11:36AM, Friday 11 January 2013
The third public meeting to introduce the idea of building a 'superhospital' on land near Maidenhead was held in the town last night.
About 40 people attended the Holiday Inn to hear Dr Phillip Lee MP speak about his vision for the £500million Royal Thames Valley Hospital, which could be sited on land at junction 8/9.
Two other meetings have already been held in Bracknell, Dr Lee's political constituency, and Marlow.
The Maidenhead meeting was attended by a number of Royal Borough councillors, as well as Theresa May MP; herself a long-term supporter of the idea of a hospital for the town.
Dr Lee, who has worked as a GP in hospitals including St Mark's and Heatherwood, told the gathering he believes the hospital is a 'viable project' and 'the best solution for the region'.
"I think that if we can secure this, if we can build this hospital, that everybody in this room would be better off. Everybody in this area will have access to better services," he said.
The proposal came under fire from some at the meeting who criticised the plot of land suggested for the hospital - a space between the A308, M4 and Ascot Road, for reasons including the fact it is in the greenbelt.
But both Dr Lee and Mrs May stressed the plan is in its very early stages and the plot in question is not the final answer, but has been suggested because it is a central location within the east Berkshire area - which includes Slough, Windsor, Ascot, Burnham and Twyford.
Dr Lee has suggested selling off St Mark's Hospital and Wexham Park Hospital to help finance the project, adding the services currently available there would be supplemented by the new facility.
He believes it could also house a primary trauma centre - the nearest to the area at the moment is John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford - as well as 24-hour cardiac and stroke units.
Further public meetings about the hospital are set to take place in other locations including Slough and High Wycombe over the coming months.
See next week's Advertiser for a full report from the meeting.
Comment: What do you think of Dr Lee's idea? Leave your thoughts below.
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