Category Archives: Uncategorized

Summary of Current Issues

A few notes below regarding current understanding

Wycombe Hospital

– We continue to fight for a fully functioning hospital including A&E, full maternity and overnight children’s services. The hospital currently has a Minor Injuries and Illnesses unit. This is going to be renamed an ‘Urgent Care Centre’ however according to the head of our CCG, we already meet the criteria for this, hence it won’t treat anything additional. We also have a cardiac and stroke unit, however seeing as we lost certain vascular procedures, there are concerns this will also eventually move to Oxford.
-The land at Wycombe hospital – particularly the Tower block is under threat. The Wycombe District local plan puts this, (as well as possible expansion) at risk, and we are awaiting for the ‘estates’ strategy to be published by the Trust. Bucks has been underfunded for a while and ‘estates’ appears on our STP plan. Being on a prime location, campaigners have feared for years that the site would be sold off. The central location of the site is important for many reasons, as is its history as a memorial to the Great War.
-Pathology is mentioned on our STP plan. If this is also centralised to a ‘hub and spoke’ model, it will make it harder to restore services. Could it also put current services at risk?
-We have services worth protecting and staff do a fantastic job

Community hospitals 
Marlow and Thame have lost their 24/7 wards to part time ‘hubs’. Once wards are closed it makes it much easier to close the hospital entirely. At present there are some outpatient services – these can easily be reduced without people realising. The lack of beds in the region is now impacting national patients as operations at the National Spinal Injuries Unit have been delayed due to general patients taking over their beds.
Buckingham and Amersham hospitals are now at risk of losing beds, following the failure (once again) of the Bucks County Council Scrutiny Committee to refer the issue to the Health Secretary.

Buckinghamshire and the NHS
-We already have a strong presence of the private sector in our local NHS. They appear to have a base at all of our community hospitals. Buckinghamshire is one of the first 8 selected to become ‘Accountable Care Organisations’. Campaigners fear that this is based on the American model and will lead to further privatisation of our NHS and rationing of resources. Underfunding of Bucks’ hospitals means we have already made downgrades and other hospitals are following suit. It seems as though with the loss of more beds being planned, our county is truly being left in the shadows.
GP surgeries are also at risk of closure and merging into larger surgeries/hubs putting more vulnerable people at risk due to difficulty of access.

Our hospital campaign remains whole community friendly/non partisan.

How can you help?
Don’t fall for words like ‘hub’, ‘super hospital’ !
Sign and share our current petitions: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-further-downgrades-of-buckinghamshire-s-hospitals-including-community-hospitals and https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire

Write to your local politicians
Share your stories
Attend meetings and ask questions
Join our social media pages and share posts

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 savewycombehospital@live.co.uk, tweet to @HandBackOurHosp, post on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/savewycombehospital/

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 (https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx…). 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! 

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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:  https://savewycombehospital.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/patients-are-being-affected-nationally-by-our-local-hospital-downgrades/)

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: http://lindaderrick.simplesite.com/432480734

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

 

Protest from where you are for Buckinghamshire’s hospitals!

final image

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 24th April which could result in even more bed closures across Bucks!

Please send your pictures and quotes by 3pm on Tuesday 24th April to savewycombehospital@live.co.uk, tweet to @HandBackOurHosp, post on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/savewycombehospital/

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 (https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx…). 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! 

FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1733243850048157/

ACOs/ICS – Letter to County Councillors on the Health and Wellbeing board

Dear Health and Wellbeing board members, 

 

I understand there is an ‘update’ on the Integrated Care System as item 9 on the agenda for this week’s Health and Wellbeing board meeting. I understand that in Devon the Health Scrutiny Committee has called for a stop to the setting up of an Accountable/Integrated Care System due to start in “shadow” form as of April 2018.

 

If Buckinghamshire, as one of the First Wave of Accountable/Integrated Care set-ups is due to become an ICS from the start of this financial year, we urge the council to halt proceedings immediately for the same reasons that Devon County Council now see as urgent.

 

There is a complete lack of transparency in what the ICS actually means for the public, local authority and NHS Organisations. There has been no clear consultation with the local population about the proposed changes to our local health and social care services.

 

As I am sure you are aware, there are currently two judicial reviews challenging the lawfulness of the formation of ACOs and new models of care using the NHS England Accountable Care Organisation Model contract introduced in August 2017.

 

Major concerns against ACOs/ICS include:

-handing large amounts of public money to non-NHS organisations 

-allowing more non-NHS organisations to control health & social care with contracts of 7 years or more

-the lack of public accountability

-the lack of public transparency and consultation

-How will integrated care work given that social care is means tested and NHS care is not?

 

All these questions need further scrutiny and public answers before setting up an ICS. In halting their process, Devon Scrutiny Committee are to be applauded for their decision and Buckinghamshire County Council should consider a similar response.

 

Of the 10 planned “First Wave” regions being fast-tracked to set up Accountable/Integrated Care both Greater Manchester and Dudley have publicly stated that they have put their plans on hold due to the legal challenges facing NHS England and the new contract.

