It was just over three months ago, on 17th September 2006 to be precise, that I launched the "Save Bedford Hospital" campaign.
It has been a busy time. There has been coverage on local and national television, an appearance on Radio4's Today programme, and Radio 5's Drive Time, interviews on local radio, and write ups in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and the Birmingham Post. The Guardian described me as "Patricia Hewitt's worst nightmare". We have had coverage in Private Eye magazine and on numerous websites. Hardly a week goes by without the campaign featuring prominently in our local newspapers Bedfordshire on Sunday and the Bedfordshire Times and Citizen.
We have had enormous support from staff at Bedford Hospital, local GPs, and patients and relatives. There has also been tremendous support from NHS professionals in every part of the UK. The campaign has clearly touched a chord, and many hospitals face similar difficulties. Last month I gave a talk to doctors in Hitchin and in January I am talking in Ipswich, where the local hospital has grave financial problems.
The campaign is not a one man band. "Save Bedford Hospital" is now a political party registered with the Electoral Commission. At the next general election we will be standing in the Bedford parliamentary constituency, and standing with every intention of winning. I will let you all know how you can help.
This is my first venture on to a web site. I am not the world's greatest expert on computers, so please show some forebearance. I hope to keep you update on the campaign, but in the meantime, please have a restful holiday break.