From UNITE the Union.
Following two high court rulings against the secretary of state, Jeremy Hunt’s decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital’s emergency and maternity services, he is now trying to get the law changed.
If clause 118 of the Care Bill becomes law the secretary of state will have won. Hospitals will be at risk of having services shut down without their agreement, without proper consultation with patients and the public, and without even any agreement from the new GP commissioners.
This means that even if your local hospital is successful and financially viable it can be shut if a neighbouring NHS trust is failing – no matter how vocal local opposition is to the plans.
We can’t let him get away with it
Jeremy Hunt could come for your hospital next. The Save Lewisham Hospital campaigners fought the secretary of state and won, but they won’t win again if clause 118 becomes law.
Dear MP. (Look it up on http://www.TheyWorkForYou.com)
As your constituent, I am concerned that the government is forcing through new, hastily drafted, legislation which will enable the secretary of state to fast-track the closure or privatisation of local hospitals and A&Es without proper public consultation.
Clause 118 of the Care Bill will allow the government to close or downgrade any hospital in the country, with barely any consultation of local people, if there is a trust in financial difficulties anywhere nearby – no matter how successful and financially viable.
The law change will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons on Monday 16 December. I urge you to oppose clause 118 of the Care Bill.
The government’s rash move follows two high court ruling against the secretary of state’s decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital’s maternity and emergency services. Legal fees for the court cases cost the public purse more than £200,000 – money that should have been spent on frontline services.
The people of Lewisham fought long and hard to save their very popular and solvent local hospital and won. The government has responded by changing the law. We must not allow our parliamentary traditions and the country’s judicial processes to be hijacked.
I cannot stress enough my fears for the future of our local hospital should this undemocratic clause become law. Given the huge financial pressures currently faced by NHS trusts all hospitals, no matter how successful and financially viable, are potentially at risk.
Please use your vote to oppose this dangerous and undemocratic clause. The voices of patients, health care professionals and our communities must not be silenced in this way.