Protest from where you are for Buckinghamshire’s hospitals!

As individuals, couples or groups, please send in pictures with your hand in the stop position. You can hold up a message if you wish, e.g. no more downgrades, reopen beds. These will be joined together to form one protest picture.

We all know there has been a shortage of beds in the region. An important meeting (HASC) is taking place on Tuesday 22 May which could result in even more bed closures across Bucks!

Please send your pictures and quotes to, tweet to @HandBackOurHosp, post on our FB page:

We need you to actively take part and show that you care!

Let’s make it clear that we want downgrades to stop and our hospitals restored!

This is a whole community friendly, apolitical campaign.



This winter has once again shown there is a shortage of beds in our region. Oxford cancelled operations this year and national patients have been affected at the National Spinal Injuries Unit in Stoke due to general patients taking over their beds. On Tuesday, the Trust will be presenting a report on the future of our hospitals to the HASC committee (…). 20 beds were closed at Marlow and Thame for a community hubs ‘pilot’ and this seems set to continue and be rolled out to other local hospitals such as Amersham and Buckingham. This could mean even more bed closures in Bucks!! We have less beds in Bucks compared to last year and Ward 5B at Wycombe Hospital was closed fairly recently too. It’s inevitable that if you downgrade hospitals, others will be overwhelmed!
We must show that we do not support further downgrades of our hospitals and want beds at Wycombe, Thame and Marlow reopened!
As most can’t attend the meeting in Aylesbury, we are asking you to protest from where you are! 


Read the full press release below:

A picture protest which took place on Tuesday 24th April is set to continue. Images were received from across Buckinghamshire and beyond with people holding up their hand in the ‘stop’ position and calling for beds in Buckinghamshire’s hospitals to be reopened and further downgrades to stop.

Residents who want beds at Buckinghamshire’s hospitals reopened and downgrades to local hospitals to stop are being asked to send in photographs from wherever they are. A photo protest took place on Tuesday 24th April when a pilot at Marlow and Thame which resulted in another 20 overnight bed closures was due to be discussed at Buckinghamshire County Council’s HASC committee meeting.

The idea is for people to send in photos  as individuals, couples or groups, with their hand in the stop position and with an optional message such as ‘Reopen beds’ and ‘No more downgrades’ if they wish. Comments and stories can also be sent in. 

Pictures were received from across Buckinghamshire on the day and beyond.

Save Wycombe Hospital Campaign leader Miss Ozma Hafiz said, ”It’s difficult for most people to attend the Aylesbury meetings therefore we decided to arrange a protest which people can take part in from wherever they are. We’ve already received photos and comments from a range of people and feel it has been a great way to get people talking. We are hoping through this, we will also receive more stories regarding patients who would have used beds at Marlow and Thame.

At the meeting, t
he committee recognised there was data missing and asked the Trust back rather than just accepting the report which leaves more questions than it provides answers. They must now refer to the Health Secretary. There was no real evidence that care really is provided ‘closer to home’, no breakdown on where patients who attended appointments had come from for example. Cllr Jenkins mentioned a patient who travelled from Aylesbury to Thame so it’s clear that not all the patients who had appointments at Thame will have been local to that area.

If we truly care about prevention, we can’t go on closing more beds. A patient developed sepsis waiting for a bed at the national spinal injuries unit in Stoke which has been in black status and specialist beds are again this week being taken over by general patients. Plans to roll out further bed closures must be rejected and reassurances given to staff in order to retain them. Beds at Marlow, Thame and Wycombe must be reopened. They are often an important step in getting people home. Lack of beds in our region has also resulted in operations being delayed in Oxford. The UK already lags behind other countries in terms of bed numbers, 2014 OECD data showed we have 2.8 hospital beds per 1000 people compared to 6.3 in France and 8.3 in Germany. Our social media picture protest continues and we will be planning a physical one too. 

Please join us by sending in a photograph to continue to add pressure. We want to show that we want beds to be reopened and any further downgrades to Bucks’ hospitals to stop.”

NSIC patient Barry Wells from Aylesbury took part in the picture protest. He said: ”Stoke Mandeville Hospital is at bursting point and this is because High Wycombe Hospital has been downgraded and had its A&E and many of its wards closed. The local patients are now being told to come to Stoke Mandeville, which is adding to the problem in a big way.

Closures in Wycombe are having a direct impact on Stoke Mandeville ,while there are empty wards in High Wycombe, spinal patients have no alternative to spinal specialists and facilities. There are only 106 adult spinal beds on the NSIC and for 8-9 months of the year we lose St Joseph’s ward (16 beds) and I’m told that we have approximately 2 patients from General on every ward, meaning that of the 106 spinal beds 24 are currently being used by the General Hospital, leaving JUST 82 bed spaces for adult spinal patients.” 

In a letter, Mr Wells described two occasions where he had to share the NSIC ward with general patients and mentioned ”During both stays at the NSIC I received excellent care from the staff, just as I’ve always done. However on both occasions I’ve had to share bays with patients from the General hospital, many of whom come from far and wide due to High Wycombe closing its A&E department along with many of their wards.

The experience left me extremely concerned about the vulnerability of some of my fellow spinal patients, especially given that many are tetraplegic with limited or no use of their arms”

”There are now patients from the General hospital ON EVERY WARD, which is extremely alarming because we have many hundreds of spinal patients in desperate need of the specialist care the NSIC offers but instead of receiving that care they’re left in limbo at home whilst their injury deteriorates and they become susceptible to infections like Sepsis, which then becomes life threatening”.

(Full letter can be read here:

Campaigner Pauline Amos from Save Our NHS Halstead sent in a photograph from outside a landmark court case in Leeds, challenging the introduction of ‘Accountable Care Organisations’ in the NHS. She said, ””Outsourcing” is hidden privatisation & closing centres and hospitals is selling out our NHS. We’ll end up with reduced services which are likely to be run by private sector. All to do with ACO/ICS.

Mike Adams from Chalfont St Peter said, “I attended the HASC meeting on Tuesday because I’ve recently become aware that there are huge changes underway in Community Health provision in Bucks and am concerned that there may be negative consequences from these changes. What is being withdrawn or sacrificed in order to find the resources for these new Integrated Care Systems? Who benefits, and who loses? It seems to me that the public need to be closely involved in the decision-making process.”

Campaigner Linda Derrick said, ‘These decisions are not just about Marlow and Thame Hospitals.  The Trust now intends to roll out hubs across Bucks, including at Buckingham, Amersham and Chalfont hospitals. The bed closures need to stop”.  Read her thoughts on the meeting here:

Photos and comments can be emailed in to, Tweeted in to @HandBackOurHosp and posted on the Save Wycombe Hospital Facebook page: People can also write to their local councillors and sign petitions on The campaign remains whole community friendly and apolitical. 


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