Campaigners who have fought to return A&E services to Wycombe Hospital say it is a “real shame” that the town’s MP did not invite them to discussions with a top NHS leader.

Professor Jonathan Benger visited the hospital with Wycombe MP Steve Baker last month and advised that returning the A&E department would be “impractical” – but an urgent care centre could be introduced instead.

Ozma Hafiz, from the Save Wycombe Hospital campaign group, said Professor Benger appeared to be “just repeating the government line”.

She said: “Accepting this model of care, may mean not enough is being done to ensure the recruitment and training of staff, this could prove disastrous.

“I await further answers to questions but currently think it would be unfair for local politicians to pose outside an Urgent Treatment Centre sign without confirming what services differentiate it from the current MIIU [Minor Injuries and Illnesses Unit] and whether as a result of becoming an UTC, we will actually lose services e.g. services going to the private sector or the closure of GP surgeries.

“We do not support privatisation or dismantling of our NHS by the back door as there is evidence that the NHS is the best model of health care.”

Ms Hafiz added that their campaign will continue because “we all deserve better”, saying: “The logic and evidence for the decision to create an UTC needs to be made public and scrutinised fully. 

"We will continue to fight to ensure the health needs of the residents of High Wycombe and surrounding areas are met.”