Parliament recommenced today 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 – i.e. 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 . 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  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.
Miss Ozma Hafiz
Thank you for your letter and kind words. I stand by what I said in writing and at hustings in the course of the election campaign which concluded just 12 days ago.
I will always pursue the best interests of the public in Wycombe in all things.
Steve Baker MP
Thank you for your swift response.
I look forward to you addressing some of the issues raised in the coming few weeks.