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PATIENT'S FEARS OVER LATEST HOSPITAL CUTS; HEALTH: Plans announced to transfer services to Coventry.

Byline: By Andrew Heath

PATIENTS in Warwickshire requiring emergency surgery may be shipped off to Walsgrave Hospital under new cost-saving measures.

Affecting patients requiring ear, nose, throat and urology and general procedures, it is the latest blow to debt-ridden Warwick Hospital and just one of a raft of similar cost cuts there and at Rugby St Cross.

Children who would stay in hospital for more than 24 hours will also be moved to Coventry as the hospital tries to recover its pounds 23m debt.

Meanwhile, although the maternity unit at Warwick will remain in its current form, bosses admit in future it may also be reduced in size and could be run jointly with Walsgrave.

And any patient taken ill in Rugby at night or at weekends will go to Coventry for assessment if there are no senior staff on duty at St Cross.

The news has been met with concern from former patients and hospital supporters.

Patricia Round of the Friends of Warwick Hospital works in a voluntary capacity there and recently went into the hospital for surgery.

She said the fact she was treated close to her family was vital in helping her recover.

Mrs Round said: "I am concerned about the way it is going. I want to keep my local hospital.

"After my operation my daughter was able to visit me regularly in a way she wouldn't have been able to do if they had moved me to Coventry after my assessment.

"That helped me get better quickly, which makes me nervous about plans to operate elsewhere."

Already, one student midwife has set up a petition to save maternity and child services at Warwick Hospital.

She said she set up the petition after hearing of possible cuts to services and called upon patients, families and fellow health professionals to support her.

Anyone wanting to support her can log on to www.petitionthem.com, and click on the Save Warwick Hospital Maternity and Child Services link.

COUNTY SERVICES FACE HUGE SHAKE-UP, TURN TO PAGE 4 FOR THE FULL STORY

CAPTION(S):

UNDER THREAT? There is growing concern about the cuts to services at hospitals in Warwick and Rugby.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 15, 2006
Words:361
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