STOP CLAUSE 119! GET YOUR CLAUSE OFF OUR NHS
STOP PRESS 7 MAY 2014
38 DEGREES announce the government’s acceptance of the Finlay Amendment to Clause 119.
The previous version of this amendment stated that local CCGs must agree to any plans – but it did not include consultation with the public. More information to follow…
BBC National News 11.3.14
ITN National and London news 11.3.14
Thanks to all our fantastic Save Lewisham Hospital supporters, campaigners from hospital campaigns across London and the UK, to Unite and the GMB for all your input and enthusiasm for the campaign against the hospital closure Clause 118-119…. The name of Lewisham Hospital has been splashed over the TV and radio once again as MPs debated and voted today.
The vote was lost in Parliament this evening – with Labour’s amendment of a strike out of the clause being voted down and with LibDem Paul Burstow withdrawing his support for his own amendment in weasly fashion at the last minute. Read Caroline Molloy’s run down of key points in today’s debates http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/caroline-molloy/coalition-mps-vote-through-sweeping-hospital-closure-powers
At the beginning of our protest today we held a minute’s silence to mark the death of RMT leader Bob Crowe who died suddenly early this morning. We will need to carry on the fight to defend our own hospitals in South East London and to join with others in the defence of their hospitals in the battles to come.
You can see the whole sequence of Alex Nicholson’s drawings on http://alexznicholson.tumblr.com
CLICK HERE TO SIGN PETITION WITH 38 DEGREES – WE NEED TO GET A MASSIVE NUMBER BEFORE 10 MARCH WHEN VOTE TAKES PLACE
Lewisham patients & campaigners on new 38 degrees video
Vulture film animation by Christian Darkin
Film of the building of the vulture and all the action on Thursday 27 February, including Andy Burnham, from Stuart Monro
WHAT HAPPENED AT OUR PROTESTS AGAINST CLAUSE 119 ON 27 FEBRUARY?
See here for Andy Worthington’s full report of the day
A petition with nearly 150,000 signatures was handed in to 10 Downing Street by Dr Louise Irvine, Jos Bell and Barbara Veale from the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and Dr Wendy Savage, chair of KONP.
A rally addressed by a range of speakers from across London and the UK and Andy Slaughter MP from Hammersmith
- A packed meeting inside Parliament heard AndyBurnham, Shadow Health Secretary commit Labour to repealing the Health and Social Care Act, and Clause 118/119 if passed.
- Andy Burnham announced that the Clause would be voted on on March 11th.
- The Save Lewisham Hospitial Campaign will be working with all campaigns and 38 degrees to build opposition in the next two weeks.
PHOTOS – THANKS VERY MUCH TO ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR MAKING THEIR PICS AVAILABLE
Andy Worthington http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/sets/72157641660727495/
Esan Paydar http://www.flickr.com/photos/91632947@N03/sets/72157641664538584/
Aysha Raza http://www.flickr.com/photos/91632947@N03/sets/72157641669295364/
Marilyn Murray http://www.flickr.com/photos/91632947@N03/sets/72157641762570105/
Meeting speakers included: Andy Burnham, Shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander, Lewisham MP,
Lord Hunt, Louise Irvine, Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign & London MEP candidate for National Health Action Party
Dr Kailash Chand, Deputy Chair of the BMA, Caroline Molloy, Editor of Our NHS,
Dr Wendy Savage, Chair KONP
Having lost the battle to close Lewisham Hospital the Government are now attempting to change the law. They are rushing through the ‘Hospital Closure Clause’ – Clause 118 – making it legal to close any thriving, solvent hospital whenever they want to.
Click below to see what happened when campaigners stopped Jeremy Hunt going in to speak at a conference to mark one year on from the Francis report. The government has accepted most of Francis’ proposals on paper but in reality patient care is being run down through massive cuts, loss of nursing posts and continuing PFI debt
SIGN THE PETITION There’s still chance to join over 140,000 others calling on Hunt to drop Clause 118 to the Health and Social Care Bill allowing him to legally drive through hospital closures, like he tried to do with Lewisham >> https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/jeremy-hunt-should-resign-and-take-his-hospital-closure-clause-with-him
We want to alert MPs to the existence of the clause and urge them to vote against it when the opportunity arises next year.
We did an interim hand-in of the petition on Monday 16th December outside the Department of Health on Whitehall.
SEND A LETTER TO YOUR MP – ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A LIB DEM OR TORY MP Download suggested template for letter here – we suggest you amend it as you wish WHAT IS CLAUSE 118? Clause 118 has been tacked on the Health and Social Care Act currently going through Parliament. The clause aims to extend the powers of Trust Special Administrators and was introduced into the Bill as it went through the Lords at the end of October. The second reading of the Bill is set for 16th December but what is crucial is the chance to debate this Lords amendment in the Committee and Report stages in the New Year. Clause 118 gives new extensive powers to Trust Special Administrators (TSAs) who are appointed under the “Unsustainable Provider” regime (UPR) to rescue failing hospital trusts. (These changes, which have been described as a “hospital closure clause”, could have relevance to any hospital in the country – they could reduce services available in your MP’s own constituency and would hamper your rights as residents to a proper consultation on what would amount to hospital reconfigurations.) The Unsustainable Provider Regime by which TSAs are appointed was never intended to be used to reconfigure health services in a wide area, but, should Clause 118 remain part of the Care Bill, it could be used for this purpose. (You should check out your position locally and identify hospitals and services at risk.)
- The prime aim of Clause 118 is cutting expenditure – any input from clinicians is secondary.
- It has to be a quick piece of work, with limited opportunity for public consultation. (Normal reconfigurations take years and have all sorts of checks and balances built in because the only specified intention is to make decisions that are in the best interests of health service users and supported by clinical evidence.)
- The financial analysis in a TSA’s report is therefore inevitably done hastily and such analysis and alternative operational plans set out may well be full of mistakes. (This proved to be the case in connection with the South London Health Care Trust and threatened closure of services at Lewisham Hospital.)
What is highly deplorable is the way that this was done by an extra Clause added in to a completely different piece of legislation that happened to be passing through the House of Lords. So, whatever your MP’s views on the rights or wrongs of Government policy on the NHS, this amendment to the Care Bill is a case of the “Executive” trying to ride rough-shod over the “Legislature” – and that is reason enough to reject it. (Where the law is genuinely found to be badly written it can be changed by a short amending Act just for that purpose.) This is such an important issue all MPs should hear of it again and again from their concerned constituents. Please spread the word. Further information about Clause 118 Open Democracy comment from Jos Bell Click here Letter from Lord Howe re Amendment Click here