Doctors support hospital closures


Senior doctors feel MP’s are “undermining” NHS reforms

MP’s fighting local hospital closures are being accused of risking the lives of their constituents, according to senior doctors of the NHS Clinical Commissioners group.

The group, which represents GP’s who have been granted the power to buy services for patients, believe that Labour’s actions to save hospitals from closing is at loggerheads with new reform strategies, including treating patients at home or in the community, in a bid to save struggling NHS resources.

NHS “financially unsustainable”

Labour politician Ed Miliband had promised to give people more power to prevent local hospital closures, and to reverse a change in the law that allows the health secretary to shut down hospitals.

The party has also backed a campaign by residents to prevent the closure of Lewisham hospital accident and emergency department. However the commissioners group urges politicians to  show “maturity” and not promise to save all hospitals.

Dr Phil Moore, deputy chairman of NHS Kingston, in a manifesto written by the group, said “We’ve got evidence that we need to reconfigure for patient safety and to save lives, but local politicians will not accept that and will still fight for the status quo. That will undermine the development of a health care system that is sustainable and safe for patient.”

Dr Ann Bowman, chair at NHS Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group, told The Telegraph “If you are going to say you are going to have 25 to 30 specialist centres across the country you actually have to articulate what that means and stand behind you NHS commissioners, not then say, “Oh, we are not going to close anywhere.”