MPs vote through controversial hospital shutdown law Clause 119

Epsom Hospital campaigners fear Clause 119 could see the hospital downgraded in the future

Epsom Hospital campaigners fear Clause 119 could see the hospital downgraded in the future

First published in News
Last updated
Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A controversial law which could see hospitals shut down with minimal public consultation in order to save failing hospitals nearby has been voted through by MPs.

Clause 119 of the Government’s Care Bill, the Hospital Closure Clause, would allow a hospital to be closed or downgraded if another trust in the area is failing financially.

In the House of Commons yesterday, 297 MPs voted in favour of Clause 119, while 239 voted against it.

The Care Bill will now go the House of Lords.  If the upper chamber approves it in its final form, the law will progress towards getting royal assent.

Members of GMB, the trade union for NHS staff, protested outside Parliament while the clause was being debated.

This clause states that a "trust special administrator" taking action in relation to a hospital trust in financial difficulties would be able to take action "in relation to another NHS trust, which is necessary for and consequential on action taken in relation to that NHS trust".

Epsom health campaigner Jane Race said: "Clause 119 has the ability to cause serious damage to the NHS and our communities.

"It gives unchecked powers for managers to expedite hospital closures.

"Decisions about the future of NHS services should not be finance-led, but driven by clinical performance and patient safety.

"Even the highest performing, financially healthy hospitals can be closed by administrators if a neighbouring trust is failing.

"I cannot see how that can be considered progress.  I hope that the House of Lords do not allow this clause to put our local hospitals in jeopardy."

What do you think about Clause 119?  Email Hardeep Matharu on hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (8)

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5:12pm Wed 12 Mar 14

David7 says...

So next time you see Tom Brake MP and Paul Burstow MP standing outside St Helier Hospital for the cameras, pretending they’re even remotely concerned about its possible closure in order to cynically get your vote, remember that they voted FOR this clause.
So next time you see Tom Brake MP and Paul Burstow MP standing outside St Helier Hospital for the cameras, pretending they’re even remotely concerned about its possible closure in order to cynically get your vote, remember that they voted FOR this clause. David7
  • Score: 32

5:52pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Niki R says...

Turncoat Lib Dems got this through- remember this, and never ever should anyone allow Tom Brake and Paul Burstow to claim they give a rat's backside about our hospital or our NHS. You can't trust the Tories OR the Lib Dems with the NHS.
Turncoat Lib Dems got this through- remember this, and never ever should anyone allow Tom Brake and Paul Burstow to claim they give a rat's backside about our hospital or our NHS. You can't trust the Tories OR the Lib Dems with the NHS. Niki R
  • Score: 13

6:55pm Wed 12 Mar 14

HelenRyan says...

The people of Sutton have made their voices loud and clear, telling us that they want to protect their local hospital services. Their MPs are not listening to them. I hope the people of this borough make their voices heard again at the next election!
The people of Sutton have made their voices loud and clear, telling us that they want to protect their local hospital services. Their MPs are not listening to them. I hope the people of this borough make their voices heard again at the next election! HelenRyan
  • Score: 17

7:00pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Binsanity says...

Lib-Dem liars, not just from their last manifesto pledges, but still they continue with their deceptions.
Lib-Dem liars, not just from their last manifesto pledges, but still they continue with their deceptions. Binsanity
  • Score: 13

7:04pm Wed 12 Mar 14

alphabeti says...

This is ridiculous. We're going to repossess your house because your neighbour is behind on his mortgage!
This is ridiculous. We're going to repossess your house because your neighbour is behind on his mortgage! alphabeti
  • Score: 10

10:23pm Wed 12 Mar 14

The Cardinal says...

I wish to voice my disgust at Tom Brake. He is a liar.
I wish to voice my disgust at Tom Brake. He is a liar. The Cardinal
  • Score: 11

12:35am Thu 13 Mar 14

imasumak says...

This is a VERY slippery slope! This practice of closing hospitals due to the failure of others instead of addressing the problems related to the failings and correcting them is down to gross failure of duty of care to the residents of these areas by the government. There is nothing more important for the welfare of a community than the easy availability of proper medical care as quickly as possible when needed. Under NO circumstances should a Hospital Closer Clause or any other legislation allow any entity to bypass and deny public participation in such critical matters so directly effecting their welfare.
This is a VERY slippery slope! This practice of closing hospitals due to the failure of others instead of addressing the problems related to the failings and correcting them is down to gross failure of duty of care to the residents of these areas by the government. There is nothing more important for the welfare of a community than the easy availability of proper medical care as quickly as possible when needed. Under NO circumstances should a Hospital Closer Clause or any other legislation allow any entity to bypass and deny public participation in such critical matters so directly effecting their welfare. imasumak
  • Score: 8

3:06pm Thu 13 Mar 14

LiberalsOut says...

Remember that bar a few exceptions all MP's are in it for what they can get out of it - gold plated pension and a highly paid non-job once out of Parliament
They follow the party line and it is actually pointless them being there
Remember that bar a few exceptions all MP's are in it for what they can get out of it - gold plated pension and a highly paid non-job once out of Parliament They follow the party line and it is actually pointless them being there LiberalsOut
  • Score: 2

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