3 December 2011
Mike Gapes MP wrote to the Ilford Recorder last week regarding the decision by the Secretary of State to proceed with the closure of A&E and labour services at King George. This despite the damning indictment by the Care Quality Commission of these same services at Queen’s Hospital. Mike also urges people to sign the petition against the Health & Social Care Bill.
The Coroners Inquest confirmed that neglect by Queens Hospital contributed to the tragic death of Sareena Ali (Recorder 17 Nov). Yet Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley â€œfully supportsâ€ closure of maternity and Accident and Emergency at King George Hospital . Health Minister Simon Burns told me in my Nov 8th Parliamentary debate that these services would go in about two years.
Nationally Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are going ahead with their reckless Health and Social Care Bill. We have already seen waiting-times increase since David Cameron came to power. His plans encourage local hospitals to treat more private patients while NHS patients are left waiting longer. They create a postcode lottery in the NHS, where patients are refused treatments in one area that their friends can get in another. The unwanted reorganisation wastes £3billion which would be better spent on medicines, equipment and staff.
David Cameron has no democratic mandate for this Health Bill. It wasn't in his manifesto. It wasn't in Nick Clegg's either. The public never voted for it and healthcare professionals are fearing it.
I have worked very hard with others on a cross party basis for six years to Save King George Hospital. But following Labour's justified condemnation of the Lansley decision in a leaflet distributed during the Aldborough by-election, Conservative Redbridge Council Leader Keith Prince told the Recorder on November 3rd that cross party campaigning was now over. Tories boycotted a campaign committee meeting on November 4th. Although there is no basis for a continuing cross party campaign I will continue to fight with local people of good will to defend King George Hospital and our NHS which is not safe in the hands of Lansley, Cameron and Clegg.
Aneurin Bevan, creator of the NHS, said there would be an NHS only for as long as there were people left to fight for it. That fight is now upon us.
Please add your name to the petition at www.dropthebill.com.