A leading health campaigner has called for “honesty and transparency” after the BFP revealed news of a temporary closure of Ward 5B in Wycombe hospital this week.

Ozma Hafiz, who was behind the 10,000-strong petition delivered to Downing Street last Friday which wants fairer funding for the NHS in Bucks, said wards should not be closed without full consultation with the public, and tried and tested measures fully in place and “working at a high standard”.

She said: “I appreciate that they are under financial pressure but patients and their families’ needs need to come first.

“This ward may be considered on a health and social care borderline, but the fact that it was used in the past year shows that there is a need for it.”

Ward 5B, which cares for ‘frail older people’ is under threat from closure, with the service being replaced with a £1 million package of "community care".

Ms Hafiz added: “Some of the vulnerable people who are going to be affected by closures to our hospital aren't able to articulate their concerns. We need to stand up for them.

“It's time we had some real honesty and transparency about our hospital building.”