12:15PM, Wednesday 29 January 2014
An MP with a radical plan to transform healthcare in the Thames Valley says he would like to see his dream realised after the next general election.
Dr Phillip Lee, who is a qualified GP and Conservative MP for Bracknell, says he is still 'banging the drum' for a new regional hospital to be built to serve the area as part of wider reforms to make healthcare more sustainable.
The comments come a year after Dr Lee outlined his vision to build a state-of-the-art facility near junction 8/9 of the M4 to a packed audience at a public meeting in Maidenhead.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Dr Lee said he had met with key figures, including the Prime Minister, to discuss the idea and was 'pushing hard on the principle of acute reorganisation across the country'.
He said he was encouraged by the response to his proposals for the Royal Thames Valley Hospital, which would cost about £450m and offer a wealth of services to hundreds of thousands of people across the region.
Concerns had been raised about its proposed location on the outskirts of Maidenhead, but Dr Lee said he still believes the land is the best place to put the hospital.
"The bottom line is this plot of land is at a major artery through Berkshire as it's on a major road between Slough and Reading," he said.
He added: "I think people are going away understanding what I'm trying to do is improve healthcare.
"I'm saying we will get better surgery and better clinical care and you will survive for longer."
Dr Lee said many of his political colleagues were 'beginning to realise' the best way forward and added, with the right local structures in place, the new hospital could still become a reality by the early 2020s.
"I think time will deliver a solution here," he said.
"I think a decision is going to be made in the next parliament."
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).
A teenager who died after getting into difficulty in the Jubilee River has been described as a ‘gentle giant’ in a tribute from his school.