Fears over the future of Marlow Community Hospital have been quashed by health bosses, who insist there are “no plans” to close it.  

The community hospital, on Victoria Road, provides 24-hour rehabilitative care and terminal care for acute medical patients, but rumours suggested that it could close down, with a petition set up to save it.

Healthcare campaigner, Ozma Hafiz, organised the petition, urging Bucks Healthcare Trust, along with Bucks County Council and the Bucks and Oxford Clinical Commissioning Group’s not to downgrade any of the county’s hospitals, including Marlow’s.

The petition, which warns that the hospital is “at risk of losing beds” was launched in the wake of the heavily-criticised closure of ward 5B at Wycombe Hospital.

So far, it has gathered more than 1,200 signatures, including one from Catherine Branson, a Marlow resident, who said: “Please do not take away any more of our much-needed facilities at any hospitals. All the staff I have met, and that is quite a few over the past twenty years or so, are so hard-working and dedicated.”

Miss Hafiz added: “Our hospital land must be protected, as must our invaluable hospital services and community hospitals.

“At a time when the NHS is desperately short of beds and social care is struggling, closures of wards would be unacceptable.

“I urge residents to contact their local MPs and ask them to champion more funding for the NHS. HS2 money, for example, could be spent on improving the existing network and the NHS. Other local decision-makers must be brave and call for the funding that our health services clearly need. 

“We need everyone to speak up for our NHS. Patients and potential patients' needs must come first. Staff deserve better.

“Thank you to everyone for a fantastic response to our new petition in such a short space of time. The fact that we got to 1000 so quickly speaks volumes.’’

In response to the concerns of residents, a spokesman for the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust told the Marlow Free Press that they are not planning to close Marlow’s hospital, but are pressing on with plans for “community hubs”, which will look at how care services provided in the community can be developed. 

Their statement said: “We would like to reassure people that there are no plans to relocate Marlow Hospital. On the contrary, we want to expand and provide more care closer to people’s homes.

“Over the last year we have been working with our partners, staff and the public to discuss and develop a vision for ‘community hubs’ – exploring how we can bring together health, care and the voluntary sector to support people to manage their health and wellbeing.

“These discussions are still ongoing and we are committed to continuing to involve our communities and create hubs that will best meet the needs of local people.”