If You Are Labour Your Hospital Is Safe

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Johnny_Norfolk, Oct 16, 2006.

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  1. Says it all about Labour

    The Times October 16, 2006

    Hospitals in Tory seats are 'targeted for closure'
    By David Rose and Sam Coates

    COMMUNITY hospitals that lie in Conservative or Liberal Democrat constituencies will bear the brunt of the Government’s closure programme, re-igniting accusations of political interference in the NHS.

    The Times has learnt that seven times as many community hospitals have closed or are under threat in constituencies held by opposition MPs. There are 62 closed or at-risk hospitals in Conservative constituencies and 8 in Liberal Democrats seats, with 11 in Labour areas.

    This has prompted opposition MPs to accuse the Government of “playing politics” and undermining the hospital closure programme.

    The revelation comes a month after The Times disclosed that ministers and Labour Party officials held meetings to work out ways of closing hospitals without jeopardising key marginal seats. Leaked e-mails showed that Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, called for those at the meeting to be provided with “heat maps”, showing marginal Labour seats where closures or reconfigurations of health services could cost votes.

    The Department of Health has consistently denied that political considerations reflect policy-making.

    But research carried out by the Community Hospitals Association reveals that of the ten community hospitals that have already closed this year five fall in Conservative-held seats while four are in Liberal Democrat areas.

    The Department for Health said that it was committed to community hospitals, which are often found in more rural areas. Ms Hewitt recently promised a £750 million cash injection to community health services declaring: “Community hospitals have for too long been viewed as the poor relation of larger hospitals. This stops today.”

    Lord Warner, the Health Minister, has said that the Government is committed to spending £100 million on building or refurbishing at least 50 community hospitals which provide diagnostics, day surgery and outpatient facilities closer to where people live and work.

    However, a spokesman for the department said that some community hospitals could not cope with the challenge of the modern NHS and would close. The spokesman insisted that ministers had no ability to chose directly which hospitals closed and which stayed open.

    A statement from the department in February said that “hit squads” of inspectors would be dispatched to meet the heads of strategic health authorities, and reject any plans for community hospital closures from primary care trusts if they could not show that they had considered all other options, including other companies taking over the hospitals.

    However, opposition MPs are suspicious of the move. Andrew Lansley, the Conservative health spokesman, said: “Last month we discovered that ministers are more concerned with saving the political skins of Labour MPs than they are with pursuing the long-term interests of the health service.”

    Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: “There are too many times for coincidence that the process is favouring Labour seats and Labour MPs. That undermines the whole process. If you go through consultations with a sneaking suspicion that the Labour seat is going to get the hospital anyway, it destroys your faith in these consultations.

    “Nobody would argue that a particular set of buildings should be set in stone for ever. Health needs change, population change, so buildings and services should change. The key is that the decision should be clinically based; what delivers the best care.”

    Sources close to Ms Hewitt said: “The reality is that a lot of these hospitals are not particularly strong on state-of-the-art healthcare.

    “We want the best healthcare, which is not the same as wanting to maintain the same buildings.”
  2. That means Scotland won't lose any hospital then. :wink:
  3. Correct. But you'll find there are no nurses as they'll all be on diversity awareness courses.
  4. There goes my local then........
  5. completely duisgusting, those insobordinate lefties have realised that the conservatives are top notch and are trying to undermine then in every way- disgracefull.
    the sooner they are gone the better.
  6. It really is no surprise with this lot, the writing was on the wall as soon as they got into power all those years ago.

    They probably dont even have to directly target opposition area's as the way they have 'focused' funding over the years towards their own area's has no doubt ensured that Hospitals in non contestable constituencies will fall into the above bracket.

    They truly are way over and above the Cons and L/D's in the sleeze and underhanded depts.

    It really is way beyond the time for them to leave, that date IMHO was reached the day after the 97 gen Election.
  7. My local MP was labour until the last election, under him we got the A&E of our hospital refurbished and a new a new ward, both of which were long overdue, but we got them.

    Along comes the general election, we now have a Tory MP. Suddenly our hospital is totally unneeded and as such, wards closed, maternity closed, outpatients closed, A&E mothballed etc.

    I wonder how that happened :x.
  8. It's been going on for years. I live in a predominantly Tory area. NHS funding per head is 10% below the national average. This frees up funds to put into marginal seats. Meanwhile our local hospital is solely responsible for nearly 9% of the entire NHS deficit. They are talking about sacking a third of their staff.

    People are dying because of this. Patricia Hewitt, the health minister, should be prosecuted after Labour finally get the boot.