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Doctor Phillip Lee calls for new hospital within 20 mins of High Wycombe
DETAILED proposals to build a major new hospital within 20 minutes of High Wycombe have been drawn up by a Berkshire MP.
Doctor Phillip Lee, Conservative MP for Bracknell, has produced a 66-page report which calls for a ‘Royal Thames Valley Hospital’ to be built at Junction 8/9 of the M4 motorway.
This would mean Wycombe patients travelling south along the A404 dual carriageway.
He says the £750 million hospital should provide a full range of acute services, serving south Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and south east Oxfordshire.
It would be financed largely by selling off existing hospital sites such as Wexham Park, along with parts of others such as Wycombe.
This is likely to be hugely controversial, though Wycombe Hospital has already lost key services such as A&E and inpatient maternity wards, meaning many patients have to travel to Aylesbury.
Dr Lee went to school in Marlow and has worked at Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park hospitals, as well as about 50 GP practices around the Thames Valley.
He said he produced the report because he has a “deep understanding” of healthcare services in the region and “no one else was going to do it”.
The proposal to centralise acute and emergency services in one location would be expected to improve clinical excellence, while also aiming to be the most cost-effective way to tackle the increasing demand for services.
Dr Lee says the new hospital would be in close proximity to Slough, Maidenhead, Bracknell, Windsor, Ascot, High Wycombe, Henley and Wokingham, which are all within about 20 minutes of the proposed site.
Meanwhile, hospital sites such as Wycombe would be further reduced to provide lower level ‘community’ care, with other community facilities such as Marlow Cottage Hospital retained. The proposal would not directly affect Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Dr Lee adds: “The Royal Thames Valley Hospital would represent a unique opportunity to make 21st century personalised healthcare a reality.
“Replacing out-dated hospitals with a brand new, purpose-built facility, together with the implementation of a new healthcare model to bring care closer to home, would transform the lives of over 650,000 people.”
The Wycombe-based Save Our Hospital Services campaign group has agreed to meet Dr Lee and says his proposal should be opened up to public debate.
See next week's Bucks Free Press for more reaction. See related links to read the full report, which includes maps of the proposed location.