Save Wycombe Hospital campaign leader Ozma Hafiz is appealing for stories from patients who would have been using beds at Marlow and Thame Community hospitals. Overnight beds were closed in April 2017 for a ‘community hub’ pilot.
She said: ”I’m deeply concerned about where patients who would have used the wards at Marlow and Thame hospitals are. A War Veteran had to fight not to be sent to a care home 30 miles away. I worry for patients who won’t be able to challenge things. Time was also spent in Wexham Park which could have been avoided had he been cared for at Marlow Community Hospital. Closures of beds at Wycombe and Marlow have contributed to a severe bed shortage in Bucks, which has resulted in patients being affected nationally. Beds needed for National Spinal Injury Centre patients are being used by general admissions.”
Marian Mulady from Marlow said: ”My husband recently died from kidney failure after several months of increasing disability. Had Marlow Hospital still been open that was where he should have been, but as things now are he remained at home with the help of paid private carers and nurse back up from a charity.
The District nurse team is under great strain due to the inability to recruit sufficient nurses so there was very little support from that quarter.
There were times when I felt overwhelmed but we both had to soldier on. The so called ‘hub’ has yet to achieve any community support from demonstrable success whereas the beds are sorely missed.”
Health campaigner Linda Derrick said ”My best analogy is with lung cancer. It is right that we spend resources discouraging people from smoking. However, we still have to spend resources diagnosing and treating lung cancer for a long time yet. There would be an uproar if we decided to increase resources on discouraging smoking at the expense of resources on treating lung cancer but this is what these transformation programmes are all about. We are cutting essential services before the benefits of the preventative services can feed through.”
Ozma added: ”How are GPs replicating the daily ward rounds that these inpatients had, when they are currently under so much strain? I also worry for carers, many of them are elderly themselves and have their own health conditions. If we really care about prevention, the overnight beds wouldn’t be closed. I worry for the voices we won’t hear but hope some people will be able to come forward with their experiences. Where are the patients who would have used these much used and needed Marlow beds?”
Stories can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org People are also being encouraged to send their concerns to their politicians and the ‘Scrutiny Committee’ at Bucks County Council.