Steve Baker outside Wycombe Hospital
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Last night, while I attended the Wycombe Conservative Association AGM, Paul Goodman MP attended a meeting just outside the new constituency boundaries to consider the future of Wycombe Hospital and Marlow Community Hospital.

Via the Bucks Free Press, Health bosses slammed for not appearing at public meeting:

HEALTH bosses were lambasted tonight for sending no one to face questions from members of the public worried about the future of Wycombe Hospital.

Speakers slammed The Primary Care Trust and NHS Buckinghamshire for saying nobody was available to attend, describing their decision as “appalling” and “scandalous”.

Around 200 residents attended the meeting at Great Marlow School, Bobmore Lane, Marlow, which was organised by Marlow People’s Action Group.

Many expressed their fears for the future of Wycombe Hospital and Marlow Community Hospital in Glade Road – despite strong denials this week from health chiefs that either is in danger.

Members of the public are quite right that the NHS is insufficiently accountable to local people. Buckinghamshire health services are underfunded. On top of it all, clinical professionals carry an unacceptable burden of bureaucracy and reorganisation.

This is why I am calling for fair funding, local control and freedom for clinical professionals. As Paul pointed out, becoming a self-governing Foundation Trust would help enormously and we can only achieve that with fair funding. Further local control can be achieved with local commissioning by GPs. Please show your support by signing the petition below.

Meanwhile, we must pursue our campaign for local hospital services against the backdrop provided by today’s Daily Telegraph, which claims:

Tens of thousands of NHS workers would be sacked, hospital units closed and patients denied treatments under secret plans for £20 billion of health cuts.

The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped.

The plans have emerged as health chiefs draw up emergency budgets that cast doubt on pledges by Gordon Brown to protect “front line services” in the NHS.

Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country.

Before voting, the public deserve to know the choice they face.

I was delighted that Labour agent Mr Barlow hailed Paul as a “fantastic MP”. I can assure him and all electors that I have every intention of diligently taking forward Paul’s great work.

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