The Mail's graphic shows the situation; those of us who would have relied on High Wycombe Hospital now have to travel another 15 or so miles to get to hospital. As I live to the east of High Wycombe, I would be presumably taken to Wexham Park in an emergency; the only problem there is that I don't speak the local language! It is also worth noting that neither hospital has had its A&E upgraded to cope with the extra workload.
A friend of mine had a bad fall a couple of weeks ago, and although she hadn't broken anything, she was in so much pain that she was taken to Stoke Mandeville by a friend one afternoon. As the friend couldn't stay with her, she arranged to give her a phone call if she needed transport home. The following morning she rang her friend and asked to be collected, the friend asked "Are you mobile now?" The response was "I've been mobile all b**** night, lying on a trolley being pushed here, there and everywhere because there's no room and wherever they've put me I've been in the way".
In the same issue of the Mail (here) they also publish a piece by Nick De Bois, MP For Enfield North concerning closures in his constituency which is worth reading.
The crazy thing is that last week the NHS Confederation and Academy of Royal Colleges released a report arguing that up to 20 hospitals would have to close to keep the NHS sustainable. Can you imagine any other business using such back-handed logic. Can you imagine the management of our local Tesco, which is very busy and often short of some items, saying "This branch is far too busy and frequently some shelves are empty, so we are going to close it and send all our customers to the nearest one in Slough" ? Of course not, and because customers have choice, they would probably go to the nearby Morrisons or Asda. Unfortunately, we patients can't do the same, which is why I am coming around to the belief that privatisation of the NHS wouldn't be the disaster that many like to think. The fact that people are prepared to pay £70 a visit to a privately run Polish surgery in West London (here) knowing that there is 24 hour availability surely shows how bad things are getting with the NHS.