A VISION for a new hospital by the M4 will be discussed at a public meeting later this month.

Bracknell's MP, Dr Phillip Lee, will present his idea for a new Royal Thames Valley Hospital, possibly at junction 8/9 of the motorway near Maidenhead, and call for a "rethink" of healthcare strategy at the meeting on Tuesday, July 24, in Bracknell.

Dr Lee, who is a practising GP, said: "The National Health Service is under huge financial strain due to an ageing population, growing healthcare costs and the constraints of technical advancements in medical care. Therefore it is of vital importance that hospital sites and services are managed in a cost-effective way." Dr Lee suggests acute and emergency services should be consolidated in fewer locations, and there should be more use of community-based clinics to support chronic conditions.

His ideas for how this could work locally are set out in his Vision Of A Sustainable Healthcare Plan for the Thames Valley, which he published in May.

He said: "My reasoning is that the hospital would be ideally placed to serve the largest proportion of the population within the region, offering excellent patient care and also providing arterial routes to community hospitals where chronic care can be managed.

"Ultimately, I believe that this model of healthcare provision should be adopted nationally and that it could thoroughly improve clinical excellence in the UK." Dr Lee says he has received a large amount of correspondence about the future of local health services and a tally published on his website shows health is the second most common subject of constituents' letters, slightly behind housing. Dr Lee said: "From reading the letters of many of my constituents, I appreciate that healthcare provision is an issue that is both extremely important and that it generates many different points of view. That is why I invite you to attend my public meeting that I am holding to discuss my vision." The meeting will be at 7.30pm on Tuesday, July 24, at the K2 centre at the Kerith Community Centre, in Church Road, in Bracknell town centre.

The full vision document is at www.phillip-lee.com * What do you think of the plans? Have your say below or email letters@bracknellnews.co.uk