BETTER healthcare in Bucks has caused worse healthcare for those using A & E according to an official NHS document.

The restructuring of hospital services, which included Wycombe losing its emergency medical centre, has been listed top in key reasons for the failure to meet A&E targets at Stoke Mandeville.

But health officials have again stressed that exceptional winter related pressures caused the failure to meet emergency patient targets and said since April the problem has been solved.

The board meeting papers for Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust on May 29 state: "The trust has failed the A&E four hour standard for six months and needs to recover this performance back to the DoH standard of 95 per cent."

"Key reason A) listed below is BHIB - review of new pathways required."

The acronym stands for better healthcare in Bucks, referring to changes in structure which led to the creation of a minor injuries unit at Wycombe Hospital at the latter part of 2012 and the loss of the Emergency Medical Centre, with services switched to Stoke Mandeville.

Wycombe MP Steve Baker said: "The trust do seem to be admitting in that point that BHIB is the key reason for not meeting the target.

"We thought we had been given reassurances at the time about this so its extremely disappointing.

"Some of the claims that have been made that centralising services are in the public interest are looking increasingly untenable.

"The key problem is there's far too little accountability to the public."

Cllr Julia Wassell, who is calling for an investigation into Stoke Mandeville's A&E service, said: "I'm quite certain the reconfiguration of A&E in Bucks has led to immense pressure on Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park and is undoubtedly a major cause of the waiting time and the distress that it causes."

The trust has publicly insisted for months that norovirus and winter pressures have been the prime cause of A&E struggling. This is listen as reason B) in the papers.

Anne Eden, Chief Executive said that the Better Healthcare in Bucks changes were listed in the Board paper simply to put the circumstances behind the challenges in A&E into context.

She said: "We did not fail to meet the A&E standards because of the necessary changes to urgent care services.

"As we have indicated, the prolonged cold weather and outbreak of norovirus put a huge strain on our services and this was a problem that has been seen across the country, not just in Buckinghamshire.

"It is also important to stress that these changes, which were recommended by local doctors, were urgently required to ensure clinical safety for our patients.

"Our staff have worked extremely hard to make improvements and we have been consistently meeting the A&E standard since the start of April. We have also invested £5million in our A&E department which includes a new clinical decision unit, resuscitation area and surgical assessment unit.

"Our specialist cardiac and stroke services remain at Wycombe Hospital and are amongst the best performing in the country."

The trust has also said it is working with local GPs and other health providers to inform the public about all options available to them when they need urgent care, to ensure critically ill and injured patients have rapid access to A&E services.