TORY leader David Cameron vowed to fight NHS cuts when he was confronted with our campaign to stop Wycombe's Accident and Emergency services being closed.

More than 2,000 readers have responded to a form in our sister paper the South Bucks Star urging Health Minister Patricia Hewitt to protect emergency services at Wycombe Hospital.

The names of almost everyone who signed up to the campaign were also printed in the Bucks Free Press on Friday.

There are no official plans to close the A&E, but hospital bosses say further cuts could be forced upon them by the Government and they are unable to guarantee the department's future at Wycombe.

Midweek tracked Mr Cameron down at a Federation of Small Businesses dinner near Thame and asked him whether he supported our petition.

The Tory MP had previously supported the Bucks Free Press Hand Back Our Hospital campaign.

Although he wouldn't be specifically drawn on Don't Do It, Hewitt, Mr Cameron said he was against any more cuts in health services.

Midweek reporter Ann-Marie Canavan spoke to him before the conference. He said: "If you look around the country there is a crisis in the health service; we see community hospitals threatened, accident and emergency departments closing in many hospitals.

"Departments in a lot of major hospitals are closing and this has come about because of the botched Government reforms and because of the endless reorganisations and that's why the Conservative party has been leading such a strong campaign against the NHS cuts and to demonstrate our commitment to a National Health Service."

The issue will also be raised with Tony Blair next week when Bucks County Council's Labour group leader Julia Wassell meets the PM at Number 10.

Cllr Wassell said: "I am seeing Tony Blair on Monday and there are three issues I want to take up with him. The first is the A&E department, the second is housing shortages and the third is amendments to the Mental Health Act.

"I strongly believe we need a walk-in A&E service in Wycombe.

"We have a population of 160,000 and a high number of people with serious conditions.

"We have a growing population and the road to Stoke Mandeville is not easy to negotiate at the best of times especially if you are having any kind of medical emergency."

Cllr Wassell aims to secure an interview with Ms Hewitt from her meeting with Mr Blair so she can deliver our petition in person.