Tag Archives: Hand Back Our Hospital

An open letter to our new Chancellor

Dear Rt. Hon Philip Hammond,

Congratulations on your appointment to Chancellor of the Exchequer. We have a petition of over 12,000 signatures addressed to you to the following text:

We ask you to ensure that Buckinghamshire not only receives the national average in funds, but we also receive enough public funding so that key services are restored to Wycombe Hospital.
For a substantial amount of time now, Buckinghamshire has received less funding per capita than most of the country for our hospitals. This ‘cash-starving’ or ‘squeeze’ contributed to downgrades at Amersham and Wycombe hospitals and our Trust has recently been in ‘special measures’.
Since the downgrades at Wycombe hospital, many people have suffered and neighbouring hospitals have been overwhelmed. 
Staff, patients and their loved ones deserve better.’’

Please note the following.
This petition is endorsed by many celebrities, has regional support, has received support from an array of politicians, and staff from neighbouring hospitals are rooting for it to do well.
High Wycombe, a town with good motorway links, has a population of over 170,000 and with new housing being built, the population in Buckinghamshire is set to rise. Chiltern CCG commission services for 320,000 people and yet within that we don’t have our own A&E, full maternity and children’s services. A recent ‘federation’ with neighbouring Aylesbury CCG doesn’t appear to have resulted in plans to restore services, in fact it is feared that our county will lose more NHS services including GP surgeries, under ‘Sustainability and Transformation plans’. These plans are a result of the NHS being forced to make £22 billion worth of efficiency savings. I’m sure the fact that we are campaigning 10 years on from when downgrades began to our hospital, speaks volumes about the direction the NHS is headed with more A&E and maternity closures expected across the country. These services may be considered expensive, however they are also vital. We understand that private companies aren’t interested in running services which they cannot profit from, and a pressured, cash-strapped NHS is having to close these services down, as is evident from the number of hospital campaigns that now exist and the STP plans that have been published.

It is hard to accept these downgrades when we spend less of our GDP on health than our neighbours, and below the OECD average, with better outcomes (Independent Common Wealth Fund report). According to the Kings Fund, as a proportion of GDP, funding will fall to 6.6 per cent compared to 7.3 per cent in 2014/15. But, if spending kept pace with growth in the economy, by 2020/21 the UK NHS would be spending around £16 billion more than planned [2].

There is also evidence that investing in health results in economic growth [3].

Since downgrades at Wycombe Hospital, many have reported having to take extra time off work, be it to attend appointments for themselves or to visit loved ones in hospital. Some already commute to their place of work outside of our county. It could be argued that the extra distance caused by loss of local health services is negatively impacting the economy, both by additional time taken off work and the health strain it is having on patients and loved ones. For some, distance to services can result in extra days needed for recovery.

Last year Healthwatch reported that for many residents, the stress, anxiety and cost associated with getting to appointments has become a major issue.
HS2 construction is likely to cause congestion on an already difficult journey to our neighbouring A&E Stoke Mandeville. Many in our locality feel the money could be better spent, for example on improving the current rail network and on our NHS.

The main route to Stoke Mandeville Hospital was flooded in 2014. Recent fires at both this hospital and neighbouring Wexham Park, whilst dealt with quickly, also demonstrate a flaw in mass centralisation of services.

A strong economy needs a strong NHS. If we keep people well and reduce the additional burdens that distance to services causes, people can contribute more to the economy. Please invest more in health by providing our local hospital with the money required to return it to a fully functioning one once more, and protecting other NHS services by providing the much needed funding to maintain them. Whilst the NHS isn’t perfect, it is the most cost-effective and efficient health service in the world. It is clear that the £10 billion figure mentioned to us in a recent letter from the Department of Health, simply is not good enough.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Ozma Hafiz

[1] https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire

[2] https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2016/01/how-does-nhs-spending-compare-health-spending-internationally

[3] http://globalizationandhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1744-8603-9-43

An Open Letter to Our Health Secretary

Dear Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt,

Congratulations on your reappointment as our Secretary of State for Health.

