A Luton protest group has joined forces with a hospital campaign in a bid to save a children’s ward.
Luton People’s Assembly will be taking to the streets on Saturday in a bid to show how far sick children will have to travel from Bedford if the town’s Riverbank Ward closes.
The group is gathering at Bedford’s Interchange Retail Park at 10am on Saturday with a symbolic sick child, ‘Molly’, on the back of a flat bed truck.
The procession will then travel the 22 miles from Bedford to the Luton and Dunstable Hospital in a bid to prove how long the journey could take with a very sick child.
Chair of Luton People’s Assembly Mark Dee Smith commented “Last Saturday’s Bedford March showed the strength of feeling that concerned parents have and their determination to save their local children’s hospital services. We hope that this event will help to drive the message home, Riverbank ward must stay open to provide all services”
Campaigners are urging people to come along with whistles, rattles and balloons to make an impact.
Paediatric services at Bedford Hospital have been suspended after junior doctors were removed from working in paediatrics at the hospital after had expressing concerns about the level of supervision they were receiving.
A protest group held a parade in the town last Saturday.
Dr Raffles comes to the hospital at a time when children’s inpatient services have been suspended and those under the age of 19 who present at A&E are bussed out to neighbouring hospitals.
He said: “Paediatrics at Bedford Hospital have been through some high-profile changes.
“The principle behind them is safety. In the longer term our focus will be on securing a sustainable service, delivering high quality care.
Imagine if you had a child who was so ill that you feared for their life?
Imagine if you used to have a nearby emergency hospital service which could have saved that child’s life?
Imagine if, instead of treating that child locally, they were transported to a hospital over 22 miles away on a busy road?
How would you feel if they died as a result?
We at the Luton People’s Assembly do not want to see this happen and we are determined to work with our friends at the ‘Save the Riverbank Ward campaign in Bedford to prevent such a calamity.
On Saturday 9am 31 August 2013 we are gathering at Bedford interchange Retails Park to set off at 10 to follow our sick ‘child’ Molly in a bed on the back of a flat bed truck from Bedford to Luton’s L&D Hospital, a journey that could prove life-threatening for a real child. Come along and bring Whistles, rattles, balloons and anything else that will make a visual or audible impact.