinghamshire’ online petition organised by the SaveWycombeHospital campaign group has, at the time of writing, now received over 9,500 signatures.
There’s money to build a new shiny Park & Ride facility with shops and a large coach station though, all of which increase the chances of an accident occurring. However the funding for the aforementioned facilities comes from a different public budget to the one that provides healthcare.
Maybe its time the way the funding of public services was changed and healthcare, or at least some healthcare services, were bundled up with the provision of all the other local services rather then being funded centrally? After all we pay for the Police and Fire services through Council Tax so why not the A&E service too?
How many more people are going to need emergency treatment in the town yet they are driven to a hospital miles away?
It would be interesting to know how much money has been spent transporting patients to these distant hospitals? No doubt it would probably be a significant amount. The money could have been spent treating the patients in Wycombe.
Of course if Wycombe was to have A&E services restored the services at the hospitals to which the patients are now taken could be scaled back and diverted to the provision of the same services at Wycombe.
The sooner that Wycombe has full A&E services restored the better.
What do you think?
*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.