Health campaigner and former MP Dr Richard Taylor will stand in the next General Election, it has been announced.
Dr Taylor, 79, who represented Wyre Forest, decided to campaign again due to his ‘deep anger’ over problems plaguing the NHS and his concern over government reforms.
He will campaign under the Independent Community and Health Concern banner.
Dr Taylor served as Wyre Forest MP for two terms between 2001 and 2010, having won his seat on the back of a campaign to stop the downgrading of Kidderminster Hospital. Many were shocked when he was ousted by present Conservative MP Mark Garnier at the last election. But he said his anger over NHS reforms had convinced him to battle for the seat once again for the next General Election in 2015.
Dr Taylor said his decision had followed news that £5 billion worth of contracts had been put out to tender.
And he feared the process would mean private providers would ‘make profits out of sickness’ and would result in a breakdown of the service.
Dr Taylor is also the co-founder for the National Health Action – a party which is affiliated to Independent Community and Health Concern. “I have been thinking about running for some time but the final straw came last week when I was reading a newspaper article about financial problems in the NHS,” he said.
“There is of course a great deal of work to be done before the General Election but I feel so strongly about what is happening I wanted to stand for the seat again.”
Dr Taylor was elected in 2001 after he campaigned against the loss of services at Kidderminster Hospital.
The battle was unsuccessful and the hospital was downgraded. “If elected you simply cannot focus on a single issue and I do not intend to do that. However the rate of privatisation in the NHS at the moment is a cause for concern.”
Dr Taylor said if elected he believed being an independent would give him more of a voice in Parliament.
The former MP said he was also concerned about plans for Stafford Hospital to lose its maternity unit and the downgrading of its critical care unit.
“Some of the reasons being cited are very similar to those used when Kidderminster Hospital was downgraded,” he said.
“I would urge both residents and officials to look at this very carefully.”