You mentioned that your ‘proudest political achievement’ was helping to save Surrey A&E. As Health Secretary we are calling on you to work with other decision makers to restore Wycombe Hospital to a fully functioning one once more, with services including A&E, full maternity and overnight children’s services.

This week some of us gathered at our hospital to send you our message at the start of the parliamentary recess. You can watch our video here: https://vimeo.com/176650226

We formed a chain outside the hospital with our hands up to show that we want downgrades to stop and services restored.

Our petition has reached over 11,000 signatures: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire

Everyone deserves good quality, safe, effective NHS services closer to home. Centralisation of services has gone too far.

We look forward to your response.

With regards,

Ozma

Miss Ozma Hafiz
SaveWycombeHospital
Email: savewycombehospital@live.co.uk             Tweet: @HandBackOurHosp

 

 

IMG_4604 (2)

Hands up if you think we deserve better!

Join in with the next phase of #HandsUpForAHandBack. We’re making a mosaic to show that we want downgrades to stop and services restored!

Anyone who would ideally like to restore services to Wycombe Hospital and protect what we have is welcome to join in with the next phase of #HandsUpForAHandBack by sending in photos via email and social media. If you’d like a poster these can be downloaded here:https://savewycombehospital.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/qr-mosaic.jpg

The hand works in two ways. We’re saying ‘stop’ and putting our hands up for a ‘hand back’ of lost services. This is an apolitical, community friendly campaign.

You’re welcome to send in quotes with your photo with why you support the cause.

Tweet: @HandBackOurHosp with #HandsUpForAHandBack Email: savewycombehospital@live.co.uk  or post pics on FB: https://www.facebook.com/savewycombehospital/

The latest petition can be signed here: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire It will remain live until we get a satisfactory response. Please keep the signatures coming. Next stop the Department of Health!

Learn more about our photo events here:

https://savewycombehospital.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/sunday-13th-march-handsupforahandback/ and here: https://savewycombehospital.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/an-open-letter-to-our-health-secretary/

 

 

Threats to Our Hospital Site?

Our hospital land was given to the people of Wycombe as a memorial to the Great War, to honour those that died, and to care for women and children. A price simply cannot be put on the benefits of having our hospital in the town centre.  You’re welcome to add your thoughts on the importance of it’s location on this blog page:

https://savewycombehospital.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/location-location-location-where-the-heart-is/

Fears over the hospital site have been ongoing for some time now, particularly the Tower Block area. Some claim it will become a car park, others are concerned that the land will be sold, possibly for development of housing in the town centre.

IMG_3678 (2)

Sign metres away from our hospital

 

The MP for Bracknell had the audacity to calculate how much our hospital land was worth in his ‘Royal Thames Valley Hospital’ document [1]

A report by Durrow [2] who were commissioned by our own MP makes claims about the Tower Block ‘nearing the end of its life’ however there is no mention of replacing it with a building of equal capacity, and no links to evidence to support this.

During his election campaign, our MP stated that he would be exploring buying out the ‘expensive privately-financed hospitals across the county’.  Whilst removing the hideous PFI debt would be a welcome move, could this potentially put at risk the area of land with the newer hospital building? At the moment it could be argued that the debt on that building is what is keeping our hospital where it is.

More recently, Bucks Healthcare have snuck in the sentence ‘There are plans afoot for the redevelopment of a number of departments, notably inpatient accommodation’ on their website, however they fail to provide any further information, despite reassurance at a recent HASC meeting to patients that no changes would be made without involving them.

It’s important that a full assessment report of the Tower Building is put into the public’s hands. We’ve all heard rumours about issues it has, but why can’t it be revamped like the college building which is of similar age?

college facelift

And if this really is not possible, then a building of equal capacity needs to be built on the hospital site BEFORE the tower block is removed. This is surely possible if done in stages.

