Aim high for the care of Wy­combe

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

An open let­ter to Steve Baker MP PAR­LIA­MENT has recom­menced and I’d like to congratulate you once again on be­ing elected as MP for High Wy­combe. Hav­ing seen you at Fri­day night meet­ings when we were both in SOHS, I know that Wy­combe has once again gained a con­sci­en­tious and hard­work­ing MP.

It is for this rea­son that I would like to say please aim higher than an Ur­gent Care Cen­tre for Wy­combe.

While I fully ap­pre­ci­ate that it is af­ter hard work that you have set­tled on the con­cept of an Ur­gent Care Cen­tre, hav­ing one here would be an in­sult. Not only to all the hard work that you have done, but to the peo­ple of Wy­combe and sur­rounds who de­serve bet­ter.

As I un­der­stand it, it would be lit­tle more than what we have al­ready – ie the MIIU, Car­diac/ Stroke Unit and Out of Hours GPs work­ing bet­ter to­gether. We very much need other ser­vices such as overnight chil­dren’s ser­vices, full ma­ter­nity, re­s­pi­ra­tory and gas­tro ser­vices back in Wy­combe. The com­ments and sto­ries I’ve been hear­ing from pa­tients and their fam­i­lies con­firm this. In spite of ask­ing, I am yet to see any ev­i­dence that th­ese ser­vices are do­ing bet­ter since be­ing cen­tralised. Re­ally we need a proper holis­tic anal­y­sis into the changes that have oc­curred to ser­vices lo­cally, not only for our sake but for the other hos­pi­tals now fol­low­ing suit.

The fact that the Dur­row re­port had the au­dac­ity to have a date be­yond 2020 on the front cover is chill­ing [1]. We need to start plan­ning for a re­turn of ser­vices now, par­tic­u­larly so that we can en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate staff can be re­cruited.

On one of your elec­tion leaflets, ex­plor­ing buy­ing out the ‘ex­pen­sive pri­vately-fi­nanced hos­pi­tals across the county’ is men­tioned.

Know­ing that the PFI debt is one of the things that keeps hos­pi­tal ser­vices on Queen Alexan­dra road, should you suc­ceed in get­ting Bucks County Coun­cil to pay off the (hideous) debt, would this then put part or all of the hos­pi­tal site at risk of be­ing sold off ? What re­as­sur­ances can be given that this wouldn’t be the case? Those who care about the en­hanced qual­ity of life that hav­ing ser­vices in the town cen­tre brings along with the his­tory of the site [2] are nat­u­rally con­cerned about its fu­ture. This con­cern is am­pli­fied by the fact that in MP Lee’s re­port, cal­cu­la­tions have been done on how much the land would be worth.

It would also be help­ful, for me and oth­ers, if you would clar­ify how your con­cept of mu­tu­al­i­sa­tion dif­fers from what has oc­curred at Hinch­ing­brooke. (I’m sure that none of us would want that dis­as­ter re­peated here).

As health­care is such a large topic, there is al­ways more to say, but for now I’d like to con­clude with – please aim high. You de­serve bet­ter. We all do.

OZMA HAFIZ www.savewycombe­hos­pi­tal.word­

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