HEALTH chiefs have been told patients in the south of the county should be directed to Wexham Park instead of Wycombe Hospital because of a lack of public transport.

Residents hit by a non-emergency medical condition who dial the new NHS 111 number are being told to head to the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit at Wycombe Hospital by operators, it was claimed at a County Hall meeting today.

The Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee heard improvements need to be made to the telephone service so patients are sent to Slough instead.

Cllr Wendy Matthews, Conservative member for Iver Village and Richings Park with South Bucks District Council, said: "People are being directed to the MIIU, which is difficult because there's no transport. A lot of people can't get there. It would be better if there was signposting for more local facilities.

"People either can't get there or need to get friends or family to take them."

Committee chairman Lin Hazell said: "There's absolutely no way - there's no public bus, no rail service, that we can move towards Wycombe unless we have our own vehicle.

"We can arrange that with Slough - there are some buses there - but there's no way we can go to Wycombe.

"We have no alternatives and it seems they are reluctant to move people towards Middlesex or towards Slough."

Referring to the 111 service, Cllr Hazell added: "They see the medical issue but not the mechanics of transport, of moving in and out of these areas."

Annet Gamell, Chief Clinical Officer for the Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "The 111 handler should pick up on the STD code or the mobile mast of exactly where you are and tell you geographically what's around.

"There seems to be an issue, particularly in that deep south, where people are being directed to Wycombe. People should have that choice [to go to Slough] - that's what should be happening."