There was a fantastic turnout at a protest which was held outside Marlow community hospital on Wednesday 5th April to demonstrate against the closure of beds at Marlow and Thame hospitals.
During the protest dozens of people chanted ‘Hand Back Our Hospitals’ and called for the beds to be reopened.
From Saturday 1st April 2017 twenty overnight beds closed in a 6 month ‘pilot’ and more diagnostics will take place in ‘community hubs’. The SaveWycombeHospital campaign group is deeply concerned about the closure of these wards. The public were full of praise for the staff and care they received from them in the past.
SaveWycombeHospital campaign leader Miss Ozma Hafiz said : ‘Buckinghamshire has received less funding for some time resulting in centralisation of services such as A&E and maternity. Now under ‘Sustainability and Transformation plans’ (STPs) the NHS is being forced to make more savings, resulting in the removal of our community hospital beds. These changes have been rushed through without proper public consultation and when social care is already struggling.
The Buckinghamshire community has been badly let down by the lack of scrutiny of these plans. Other councils are putting the needs of their residents first by rejecting the STP plans, we deserve the same. Our MPs must also step up and champion more funding for our NHS.
Additional resources need to go into prevention to help keep people safe and well. Bed closures in the county will impact other hospitals in and around Bucks, this affects us all. The John Radcliffe already cancelled ‘non-urgent’ operations over the winter due to a shortage of beds. The Trust needs to reopen these beds and redeploy the excellent staff teams. We need proper public consultations on the whole of our STP.‘
It is feared that these bed closures will be rolled out to other community hospitals. A petition reached 1000 signatures in under two days and was submitted to local decision makers. It can be found on the SaveWycombeHospital campaign website at www.savewycombehospital.co.uk.
The SaveWycombeHospital campaign group is encouraging resident to use their voices by writing to their MPs, local councillors, GPs and attending local meetings.
The petition, organised by SaveWycombeHospital, is available at the following link: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-further-downgrades-of-buckinghamshire-s-hospitals-including-community-hospitals.
Further information on the SaveWycombeHospital campaign can be found on Twitter at @HandBackOurHosp.