Anyone who’s interested in getting involved in a campaign to protect Calderdale A&E from any reduction in its services is welcome at a public meeting called by UNISON’s Michael Parkinson and Upper Calder Valley Plain Speaker, at the Fox & Goose, 9 Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge HX7 6AZ, at 6pm on Wednesday 26th February.
Members of existing Protect Our NHS groups, such as Calderdale NHS 38 Degrees, are welcome. There is strength in numbers and it would be good to link up with existing/ongoing campaigns.
Although the House of Commons has passed the second reading of the Care Bill, including clause 118 that allows closure of hospitals and hospital departments without proper public consultation, the campaign against the Hospital closure clause is set to gather momentum in the New Year.
Calderdale 38 Degrees is holding a stall in St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge between 10am and 12 noon on Saturday 21st December and you can find out more there. The theme of the stall is opposition to NHS privatisation and to A&E service reductions and closures.
Dear Craig Whittaker,
The Coalition Government is taking a Care Bill through Parliament that will make it possible to close hospitals and A&E and other departments without proper public consultation.
As you will know, the House Of Lords recently voted to accept Earl Howe’s last-minute amendment to the Care Bill. Amendment 168 essentially makes it possible for hospitals and A&E and other departments to be closed without public consultation – however successful, useful and popular they are.
The hospital closure clause 118, along with the rest of the Care Bill, will be debated and voted on in the Commons on 16th December. Clause 118 would allow any hospital to be closed down, or lose its A&E, maternity or other services, with hardly any local consultation.
I believe you have a responsibility to the public to make sure that this terrible Clause does not become law.
Please consider taking action now to stop the Coalition government from pushing through new laws that would further damage the NHS and restrict democratic freedoms. In a few minutes, you can:
- sign the petition to stop a new law that will make it possible to close hospitals and hospital departments without any public consultation
- write to your MP asking them to vote against this when the Care Bill comes to the House of Commons on 16th December
- sign a petition against the Gagging Bill that will make it impossible for groups and Trade Unions to campaign effectively in the run up to elections
- ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 793, which calls for an immediate freeze on talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement, in order to allow for a full public debate and Parliamentary scrutiny from both Houses of Parliament
Please read on for more info on each of these issues, and for the Halifax and Calder Valley MPs’ contact details.
Reposted from OpenDemocracy under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence.
Commenting on the article’s report that last-minute amendments to the Care Bill would allow the Coalition government to shut down A&E departments and hospitals without proper public consultation, Ken Cheslett, Chair of Calderdale 38 degrees NHS campaign group said,
“This is reminiscent of this goverment’s high handed approach to the huge opposition to its Health and Social Care Act, whereby the wishes and needs of local people are overruled in favour of the profit motive.”
The government is trying to push through a last minute change to the law to make it far easier to shut down A&E departments and hospitals without full consultation.
Amendments tabled yesterday to the Care Bill – due to have its third reading in the Lords on Monday – give the government or Monitor the right to order any hospital they like to ‘reconfigure’ – in other words, close – with little consultation, to benefit neighbouring struggling hospitals.