Further to my trip to Stoke Mandeville Hospital using the bus service from Wycombe, I asked a Parliamentary Question on the centralisation of health services and the impact this has on transport options for patients. The Minister’s reply is reproduced below:
Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has received no representations on the effect of greater centralisation of health services on transport links. However, we continue to promote the importance of accessibility planning in any decision making and encourage all public bodies to consider the carbon implications of their activities insofar as they relate to transport.
The consideration of carbon implications misses the simple point of better access to hospital services which the centralisation of services can often impede. Patients and their visitors, rightly, would like to have their local hospital within an acceptable time and distance.
Improvements need to be made to ensure more appropriate transport links when thinking about future health policy. It is a line I will continue to pursue.