Last year the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt attempted to close down Lewisham hospital but this was ruled illegal by the High Court.
To get around this situation, the Government has introduced the controversial ‘hospital closure clause’ into the Care Bill going through Parliament. “Special trust administrators”, appointed by the Secretary of State to sort out a failing hospital, will now be given sweeping powers to make changes to health services across the whole region, including closing down other local hospitals even if they are performing well.
Residents know first- hand that top-down bureaucratic decisions taken without listening to patients and residents has had a devastating blow on our local health services. The borough is in the middle of a ludicrous local health re-organisation that they don’t want. Residents will be losing one A&E, at King George, so their only choice will be Queens, which is in special measures and struggling to cope with the volume of patients.
We need to put fairness back into the health service. No decision about the closure of any hospital should take place without listening to the concerns of patients and clinicians. I voted against this proposal and am very disappointed that it was passed due to the support of MPs from other parties. However, I will continue to fight to ensure that the voices of residents who depend on these services in the borough are heard.