‘Care in the community’ is a phrase that’s bandied about in order to justify removal of hospital beds. However even if successfully implemented, with an increasing population there is still the need for a building with the Tower Block’s capacity. In fact only last year did a patient claim to be kept on a mattress on the floor due to a shortage of beds.

Any redevelopments of the Wycombe Hospital site need to involve staff, patients and the general public from the start. Our local area has had enough ‘sham’ ‘consultations’ for a lifetime!

Importantly, our hospital site must be protected.  If there really are no ‘vested interests’ there will be no issue with keeping hands off our hospital land.

 

(1) http://www.phillip-lee.com/wp-content/uploads/the-royal-thames-valley-hospital.pdf

(2) http://www.stevebaker.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Wycombe_11thSep-cropped-FINAL.pdf

Pledges

Pledges signed by Wycombe’s Parliamentary Candidates

2015-05-03 15.45.12

Signed by: Jem Bailey (Green Party) Steve Guy (Liberal Democrats), David Williams (Labour Party), Steve Baker (Conservatives)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Signed Pledge cropped

Jem Bailey (Green Party) signed all,

Steve Guy (Liberal Democrats) signed pledges 2 & 3,

David Williams (Labour Party) signed all,

Steve Baker (Conservatives) refused,

David Meacock (ukip) refused,

David Fitton (Independent) not approached.

The Celeb Files

We’ve had lots of interaction with celebrities, check back in the next few weeks to learn more! Phil Vickery Steve Hewlett and ArthurGabby Logan 2015-08-31

Twitter Followers

celeb twitter followers2

Retweeted the Funding Petition

celeb files pics2

(https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire)

Sent in hands for our poster

celebs hands

Post under construction – more to follow!

Location, Location, Location/ Where The Heart Is…

Image adapted from Google Maps

Image adapted from Google Maps

Our hospital land’s history was briefly mentioned in the letter to our Prime Minister (1) and we can learn more from Blogger Ivor (2) who states: ‘The people of Wycombe should not forget that the first hospital built on the Marlow Hill site was the Cottage Hospital paid for by the people of Wycombe to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War. Indeed the plaques commemorating the fallen from High Wycombe and surrounding villages are still on display by the main entrance door of the modern day hospital.’  

Further detail on our hospital’s history can be found in Frances Alexander’s comment:

Frances

On a personal level, having used the hospital with various different hats on, I can think of several reasons why its location is important to me. For example, it’s proximity to the bus station and being just one bus journey away from home facilitated being able to work independently as a young teenager in the role of a volunteer.  A handful of times I was able to complete a Sunday shift whilst employed by the NHS and jump on a train straight back to university. At the time, the Occupational Health department was on the hospital site and we could just nip in for our appointments. Whilst Cressex is only a short distance away, you can’t help but wonder the extra amount of time taken off work now, particularly by those who don’t drive.

Small things like being able to pop into town after work and pick up a present or bits for dinner add up and can make a difference.  The NHS is one of our largest employers. The convenience of being close to Wycombe’s town centre facilities can’t really be measured and surely impacts positively on the economy.

With many people employed in the town centre, our hospital’s location has a positive effect on them too. The difference of being able to spend longer at work on a day of a hospital appointment as you’re only walking distance away, or being able to pop in on a poorly relative, without adding the strain of an additional bus journey.

But as ever, this isn’t about me, and while I could go on typing about the reasons why I think our hospital’s location is important, it’s time to hear more from you. Please feel free to add your reasons, some collected on Facebook can be viewed below.

*Why is it important to you that our hospital is located on Queen Alexandra Road?*

Robyn

EmmaSJ Emma 2   Helen

(1) https://savewycombehospital.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/letter-to-our-prime-minister/

(2) http://www.wycombetoday.com/2014-10-14-hands-up-to-save-wycombe-hospital/