Dear Sir/Madam

We need your help. We are the Wantage Hospital League of Friends and the Save Wantage Hospital Campaign and we are campaigning to save Wantage Community Hospital.

Wantage Community Hospital was built in 1927 and became part of the NHS in 1948. It has been threatened twice before in 1998 and 2006 and has survived. Its minor injuries unit closed temporarily in 2002 and has yet to reopen. The Hospital is now run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

As you know, our Community Hospital provides rehabilitation and palliative care for people who no longer require the services of an acute hospital but require greater support than can be provided in their home environment. It also provides maternity services.

I’m sure that you have heard that the Wantage Community Hospital is scheduled to close because of fears of Legionella bacteria in the water system. After work done to flush out the pipes in January and regular maintenance there is no evidence of any bacteria in the hospital but the Trust still want to close it on safety grounds. The renovations won’t start until after the results of a consultation to be held this autumn confirm that it is still required. So the work won’t start until next year if it starts at all.

It’s part of the community. The local nature of the hospital is emphasised by the number of visits to patients from friends and colleagues. Many people don’t get to visit friends and family when they are in Oxfordhospitals. For some it’s due to their own physical fragility or family commitments, for others it’s due to the incredible amount of time required to make such a visit. Having visitors really does raise the morale of the patient and speeds healing, but they need to be able to get there.

Also maternity care needs to be easily accessible. If our Hospital closes, the nearest maternity services will be in Wallingford or at the John Radcliffe, both a long way away if your baby is coming now!

These are reasons why a local community hospital is so important, why our community hospital is important to our community.

Wantage Hospital League of Friends and the Save Wantage Hospital Campaign want to invite you and all your congregations to join a March from the Market Place to the Hospital on Saturday 18th June at 10am.

So please encourage people to come along and show them how much the Hospital means to this Community.

We also need stewards for the March so if you can find any volunteers to wear a florescent jacket and help to marshall the crowd please get in touch. The petition and a link to donate to the campaign fund are on our front page at http://www.wantageandgrove.org/ and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1736394726575938/

Thank you for reading.

Julie Mabberley

Wantage Hospital March