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At risk: your local hospital

Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

At risk: your local hospital

Hi All
From 38 Degrees
Quote
Dear ,
As early as next week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt will try to force plans through parliament
which will give him a new power to close any hospital in England - even if local patients and
doctors are totally against it. [1] If the law passes, no hospital is safe.
So far, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have kept their distance from the proposals, even though
ultimately the buck stops with them. Why? Because elections are won and lost on the NHS. The last
thing they want is to be personally associated with local hospitals closing.
So let's associate this plan with them. If hundreds of thousands of people sign a petition asking
them to scrap it, they could decide that the political pain of pushing this through isn't worth
it. Please add your name to the petition now:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/hands-off-our-hospitals
This wouldn't be the first time Jeremy Hunt's plans are stopped through people power. Twice last
year local people and 38 Degrees members successfully defeated him in the courts over his plans to
close services at Lewisham Hospital. [2] And today it's still open for business, saving lives and
delivering babies.
When governments lose court cases, they shouldn't just change the law. And after losing twice,
that's exactly what Hunt's trying to do.
Over the weekend, over 150,000 members of 38 Degrees voted to throw the kitchen sink at stopping
this law. [3] Together, we can convince David Cameron and Nick Clegg to step in and stop the law
that could close hospitals everywhere against the wishes of doctors, patients and the public.
Sign the petition by clicking here:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/hands-off-our-hospitals

Thanks for being involved,
Ian, Susannah, Maddy and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES
[1] The bit of the law that would do this is clause 119 of the Care Bill, aka the hospital closure
clause. The bill as a whole is currently going through the House of Lords. More information here:
Parliament website: Care Bill documents:
http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/care/documents.html
38 Degrees blog: NHS: What is the hospital closure clause?:
http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2014/02/20/nhs-what-is-the-hospital-closure-clause/
You can read the full text of clause 119 of the Care Bill on the Parliament website here:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0168/cbill_2013-20140168_en_12.htm#pt...
[2] 38 Degrees blog: Lewisham: An incredible victory:
http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/07/31/lewisham-an-incredible-victory/
38 Degrees blog: Jeremy Hunt has been beaten in court... again!:
http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2013/10/29/jeremy-hunt-has-been-beaten-in-court-again/
[3] 38 Degrees blog: NHS: Hospital closure clause poll results:
http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2014/02/24/nhs-hospital-closure-clause-poll-results/
______________________________________________________________________

38 DEGREES Registered Company No. 6642193

Please sign the petition, I have.
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,916
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: At risk: your local hospital

Signed  Smiley
Quite annoying that a few people can make a decision that affects so many.
We should be opening more hospitals, no closing them.
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: At risk: your local hospital

Also signed
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
Thanks: 3
Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: At risk: your local hospital

Signed!
107k signed up now!  Cheesy
Geoff,
York.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: At risk: your local hospital

111112 signatures  Smiley  Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,923
Thanks: 514
Fixes: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: At risk: your local hospital

Thanks for bringing this forward MC, good find.
As another person who's become reliant on the hospital in the last 12 months (just come out today from another A&E admission) this worries me.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
nanotm
Pro
Posts: 5,671
Thanks: 108
Fixes: 1
Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: At risk: your local hospital

he already has the power to close any hospital so why does he need yet another parliamentary bill to grant him the power ? I'd be more worried about what there not saying than what they are saying on this one
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: At risk: your local hospital

Page failed so will try later.
Midnight_Caller
Rising Star
Posts: 4,143
Thanks: 7
Fixes: 1
Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: At risk: your local hospital

Was: 111112 signatures
Now: 149334 signatures  Shocked
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,375
Thanks: 632
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Hospital Services in danger of being closed