 

Given that NHS England have now agreed to holding a national public consultation on Accountable Care and that the courts may soon decide that setting up Accountable Care models are unlawful we would urge the council to consider their responsibility to local tax-payers and the costs of having to reverse such a system in the event of it being identified as unlawful.

Patients are being affected Nationally by Our local hospital downgrades

Thank you to Julia Wingfield from Essex for sharing her story.

 

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‘On the 6th February 2018 the following post appeared on the National Spinal Injuries Centre Facebook page – “Does anyone know the current waiting time for re admissions please?”

112 comments followed. There would have been more only the person who originally asked the question said she would delete the post if we continued commenting because she was being bombarded with messages.

In 1986 aged 19 I crashed my motorbike, 3 days later I was transferred to Stoke Mandeville and so begun my long relationship with the hospital that I refer to as my second home.

The nature of paralyses means I need ongoing care and from time to time treatment requiring re-admission to the unit. In 1986 I was told my life expectancy was 15-20 years, 31 years later I was told my life expectancy was the same as an ordinary person. I’ve always received excellent care and attention from the whole team, I believe the reason I’m alive is because of that care, given first in 1986 and in subsequent years, but now I desperately need that help again I can’t get a bed on the unit.

I was told in Outpatients it was due to Black Measures. In my mind I thought ‘Winter Crisis’ applied to general hospitals with large admissions of people with flu like symptoms or other seasonal ailments, but I’ve learnt very quickly that The National Spinal Injuries Unit no longer gives priority to spinal injured patients. Instead beds and a whole Ward have been commandeered by Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust to alleviate the pressure in other areas caused by that ‘Winter Crisis’.

So I’m in bed at home, with daily nursing care from local services and 1 hours care from a local agency to assist with my personal care, meals etc because beds on the National Spinal Injuries Unit are being used as an overflow when Wycombe Hospital – part of the Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust has been downgraded. Am I missing something? I’ve read various Save Wycombe Hospital campaign pages with celebrity endorsements, I’ve read about people forced to make long, often distressing journeys to Stoke Mandeville while Wycombe Hospital which is on their doorstep can’t accommodate their needs because services are being centralized at Stoke Mandeville.

My medical needs have been ongoing since May 2016, I’ve been in bed since November 2017, I’ve currently got another infection in my wound so I’m back on antibiotics, I’ve developed a painful bursa on my elbow from lifting myself to relieve pressure and my shoulders are causing me constant pain. I’ve been given a date for admission in March, but I’ve also been warned that date is not guaranteed and likely to be cancelled.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust Board of Directors consists of 15 people Chaired by Hattie Llewelyn-Davies, I’ve written to all of them.

I’m not the only spinal patient in this situation; a number of critically poorly and vulnerable people are waiting for beds. I know that as a fact, I’ve read their testimonies on the NSIC Facebook page; I also know that they’re writing letters.

I’m a member of the public with a spinal injury desperate to get well and be a productive member of society, I don’t begin to understand the challenges faced by Hattie Llewelyn-Davies and her Board of Directors at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, but it seems to me that Stoke Mandeville Hospital is bursting at the seams and Wycombe Hospital has been downgraded, if wards could be reopened at Wycombe wouldn’t that take pressure off Stoke Mandeville and the National Spinal Injuries Centre could offer beds to the spinal patients that they were and are intended for?’

 

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Thank you to Barry Wells from Aylesbury for sharing his letter:

”I write to you regarding the protected bed status of The National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury Bucks.

The NSIC was built for spinal injured people specifically. The building was paid for by patients, past and present, members of the public and charitable funds for this very specialised purpose. As a child growing up in Aylesbury I took part in sponsored events myself, helping to raise money for Spinal patients to have a unit that cares for spinal patients.

Little did I realise that I would one day become a spinal patient myself and need the specialist care and rehabilitation that the NSIC offers.

I had my accident in 1994 and have been under the care of the NSIC since that time and have returned many times over the years as an inpatient for pressure sores, broken bones, shoulder surgery etc….

Last year I was admitted twice, firstly for a below knee amputation, for which I spent 2 months on St Patrick Ward. This was followed by shoulder surgery, which was requested during my stay for the above mentioned amputation (January & February) after a scan showed that the tendon in my right shoulder was enflamed and needed decompression.

I was admitted to High Wycombe Hospital for my shoulder surgery in September, a whole 7 months after the spinal referral, by which time the level of surgery I needed had increased from a simple decompression (4-5 days in the NSIC to recover) to a tendon repair and decompression, which meant 6 weeks in the NSIC before I could even move my arm let alone start using it. Again I was an inpatient on St Patrick Ward for a 2 month period (September – November). The day after my surgery I was moved from a 6 bed bay, which was full of patients, to one that was empty, except for myself, to await transport back to the NSIC which went ahead later that day.

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 patients from the General Hospital have suffered a number of different issues including dementia, victims of falls, drink and drug problems, accidents at work, high and low blood pressure, high temperature etc.

