Bedford has had enough.
For the last five years, the area’s health bosses have tried time and time again to close, downgrade and undercut services at Bedford Hospital.
Five years ago, Bedford was included in a huge project to combine health services all over Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.
Those plans failed – but not before they had taken years of work and had cost £2.2million.
Four years ago, there were talks about merging Bedford Hospital to Milton Keynes and making it a junior partner.
Those plans failed too – but not after much worry for staff and patients about what it would mean and how it would work.
And finally there has been the Bedford and Milton Keynes Healthcare Review.
This has meant more worry, with talk of a significant downgrade of A&E in Bedford.
Then that plan changed last week – A&E would remain, but maternity would be closed and moved over to Milton Keynes.
Only for those same health bosses to be forced into a humiliating U-turn, backtracking on those proposals just days later.
Yet throughout all of this uncertainty, the people and patients of Bedford have been clear. We need and value our hospital. We want and demand an A&E department and maternity services.