Letter sent to Bucks Free Press "It’s always good to monitor the promises of politicians. Steve Baker reminded us a few weeks ago that “Wycombe hospital and the NHS” was one of his three priorities.
He also reminded us that he had “pledged 5 action points” on health during the general election in May. He said he had taken steps to deliver on his pledges and looked forward to providing updates.
He is a busy man at the moment, what with organising the campaign to leave the EU, and may not have enough time to concentrate on Wycombe issues. So I thought I would give him a bit of help and provide an update on one of the pledges he mentions - to demand an NHS Urgent Care Centre at Wycombe.
This frankly is a bit of a puzzle because the development of a new urgent care service was already a objective for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust before Steve Baker made his pledge (corporate objective no 5.1 if wants to look it up). So the new urgent care service didn’t get agreed in response to any demands Steve Baker made. So I don’t think we can count this as delivery on the pledge.
However, perhaps Steve Baker demand has been for quicker progress on an urgent care centre. In this case, he must be a bit disappointed. Since his pledge in May 2015, the timetable for the new service has slipped by a year from April 2016 to April 2017. So we can’t count that as delivery on the pledge either.
It would be really helpful to know exactly what our local MP is demanding – and to whom – and how he is helping to get whatever it is he is demanding delivered. Mind you, Wycombe Labour have been asking the question for about a year now but with no answer.
We suspect this is not so much a pledge as totally meaningless rhetoric.
In the meantime, it would be helpful to know what our local MP thinks about the Trust’s current financial problems - £6 million in deficit as at the last report for November 2015 and with an ever widening gap between financial plans and outturn. This is mostly caused by a forecast spend of £27 million on temporary staff.
Happy to provide updates on Steve Baker’s other health pledges on request.