Wiltshire Publications

Hopper campaign keeps on trucking

THEcampaign to save the RUH Connect2 bus service, or ‘Hopper’, is showing no signs of slowing down, as users have been urged to write to local healthcare agencies and make themselves heard.

A new petition has been started, Wiltshire Council’s consultation is under way, and now people are being encouraged to write to the RUH Foundation Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group to voice their concerns.

Westbury MP Andrew Murrison has voiced his support for the campaign to save the service and said recently, “Thank you to all who have written to me about the RUH Hopper service. I’m pleased it’s secure until at least April and also that the health and local authorities concerned are working together to ensure there’s a sustainable service in the long term that can get patients into the RUH in time for appointments.”

Wiltshire councillor and campaigner Terry Chivers said, “We are now going to concentrate more attention on the NHS because Wiltshire Council has said that if the NHS makes a financial contribution, the Hopper can be saved.

“We are asking people to write and explain just how important the RUH Hopper service is to local people.  Without it, it is likely some people would not keep their out-patients appointments, their condition could deteriorate and they may have to be hospitalised or taken into care.

“Therefore to cut the Hopper service really would be a false economy.  Keeping it going will actually save money for the NHS. We have invited representatives of the NHS to attend meetings at Wiltshire Council to discuss whether or not they are going to contribute towards the cost of the RUH Hopper and  secure its long term future.”

The campaign to save the service, which offers RUH drop-off and collection services for people in Wiltshire, began earlier this year when Wiltshire Council announced it would be cutting its £130,000 contribution. The Hopper has since been secured until April next year, but its future remains uncertain.

How to get involved

To read more about the proposed changes and have your say on Wiltshire Council’s consultation visit www.tinyurl.com/qyqgrbu  before Friday 27th November.

To sign the new petition search ‘RUH Hopper’ at you.38degrees.org.uk

Cllr Chivers suggests people write to: Chairman, Brian Stables, Royal United Hospital Bath Foundation Trust,, Combe Park, Bath. BA1 3NG or Chairman, Dr Peter Jenkins, Wiltshire CCG, Southgate House, Pans Lane, Devizes. SN10 5EQ