500 signatures reached
To: Planning Policy Team, Wycombe District Council
Expansion of Wycombe Hospital as an option for a full consultation on the Office Outlet site
The Office Outlet site (formerly Staples) is next door to Wycombe Hospital. The local plan mentions redevelopment of the Office Outlet site. We ask that there should be a full public consultation on the use of the office outlet site with the expansion of the hospital e.g. staff car park and full maternity unit as options.
Why is this important?
The location of Wycombe Hospital is vital for the town. It is close to the train and bus stations making this of key importance for patients, their families and staff from the town and neighbouring villages. It is close to the M40 and A404 / M4 via Marlow Hill, and to the town centre. It also has historical relevance. The land was given to the people of the town as a memorial to the Great War and should be used for its intended purpose – as a hospital.
Since the downgrades at Wycombe hospital, which began in 2005, many people have suffered.
Neighbouring hospitals Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park have been overwhelmed, with both having been in ‘special measures’ and ‘black status’ in recent years.
More than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling for the funding to restore key services to Wycombe Hospital (1) and there have been other sizeable petitions.
A recent report from the BBC (2) showed that our hospitals are already under pressure with the current population. Targets are not being met in A&E waiting times, Cancer care, and Planned operations and care.
Thousands of new homes have been planned for Buckinghamshire however the present infrastructure isn’t coping. Therefore it makes sense to expand hospital provision and as the Office Outlet site is next door to the hospital this would be the obvious and most sensible location for the expansion.
HS2 construction will make an already difficult journey to Stoke Mandeville more congested. In 2014 the main route to Stoke was flooded. In 2013 a fire at Stoke Mandeville hospital, whilst dealt with quickly, demonstrated a flaw in mass centralisation of services.
A town the size of High Wycombe, deserves services here, not only for our benefit, but for all those around us.
A minor injuries unit/urgent care centre and midwife-led birthing centre, is not sufficient to sustain a population of over 170,000 situated close to the motorway. Chiltern CCG commission services for over 320,000 people and yet within that we don’t have many resources including an A&E, Dr-led births or overnight children’s services.
There have been some reports of patients dying, considered to be due to the distance to Stoke Mandeville and ambulance waits. All of this before the proposed growth in housing. Wycombe doesn’t have the infrastructure for the increase in population. The hospital site must be safeguarded, and expansion of the hospital site added as an option to the local plan. Some possible uses for the Office Outlet site should it be redeveloped, include a full maternity unit with Dr-led births next door to a midwife-led centre and Special Care Baby Unit. Another option would be increased car park provision for staff. There is evidence that staff currently struggle to find spaces (3)
Paragraph 5.1.135 (4) Mentions
‘2. Result in no net loss of parking
b) Not prejudice any future development of Wycombe General Hospital’
However a larger building would a) require more parking spaces to match the new capacity and b) potentially prejudice future development of the hospital as it could hinder the expansion of the hospital
5.1.137 ‘The site is well located for office/retail uses’ and 5.1.135 should be amended to include hospital use. Clearly the transport connections and location mentioned in this paragraph make it an ideal site for the hospital.
There should be a full public consultation on the use of the office outlet site, Queen Alexandra Road, with the expansion of the hospital e.g. staff car park and full maternity unit as options.
(2) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41483322 (Oct 2017)