The Bucks Free Press has reported on a campaign to return an A&E unit to Wycombe Hospital.
I took the decision at the General Election to tell the truth as I understand it: Wycombe will not, and should not, see the return of an old-style A&E which would take medical care backwards.
I came into politics to do what I could to set our political system right. It’s why I voted for full MP recall, why I am campaigning to take back control of political power from the unaccountable EU and it is why I decided to have the moral courage to tell the truth about A&E at General Election 2015.
That’s why my main election leaflet was dominated by a letter to Wycombe residents on “Urgent health care in Wycombe”. A scan of the outside of the leaflet is above and the letter text is below. It was sent to the first elector in every household in the Wycombe constituency.
The right solution is to retain our first-class heart and stroke services in combination with a modern Urgent Care Centre. I have written about this extensively: you can find these articles here. In particular, this article summarises what I am calling on the NHS to deliver.
I stood for re-election in Wycombe on a platform which set out the truth on A&E as I understood it. The electors of Wycombe increased the Conservative majority from 9,560 to 14,856 and I received phone calls from electors who do not usually vote Conservative, thanking me for being honest about it, pledging their vote.
I will not now betray that confidence by turning away from what I know to be right. I will continue to demand the best possible health care in Wycombe and that does not mean a return to medicine which made bed rest the treatment for heart attack. Today, more people live and live better lives because medicine has improved.
My letter to the electors of Wycombe at the General Election 2015 was as follows:
20 April 2015
Dear Wycombe Resident,
Urgent health care in Wycombe
I want you and your family to have the best possible NHS health care, around the clock and close to home. That is why I am demanding an NHS Urgent Care Centre in Wycombe.
When Wycombe Hospital was built in the 1960s, the treatment for a heart attack was bed rest. With advances in medicine, many conditions including heart attack, stroke and major trauma are now treated in specialist units. Consequently, for example, if you have a heart attack now you are five times for likely to live.
Traditional A&E departments gave peace of mind, but there can be no return to the days of bed rest for heart attacks. Full-scale, modern hospitals require a minimum population of 500,000 to operate safely. With only 170,000 in Wycombe District, the NHS must serve the whole county. It would not be credible to propose moving the facilities at Stoke Mandeville to Wycombe.
Wycombe Hospital is the local centre for heart and stroke care, two of the three biggest killers alongside cancer. Trauma is treated in Oxford. So today, if you have a heart attack or stroke in our county, the ambulance will bring you to Wycombe. If you suffer a serious road traffic accident, you will be taken to the regional trauma unit. This I to ensure you receive the best possible treatment.
For Wycombe then, the best and right way to deliver modern urgent care for local people is to bring together access to emergency heart and stroke treatment, together with essential support for the elderly and GP-led urgent care for families and individuals. This is called an NHS Urgent Care Centre. The British Medical Journal has shown these centres can help around 4 out of 5 people who choose to attend A&E departments.
I am certain this is the right plan for the people of Wycombe. This is why I am backing NHS England’s proposals for Urgent Care Centres at hospitals like ours.
For more information, please see www.stevebaker.info/tag/nhs