The Healthcare Review is proposing the first downgrading of Bedford Hospital in its 200 year history.
Over the years, as the population of our county town grew, so did the services offered by our hospital - especially since the birth of the NHS.
Today, the population of the town and county continues to grow and demands for healthcare increase owing to an aging population.
Yet, unbelievably, now is the time when health authorities propose to remove emergency surgery, making the journey to access alternatives a challenge for many. It is claimed that current emergency services are unsustainable in the longterm. What this is really all about is money - the severe and continuing reductions in the national 'tariff' - the amount the NHS pays the hospital for its work.
Responsibility for that lies squarely with the Tory-LibDem Government.
It is crucial that our hospital is not kicked into a downward spiral. We must unite to make the case - no downgrading of Bedford Hospital!
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bedford & Kempston
Letter to Times & Citizen, 10 July 2014