Our NHS is now managed through the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) Integrated Care System (ICS).
So when I heard about a problem with the lack of Healthcare facilities in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, my ears pricked up.
Included in the draft Vale of Aylebury Local Plan there is a plan to build over 3,350 new homes on a site called Hampden Fields on the outskirts of Aylesbury.
This site was recommended for approval by the Planning Committee in February even though the NHS have written to the Council stating that the developer contribution to primary care is not enough and not in the right place.
The same contribution is still included in the draft legal agreement even though the NHS state that this “does not align with the Buckinghamshire health and care system’s strategic vision for the delivery of health and care”.
The Hampden Fields Action Group who object to this development believe that the NHS has told the Council what facilities would be needed to serve the huge patient increase from all the proposed developments in the area but no action has been taken by the Council.
The Action Group have now set up a Parliamentary petition asking for a change to the NPPF to ensure that Planning Authorities must, before they approve (or recommend approval) for any new development have reached agreement with the relevant NHS authorities that the Healthcare provision provided is sufficient.
The petition can be accessed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/584720
I’m sure that most of us would support this petition as there are no increases in health services in our area even with the number of approved planning applications.
My problem is that I don’t believe any promises that we get from our NHS authorities.
The hoped for extension of our Health Centre on Mably Way is still under negotiation and has been promised but not delivered since 2012.
Our in-patient beds in Wantage Community Hospital remain temporarily closed after five years and the project to determine our healthcare needs in OX12 was declared a failure.
When our own Local Plan was inspected we asked for it to be declared unsound because the NHS had not been consulted.
The comment from the Council staff was that the NHS had not responded to any correspondence.
So even if the NHS responds to planning queries, how can we call them to account when the services aren’t delivered?