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Photo protest by campaign group SaveWycombeHospital set to continue

| April 28, 2018

A picture protest that took place on Tuesday 24th April 2018 calling for beds in Buckinghamshire’s hospitals to be reopened and further downgrades to stop is set to continue.

Organised by campaign group SaveWycombeHospital, 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.

The photo protest was timed to coincide with a meeting of Buckinghamshire County Council’s HASC committee meeting on Tuesday 24th April 2018 at which a pilot at Marlow and Thame, which resulted in another 20 overnight bed closures, was due to be discussed.

The idea of the photo protest 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.

On the day pictures were received from across Buckinghamshire 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, the 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.

Photos and comments can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted in to @HandBackOurHosp and posted on the Save Wycombe Hospital Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/savewycombehospital/. People can also write to their local councillors. The campaign remains whole community friendly and apolitical.

The SaveWycombeHospital campaign group petition can be viewed at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-further-downgrades-of-buckinghamshire-s-hospitals-including-community-hospitals.

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