Patients' champion pledges to strengthen voice of the people

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Richard Taylor, the retired surgeon who became the only independent MP after campaigning to save his local hospital, condemned the Government yesterday as "arrogant, dismissive and unfair".

The 66-year-old who ousted the junior minister David Lock in Wyre Forest, used his maiden speech in the House of Commons to highlight the campaign to save Kidderminster Hospital from closure, the fight that swept him to power.

He said: "My dream is to represent the patients' voice, which is really so weak at the moment."

Dr Taylor told MPs he would campaign for greater openness in decision making and lobby for the voice of ordinary people to be heard in debates.

Speaking during the continuing Queen's Speech debate, Dr Taylor said: "It has been my intention to become an MP recently because of an all- consuming passion born out of an intense anger because of the arrogant, dismissive and unfair treatment my friends at home have had to suffer at the hands of unelected quangos and civil servants. My constituents will not rest until it has been made possible to ensure the provision of emergency services locally and in the meantime the scandalous waste of money planned for Kidderminster must be stopped."

Dr Taylor said a ward block opened in 1995 at a cost of £14m was now about to be gutted at a further cost of £13.7m to provide one-stop clinics which, he said, had already been in existence elsewhere in the hospital for a decade.

He concluded: "Above all, I shall prize my independence, so I have no master except the people I represent."

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