On one occasion, whilst in bed recovering from my amputation, an elderly lady wandered onto an all-male bay and looked somewhat confused. I asked her if she was ok and could I help in anyway, thinking she may be looking for the toilet. She started talking to me as if she knew me and started to

get worked up, I could tell she was suffering from some form of dementia (as my mother sadly suffered this horrific illness), and put my hands up with palms out to try calming the lady down. She then became verbally aggressive and started shouting at me to get out of bed, I called for a nurse and tried calming the situation as did the nurse and HCA that left their patients to attend to this now aggressive lady. The staff took care of the lady and returned her to her bed area, however 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.

Please just think about that spinal patient’s vulnerability for a moment…

On another occasion a gentleman with a high temperature, in the bed next to me, couldn’t settle at night due to the heat on the ward, (which is needed for those with higher spinal injuries), as a result he would go walk about closely followed by staff members who were trying to get the gentleman back to bed. One morning he refused to leave the day room, where he had spent the night, and it took 4 members of staff over an hour to get the gentleman back to his bed area for treatment.

On both of these occasions (and believe me there are many more) the specialist (Spinal) staff are being taken away from their spinal patients and the care that was being given, which could be taking care of ablutions, feeding the patient, issuing medication a whole number of things, which has a knock on effect, not only for the spinal patient that the staff left whilst attending this issue, but for every patient the staff members (s) had on their list that day, and all because the spinal staff are tending to patients from the General Hospital.

While many need to be in hospital I don’t think they should take priority on the spinal unit, over the spinal patients for which it was intended and indeed what the staff are highly trained for. Especially given that the fact that there are empty wards in High Wycombe Hospital.

I can’t sing the spinal staff’s praises loud enough and this letter is in not aimed at knocking them in anyway. They are run off of their feet doing a fantastic job, but all too often are having to deal with non-spinal issues which are increasing more and more each year.

I visited the unit last week and was told that 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.

Unfortunately, having been autonomous since 1944, I’m now told that the NSIC was moved into the specialist services directorate and key decisions have been made by management with no spinal injury experience. Spinal patients have no alternative to spinal specialists and facilities.

I don’t begin to understand the challenges faced by Hattie Llewelyn-Davies and her Board of Directors at Buckingham Healthcare Trust, but it seems to me that Stoke Mandeville Hospital is bursting at the seams and High Wycombe Hospital has been downgraded, if wards could be reopened at Wycombe wouldn’t that take pressure off Stoke Mandeville and the National Spinal Injuries Centre could offer beds to the spinal patients that they were and are intended for?

I look forward to your reply, Barry Wells.”


Please send your stories to savewycombehospital@live.co.uk

Our current petitions: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-further-downgrades-of-buckinghamshire-s-hospitals-including-community-hospitals

Like our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/savewycombehospital and join our group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/savewycombehospital/

Tweet: @HandBackOurHosp

URGENT – Wycombe Hospital Land

Please sign and share these 2 open letters. Deadline Saturday 25th November 9pm

  1. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/expansion-of-wycombe-hospital-as-an-option-for-a-full-consultation-on-the-office-outlet-site?just_launched=true

2. https://www.change.org/p/protect-wycombe-hospital-land-planning-policy-team-wycombe-district-council

You are also welcome to analyse and write in to the local plan (https://www.wycombe.gov.uk/pages/About-the-council/Have-your-say/Consultations/Consultation-Publication-of-the-Wycombe-District-Local-Plan.aspx#DynamicJumpMenuManager_1_Anchor_1)Andrea Mosaic

A river runs through it- an open letter

Dear Cllr Gaffney,

I hope you are in the best of health.

I understand that opening up the river in our town centre is currently being discussed.

I’d be grateful if you could answer the following questions:

  1. What will the short term and long term effect be on our Fire station
  2. What will the short term and long term effect be on the flyover
  3. What will the short term and long term effect be on our hospital and the viability of its location

As someone who loves rivers, I should find myself excited at the prospect. However, I feel deeply concerned. My understanding was that the flyover had been given another 20 plus years of life so we’d have at least a couple more years reprieve before this issue resurfaced. Sending more traffic past our hospital seems nonsensical. The flyover would at least provide some movement through the town if there was an accident or work needed on Queen Alexandra Road. I fear our town will be thought of as ‘High Wycombe, a river runs through it, but we avoid it because it’s a nightmare to go anywhere near the town centre’, thus killing more local businesses too.

But as you know the thing I worry about most is the impact on our hospital.

As you know from past emails, our hospital land was given to the people of High Wycombe as a memorial to the Great War. It should only be hospital on that land.

I look forward to your earliest response which will be sent to people copied in and published on the Save Wycombe Hospital blog. Also, please would you keep me updated with any future council meetings relating to this.

Kind regards,

Ozma

www.savewycombehospital.co


 

Response:

 

Hi Ozma,

It is always lovely to hear from you and I trust that you are well.

At this very early stage no decisions have yet been made regarding the river….that is why I have set up a Task & Finish Group to examine and consider every aspect. Everything will be considered.

Just be patient and “watch this space”

Best wishes

Cllr Ron Gaffney