10:19AM, Thursday 12 April 2012
'Once it's gone, it's gone', was the stark warning from one councillor about the fate of St Mark's Hospital in Maidenhead this week.
Staunch supporter Cllr Kathy Newbound (Lib Dem, Pinkneys Green) has thrown her backing behind the Advertiser's 'Hands off our Hospital' pledge.
The primary care trust NHS Berkshire announced last week that it is leaving no stone unturned as part of its clinician-led Shaping the Future programme.
Some services could be moved to Wexham Park Hospital and hospital land sold off as part of proposals which will go to public consultation later this year.
Cllr Newbound said: "It's very worrying and they haven't specified which services could go. Maidenhead people have fought for St Mark's for years and years.
"Wexham Park is just too far for Maidenhead people to get to, particularly if they have got ongoing illnesses or they don't drive."
She echoed the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's council leader David Burbage's comments last week and said: "The borough wants to fight this all the way. Once it's gone, it's gone, if they sell off the land then that will never come back."
Maidenhead MP Theresa May also said this week that she is hoping to arrange a meeting with NHS Berkshire chief executive Charles Waddicor to discuss the issue.
Mr Waddicor stressed that no decisions have been made and said: "We have to get this right – we don't want to rush in and get it wrong. We want to find a solution that maintains standards, chimes with the wishes of local people and is affordable."
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