Plymouth is at risk of being made voiceless as a result of Government’s hospital closure clause.
Plymouth rendered voiceless by new Health Secretary powers
Plymouth is at risk of being made voiceless as a result of Government’s hospital closure clause. On Tuesday evening MP’s voted to allow the health secretary to cut local people out of decision. Ministers will now have the green light to impose downgrades of hospitals, and even closures, giving local patients and clinicians little chance to object. Furthermore, these decisions will be allowed to be made on financial grounds, not assessing the local clinical need or impact.
Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Labour made a direct appeal to MPs in the areas most affected to join a growing cross-party campaign against the Health Secretary's power-grab. Despite this, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport’s Conservative MP Oliver Colvile voted in favour of the new powers to close hospitals without consultation.
Responding to the decision Luke Pollard, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the seat said:
"Yet again Mr Colvile has put the needs of the Conservative party ahead of Plymouth. If this bill becomes law hospitals like Derriford, could now be closed by the Government over the heads of staff and the local community. That's entirely the wrong way to deal with the NHS and yet another example of Mr Colvile siding with Ministers against the needs and interests of his constituency.
“How is it in Plymouth's interests for the Government to have the power to close Derriford without proper consultation with staff and the local community? Put simply, it isn't. Instead of standing up for Plymouth and demanding changes to yet another flawed piece of legislation, he rolled over, and voted for whatever he was told to vote for.
“Since the General Election there have been a lot of dark days for the NHS, and this is yet another one.”
Labour MP’s voted to delete the new rules from the Bill to hand power back to local communities and will continue to fight these plans.