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NHS Will Not Get on Board The Hopper Bus

(December 30, 2015)

Independent Wiltshire Councillors have revealed that one of the avenues that could save the RUH hopper bus has become a cul-de-sac.

It has provoked  Warminster town councillor Paul Macdonald to pledge to continue to work with them.

"I have seen this e-mail today and will now once again bring it to Warminster town council," said Cllr. Paul Macdonald.

The e-mail reads: 'Dear friends, first the bad news.

'We have just heard from the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that they will NOT assist in funding the Hopper service.

'You may remember that as well as lobbying Wiltshire Council to continue funding this valuable service, we also aimed to convince the CCG that they should play their part and contribute £75,000 to secure its long term future.

'Over the Christmas period we discovered that the CCG had declined to engage in this exercise. This we see as a very short sighted and most regrettable decision.

'If they fund the Hopper, in the long term, it will save the NHS many hundreds of thousands of pounds, by getting people treated quicker. We are also critical of the timing of their decision.

'By releasing it over the Christmas period it seems they were cynically attempting to “bury bad news”.

'We would urge all users and supporters of the RUH Hopper service to write to:

'Dr Peter Atkins, Chairman, Wiltshire CCG, Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes, SN10 5EQ

'And express their dissatisfaction at this decision, stating how vital it is that the Hopper continues as it provides a vital lifeline for local people. Apparently the CCG are claiming that few people directly contacted them to explain just how important the Hopper is.

'This needs to be rectified. They clearly need to appreciate people’s very real concern. Also it should be noted that the CCG as part of the NHS, unlike local government, is not a democratic organisation and includes no elected public representatives.

'Rest assured that the campaign to save the Hopper continues. We will be meeting with relevant Wiltshire Council officers prior to the Cabinet on Tuesday 19th January to better understand the financial situation in light of the CCG’s action.

'We will be exploring other possible sources of funding. We will not go away. The RUH Hopper must be saved. People need it too much.

'Please use social media and tell your friends about our petition:

'The more who sign it the better.

'We will contact you again soon to explain exactly what our next move will be. Thank you for your support.'

"I complained about the lack of response and details from the RUH and the NHS based at Devixes when we last discussed this at the town council just weeks ago," added Paul.

"Shame on the NHS in Wiltshire for hiding behind the almost anonymous way they work."

*Paul launched the campaign to save the RUH Hopper bus at a town council meeting in May. See hot topic 12th May 2015

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