I have circulated an open letter via Twitter seeking support against Clause 118 - the link can be found by clicking here. I hope to get as many names as possible and then seek to get the letter published in the press.
Clause 118 is being rushed through Parliament in an attempt to allow Whitehall bureaucrats to close any hospital they wish in England. This follows on from the coalition's humiliating and very expensive defeat (at the tax payers expense) in the High Court when they tried to close Lewisham Hospital.
Further information on Clause 118 can be found here at the excellent Open Democracy website.
This is another battle for the English NHS. Attacks on the NHS seem to be a daily occurrence now but this latest 'hospital closure clause' means any English hospital could be closed with very little meaningful local consultation.
It is an affront to democracy and I urge you to sign the open letter here.
VERY IMPORTANT - CONTACT YOUR MP
Another action you can take is to send the letter to your MP. This makes a HUGE difference and can have a real impact. The poll tax climb down was thought to have occurred due to the huge number of letters MPs received on the issue. Please copy and paste the letter which I have reproduced below and go to THIS LINK to find out who your MP is and how to send the letter to them.
Thank you very much.
Letter to copy and paste to your MP by using this website to send it to them
The coalition recently lost a battle to close the thriving and solvent Lewisham Hospital when a totally separate adjacent hospital was suffering financial problems due to government cuts and disastrous PFI debts.
The coalition subsequently rushed through an amendment to the Care Bill (Clause 118) which gives sweeping powers allowing Whitehall bureaucrats to close any English hospitals without full and proper local consultation. With this ‘hospital closure clause’ in place no English hospital will be safe from financially driven closures. Local patients, clinicians and commissioners will have little meaningful say in the closure process.
Whatever happened to the mantra used by the coalition to sell the recent NHS reconfiguration to us all - ‘no decision about me without me’.
In effect Clause 118 brings about a fast track hospital closure process. Clause 118 is pernicious and hugely damaging to the future of healthcare in England and I implore you as my MP to withdraw Clause 118 or vote against it as it moves through Parliament.
We do not want this hospital closure clause in our English NHS.