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Press prints 2,000-strong roll of honour in A&E fight

Thousands of readers have backed a South Bucks Star campaign to safeguard Accident and Emergency services at Wycombe Hospital.

Sackfulls of forms asking Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to block any plans to transfer the unit away from the town have flooded into the Star’s offices – making it one of the most popular appeals from the newspaper.

And on Friday the names of 2,000 readers were published across three pages of the Bucks Free Press, the Star’s sister paper, to demonstrate the massive feedback.

Editor Steve Cohen launched the campaign a few weeks ago asking readers to cut out the coupons and send them into the paper.

He said: “I was simply staggered by the take-up to this campaign.

“In these days of the Internet, it’s surprising to see so many people take the trouble to cut out a form in a local paper and post it for no other reason than a genuine concern for the well-being of the community.”

All the forms will now be put together in a book and posted to Patricia Hewitt.

The campaign was launched when Buckinghamshire Hospitals’ NHS Trust said it could not guarantee the future of A&E after officials admitted more changes could be forced upon them by the Department of Health.

Wycombe Hospital has already lost trauma surgery to Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, and in the new year children’s services are due to move.