OPEN LETTER TO STEVE BAKER MP
Approximately 11 months ago I sent you an image of a child at Stoke Mandeville on a makeshift bed made of two chairs put together. The image had already been on social media and I had permission to share it with you however it was a difficult image to attach.
It is upsetting to learn that Stoke Mandeville continues to be overwhelmed. In fact there have at times been calls for patients who can go home to do so and come back the next day. What has been done since that image was taken to make life easier for staff, patients and their families?
It is distressing knowing that the STP process will mean more hospitals will be downgrading. Hospitals like Huddersfield which serves a town/population not too dissimilar to ours. You can view how busy Huddersfield hospital is here: http://www.examiner.co.uk/…/revealedhuddersfield-ae-patien…
The continued downgrade of the busy Horton General will increase the strain on Oxford’s John Radcliffe.
More operations at the JR were cancelled today: www. oxfordmail.c o. uk / …/ 1 5 0 2 2 1 8 8 . HOSPITAL_C RISIS__ Al…/
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.
Please speak up for the other hospitals facing downgrades.
You are aware of the many difficulties people face here since Wycombe lost doctor-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. I have attached an image showing how the UK compares with other countries in terms of bed numbers.
Please ensure the NHS gets the funding it needs. An example is HS2 money could be spent on the existing network and the NHS. (Also did the last budget really contain tax cuts at a time when there are NHS staff attending food banks?!)
Please ensure the Department of Health understands that Wycombe and surrounds needs its own fully functioning hospital here, and that that is reflected in any A&E redesign/refurbishment at Wexham Park. Urgent action also needs to be taken to ensure the recruitment, retention and training of staff.
Please ensure the NHS has funding so that busy GP surgeries like Lynton House can be open full time again. Currently the surgery is only open part time due to a lack of money.
Any money earmarked for social care must be brought forward to reduce the burden on the NHS. Billions of pounds worth of cuts in social care have added to the strain. 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.
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?
Our last letter to the Treasury was sadly referred to the Department of Health. I hope you will be able to take forward the points made: https://savewycombehospital.word- press.com/…/an-openletter…/
Evidence shows that the NHS is the most cost effective, efficient health care system in the world. Yet we spend less of our GDP on health than many EU countries. I’m told that the NHS doesn’t fit everyone’s ideology. If this is the case then it’s OK to look at the evidence and have an exception.
A sign change to an urgent care centre simply isn’t good enough.
If Wycombe is to have an urgent care centre, it should be next door to an A&E department so that patients can be triaged accordingly. I appreciate that you commissioned consultants Durrow to advise you on Wycombe hospital.
However you must accept that their involvement in the downgrades of Wycombe made it unlikely that they would advocate the return of full maternity and A&E to Wycombe hospital. Their use of ‘casualty department’ for what is essentially a minor injuries unit showed a severe lack of understanding of public conceptions and needs.
I look forward to seeing you as our MP, truly champion our hospital, county, and NHS.