Tag Archives: Wycombe Hospital

Protest from where you are for Buckinghamshire’s hospitals!

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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/

Bucks NHS – Urgent Action Needed – An open letter to local MPs

Dear local MPs,

You will be aware that as a result of Buckinghamshire not receiving adequate NHS funding, Marlow and Thame lost twenty overnight beds from the 1st April for the ‘community hubs’ ‘pilot’. These bed closures are already affecting people and are likely to be rolled out to our other community hospitals. Bed closures in the county will impact other hospitals in and around Bucks, this affects us all.
This letter is a request that local MPs get together and take swift action to ensure our NHS urgently gets the funding it needs and that those beds are reopened. We must stop ‘Sustainability and Transformation plans’ (STPs) which will result in more hospital downgrades, including ‘1 in 6’ A&Es. Steps also need to be taken to restore Wycombe hospital to a fully functioning one once more.

The community hospital beds closed at the start of this month without adequate public consultation. At the very least there should be a thorough consultation on the whole of our STP plan. Whilst other councils are putting the needs of their communities first and rejecting STPs, once again Buckinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee have failed the population of Bucks with their lack of scrutiny, (having not even looked at basic documents like Equality Impact Assessments before the changes). In fact, this past year’s HASC webcasts contain some somewhat embarrassing content.
At a time when (due to billions of pounds worth of cuts) social care is struggling, and hospitals site missing targets due to ‘bed blocking’ these closures defy common sense. In HASC’s March discharge enquiry meeting, it was discussed that ‘there are not the care home places for people to go into’, and that ‘some care homes won’t accept council funded patients’ so it’s bizarre that there wasn’t more challenge to the plans. Worryingly, not all the community services will be in place for the start of the ‘pilot’.

We engaged fully with the ‘Community Hub’ sessions and bed closures weren’t explicitly discussed. Our petition against further downgrades reached its 1000 signature target in under two days.[1] Our protest had a fantastic turn out.

These beds must be reopened quickly and the excellent staff teams redeployed.

Attached is an image of a child on a makeshift bed made of two chairs put together. It was taken at Stoke Mandeville just over a year ago, and whilst a difficult image to attach, was sent to local decision makers along with details of the experience. Unfortunately, nothing appears to have been done. We had a very difficult winter locally, with Stoke Mandeville in ‘Black alert’, requesting that patients who could go home to do so, and the John Radcliffe cancelling non-urgent operations.
The continued downgrade of the busy Horton General will increase the strain on Oxford’s John Radcliffe. As more housing is being built, including Aylesbury’s garden village, the strain on Stoke Mandeville is only set to increase. In the last couple of years, we have had fires at both Stoke and Wexham. Whilst these were dealt with quickly, they show a big flaw in mass centralisation of services. People have faced many difficulties since Wycombe lost Dr-led births, SCBU and our A&E (with associated wards/departments). Closing more departments/beds when they are overwhelmed and we have a growing population is unacceptable, and distance to services does make a difference. The UK already lags behind many countries in terms of bed numbers.

GP surgeries like Lynton must be given the resources to be open full time again and urgent action needs to be taken to ensure the recruitment, training and retention of staff. Step down wards like 5B should be reopened so that people on the health/social care borderline can be discharged when it is safe. Additional funding is needed for prevention and education, so that we can see the benefit later down the line.

Further hospital downgrades and dissemination of our NHS must be halted.

Buckinghamshire has received less funding for some time and is ahead when it comes to hospital downgrades/centralisation. Yet we are still expected to make millions of pounds of savings under the STP process?
Evidence shows that the NHS is the most cost effective, efficient health care system in the world. Whilst we continue to spend less of our GDP on health than our neighbours, I’m afraid concerns that the NHS is being deliberately set up for privatisation seem justified. Our last letter from the Department of Health mentioned £10bn going into the NHS however this has been disputed, including by the parliamentary Health Select Committee. There is evidence that investing in health results in economic growth [2]

A study at Oxford states that ‘30,000 excess deaths in 2015’ were ‘linked to cuts in health and social care’. [3]
It is time, as our MPs, that you truly champion our hospitals and NHS. I’m aware that an election has been called, but quite frankly this can’t wait until July/September and beyond.

On behalf of concerned residents of Buckinghamshire,

Ozma

Miss Ozma Hafiz

Email: savewycombehospital@live.co.uk

Blog: www.savewycombehospital.co

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

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

[3] http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-02-20-30000-excess-deaths-2015-linked-cuts-health-and-social-care

‘Pause, next time you pass’- Guest Blog

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Image credit: Instagram @sjsearlephotography

Next time you walk in the main front entrance of Wycombe Hospital, pause before you get to the door, and look at the war memorial to the men from High Wycombe who died in two World Wars.

Why there? In front of a hospital?

The story goes back to 1918.

Out of a population of around 20,000, so many young men gave their lives. There were discussions on how best they would be remembered. Lord Carrington had lost his son, Viscount Wendover at the battle of Passchendaele , but the vast majority of the men who died were working class: fathers, sons,brothers. How would they like to be remembered, the town wondered?

Someone suggested that they would be best pleased if they knew that their wives and children were properly cared for in times of illness. And so the War Memorial Hospital came to be built! Lord Carrington gave the piece of land, and from the predominently working class town, sufficient money was raised to create High Wycombe’s War Memorial Hospital. It belonged to the town, and the people were proud of their memorial.

Too soon afterwards, came World War II. Then the excitement of the Labour government, with their wish to bring in a government that cared for everyone, so came the National Health Service, and a new hospital was planned as the town was growing rapidly.

It became Wycombe General Hospital, but in memory of the first hospital in High Wycombe, the memorial to those who died in those two world wars is quietly displayed at its entrance.

Pause, next time you pass.

Frances Alexander

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Image credit: Jan Gaska (http://www.jangaska.co.uk)

 

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

 

 

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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.

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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