The SaveWycombeHospital campaign group is inviting residents to attend a community protest rally on Saturday 22nd October 2016 to show they want downgrades to stop and services including A&E and full maternity restored to Wycombe Hospital.
The event will take place at 2.30pm in the grounds of the All Saints Parish Church in Castle Street, High Wycombe, HP13 6RF (opposite Primark).
A photograph will be taken for #HandsUpForAHandBack followed by short speeches from people who support the cause.
Miss Ozma Hafiz said: ‘One month before the autumn statement, let’s show that our NHS is a priority.
Decisions are being made under ‘Sustainability and Transformation plans’ which could see us losing more. Decisions about us really shouldn’t be made without us. However my Freedom of Information request asking for a copy of our local STP plan was rejected.
The NHS is being forced to make £22 billion worth of efficiency savings, despite being the most cost-effective, efficient health service in the world (Independent Commonwealth fund report) and we are below the OECD average in terms of health spending. I truly hope I and others are wrong, but locally, over the next few years, it is believed this will result in losses of services from other local hospitals including Reading and Stoke Mandeville.
Horton hospital in Banbury, which has also been grouped in within our STP ‘footprint’ has recently lost Dr-led births to Oxford and we recently lost carotid surgery to them too (without the expected public consultation).
It’s almost as though the ‘super’ hospital concept has reared its ugly head again. Stick the words ‘super’ or ‘centre of excellence’ in and the public are meant to believe that it’s better for us. However with carotid surgery, there was clear local evidence that the operations had good/better outcomes here. (There are dissertations to be had with the issues with this).
Now some of the sickest, most vulnerable patients are having to endure extra travelling and potentially additional recovery time, due to this move. This will impact their loved ones too, many who will have to take additional time off work or have their own health issues. There are fears for staff moral, I’m told our Dr-led births were one of the best in the country and we lost excellent staff when mergers with Stoke Mandeville were announced.‘
Miss Hafiz also said: ‘Whilst there may be some good things in our local STP plan, it’s hard to know with it being hidden from us. I think we can expect to see other losses locally. Lynton House Surgery was saved (for now) however over the next five years, if we continue down this path, we can expect to see GP closures and selling of land due to underfunding.
Patients need ‘safe’ places. They need easily accessible, familiar GP surgeries they can potter in to, not big, far away monsters with intimidating long corridors.
They need easily accessible, familiar local pharmacies. They need a fully functioning hospital restored to Queen Alexandra road. There is a place for tertiary centres, but lines have been crossed. We don’t send every poorly child to Great Ormond street, District General hospitals have a role and local care is important.
The latest response we have received from the Department of Health disappointingly appears to give no weight to a report by local Healthwatch which states that the stress, anxiety and cost associated with getting to appointments has become a major issue.
Our other points including potential disruption caused by HS2 construction, flooding along the route to Stoke Mandeville and the fire at Stoke (which whilst dealt with quickly, demonstrates another flaw in mass centralisation) were also seemingly ignored.
The campaign continues to receive support from across the political spectrum. It’s important that we make a stand. Not only for our sake, but the other hospitals up and down the country that are fast following suit.
The fact that we are campaigning 10 years on from when downgrades began should speak volumes. Imagine if concerns about staffing levels had been truly championed by Bucks NHS back then.
It’s not too late for us to change the direction that the NHS is headed, if we act now. It’s important that people don’t think that ‘someone else is dealing with this’.
This is OUR hospital and OUR NHS. Please stand up for yourselves and your families, for future generations, for the other hospitals which are following suit, and importantly, for those in our community who can’t come out – for the vulnerable, the voiceless.‘
Further information on the SaveWycombeHospital campaign can be found at the following :
Email : [email protected]
Tweet : @HandBackOurHosp
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/savewycombehospital/
Webpage : www.savewycombehospital.com