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/content/plans-for-your-hospital/
[quote=https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/content/nhs-hospital-closure-faq/]FAQ on the hospital closure clause
What is the hospital closure clause?
The hospital closure clause is Clause 119 (previously Clause 11Cool of the Care Bill. It gives the Health Secretary new, extended, powers to close or change local NHS services.
The rest of the Care Bill focuses on social care, setting out rights for carers, responsibilities of local councils, and introducing caps on how much an individual is expected to pay towards their own long-term care. The hospital closure clause is very much an add-on. It doesn't really relate to the rest of the Care Bill, and was slipped in after the Bill had already started going through Parliament.
Why has the hospital closure clause been introduced?
The government introduced the hospital closure clause as a direct response to the court case over Lewisham hospital. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, proposed to downgrade Lewisham hospital, closing the A&E and maternity unit. Local campaigners – supported by donations from 38 degrees members – challenged this decision in court.
The court ruled that Jeremy Hunt had exceeded his powers, and wasn't legally allowed to shut down A&E and maternity services at Lewisham. The judge made this ruling because Jeremy Hunt was trying to shut these services in order to deal with financial problems at hospitals in neighbouring areas. The judge ruled that Jeremy Hunt's powers under the "failure regime" did not extend to closing neighbouring hospitals.
Immediately after this court ruling, Jeremy Hunt introduced clause 119 into the Care Bill. The purpose seems to be to ensure that in future the government is able to do what it was trying to do in Lewisham.
Why is the hospital closure clause bad?
The hospital closure clause removes legal protections that saved Lewisham hospital. It would mean a legal challenge like that which saved Lewisham hospital would not be possible.
Most health experts agree that shutting Lewisham A&E and maternity units would have had a detrimental effect on NHS provision for local people. Clause 119 would remove exactly the legal protections that prevented this bad and unpopular plan from going through.
The hospital closure clause would give the government extra powers to shut or change services in the surrounding area when one particular hospital has financial problems. They would be able to make these changes within just 40 days, and with minimal consultation. They'd be able to close services even where the majority of local doctors believe them to be bad for patients.
The risk is that this would mean the Secretary of State would have more power to impose bad decisions. Well performing hospitals could be shut for purely financial reasons, even where local doctors warned that this could be bad for patients.
Is it really true to say that no hospital is safe?
Thankfully, there is no suggestion that the government will suddenly shut every single hospital. But the hospital closure clause does give the government significant new powers to shut and break up services across a whole area, when financial problems arise at a particular hospital.
A very large number of hospital trusts are currently in some level of financial difficulty. So there's a real danger that a lot more hospitals could be in the firing line – even ones which are hitting their targets and have no financial problems. The hospital closure clause could speed up the breaking up and downgrading of NHS services across England.
Does it apply everywhere?
The hospital closure clause will apply to England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s hospitals are covered by different rules.
What would we like MPs to do?
As it stands, the hospital closure clause would allow bad decisions like the one to shut Lewisham hospital, to go unchallenged. Your MP needs to help stop this happening.
The simplest way your MP can help is by promising to vote against the hospital closure clause.
An alternative would be for them to propose substantial amendments to the hospital closure clause.
Any such amendment would need to satisfy five major tests:
    Local people must get a real say in any cuts or changes to NHS services in their area
    Local GPs must approve any decision
    Other health experts must have their say and approve the decision
    The decision must be democratically accountable
Read more:
British Medical Journal: Planning for closure: the role of special administrators in reducing NHS hospital services in England - Prof Alysson Pollock et al. http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f7322
Guardian: Clause 118 of care bill threatens hospitals with downsizing or closure - Dr Brian Fisher. http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2013/dec/18/care-bill-clause-118-threatens-hospitals
Open Democracy: "No Hospital Will be Safe" - Caroline Molloy. http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/caroline-molloy/no-hospital-will-be-safe-from-clause-118
About the video:
Why was the video made?
It is hoped the video will help spread the word that the hospital closure clause is a genuine threat to our local hospitals, which we all depend upon to help us when we are most in need.
Are the people in the film genuine patients or just actors?
They’re genuine patients. The stories in the film are what actually happened to the three of them. They all have Lewisham Hospital in south London to thank - which was only saved because of a huge public campaign and legal challenge. If the hospital closure clause goes through, campaigns like Lewisham’s wouldn’t be successful in future.
What can I do to help?
Firstly, you can share the video with family and friends, and on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can do this easily by using the buttons on the video page:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/content/plans-for-your-hospital/
You can also sign the petition to David Cameron and Nick Clegg, asking them to step in and stop this dangerous law going through. You can sign that here:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/cameron-and-clegg-hands-off-our-hospitals#petition
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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