Burnham: “Jeremy Hunt has just crossed a line and set a dangerous precedent”

31st January, 2013 1:38 pm

After it was announced that successful Lewisham Hospital is having its A&E downgraded by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Andy Burnham said:

“There will be no cheers for this statement in Lewisham. This Tory-led Government has accepted the principle that a successful local hospital can have its services downgraded to pay for the failures of another trust. Jeremy Hunt has just crossed a line and set a dangerous precedent.
 
“In this Tory-led Government’s new market-driven NHS, closures can be purely cost-driven and any hospital is vulnerable to changes through back-door reconfiguration. This announcement will send a chill wind through any community worried about its hospital services.
 
“It is simply not tenable to downgrade an A&E department without first establishing a clear clinical case for how it can be done without compromising patient safety. But that is what David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt are doing here. They set up a financially-driven process and have thrown together a clinical justification.  
 
“David Cameron has caused unnecessary distress to the people of Lewisham. The campaigners have achieved something today, but they will continue the fight and they will have Labour’s support.” 

  • charles.ward

    So, given that Labour have commited to spend less money on the NHS as a whole and sucessful hospitals should not be punished, where is the money going to come from to fix failing trusts?

    I thought moving money to failing hospitals was Labour’s policy (to improve sevices where they are poor and prevent a “postcode lottery”).

    If you don’t allow competition in the healthcare system and you won’t move money from sucessful hospitals to failing ones how are failing hospitals ever going to improve?

    • http://www.facebook.com/ric.euteneuer Ric Euteneuer

      Whatever the commitment by the Party – and I presume this was aimed at the financial markets and/or Daily Mail vote rather than the populace at large – it becomes more obvious that more money is needed to fund acute and secondart care. I don’t think Labour or any party has a policy of “moving money to failing hospitals” – I *do* think they would have an operating procedure of addressing long term financial shortfalls in hospitals starved of investment. Do you honestly think that failing hospitals will ‘buck their ideas up’ and compete with the best hospitals. There are multiple reasons why hospitals fail, and it’s not solely management incompetence. In any case, there is no real effective ‘competition’ in the public sector healthcare market – left to their own devices, healthcare organisations would sink to the lowest common denominator and will only undertake profitable, low risk work, leaving the rest to other providers. We can see ample evidence at the Lister Hospital Surgicentre just how successful ‘competition; and private provision to the public sector has been. Multiple avoidable deaths, multiple cancellations of procedures, and the local PCT who won’t even refer their own patients there, so poor as the service is both in terms of quality and effectiveness. It’s utterly bizarre for patients in Stevenage to be treated 40-50 miles away, but people from other PCTs come to Stevenage. “Competition” has never had a more ridiculous effect.

Latest

  • Comment The Labour leadership contest: too much politics and not enough personality

    The Labour leadership contest: too much politics and not enough personality

    Our recent prime ministers were not elected to lead their parties following general election defeats, and there are many problems with electing leaders whilst on the rebound. One of the biggest is that everyone is still in General Election Mode, presenting manifestos rather than their qualities as a leader. Policies and ideas are not wedded to any one person – any candidate could institute a policy suggested by any other candidate. Having good ideas qualifies one for the top table, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment What lessons does Lynton Crosby have for Labour?

    What lessons does Lynton Crosby have for Labour?

    After May’s general election, it appeared everyone in the party who tweeted or blogged was sure they knew why Labour had lost. By some weird coincidence, these opinions always seemed to mirror the prejudices of the author. You know the type of thing – our policies were too right wing, our policies were too left wing, our policies were too centrist, etc. Not very enlightening. So, to get a more balanced view, I turned to Lynton Crosby. I appreciate that’s […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour is in “mortal danger” – “we need to save it again”, says Peter Mandelson

    Labour is in “mortal danger” – “we need to save it again”, says Peter Mandelson

    Peter Mandelson has argued that Labour is in “mortal danger” . In an article in the Financial Times (£), the former cabinet minister and Labour campaigns director has warned against a Jeremy Corbyn victory. If the Islington North MP wins the leadership election, “that would be a very bad outcome for anyone who cares about fairness in our society or Britain’s place in the world”, Mandelson writes. Mandelson has called for a tightening of the rules over the leadership election […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Attracting people who didn’t vote at the last election is key to winning in 2020, say LabourList readers

    Attracting people who didn’t vote at the last election is key to winning in 2020, say LabourList readers

    In recent weeks there has been building concern from some over who has been deemed eligible to vote in the leadership election. Under new rules, members of the public can sign up as party ‘supporters’ for £3, this buys them a vote in the leadership election. However, it’s been reported that some Conservative and other non-Labour supporters have been given a vote. Labour say they have a vigorous vetting process to weed such people out. Yet some Labour supporters and […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Jeremy Corbyn dismisses “hysteria” over his policies and says he’ll defeat the Tories in 2020 with “people’s politics”

    Jeremy Corbyn dismisses “hysteria” over his policies and says he’ll defeat the Tories in 2020 with “people’s politics”

    Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed the “hysteria” and “deliberate misrepresentation” of his campaign’s policies and said that he is committed to ensuring that the Labour party defeat the Tories in 2020 with “people’s politics”. The leadership candidate has argued that despite attacks directed at his campaigns policies, the message his team are sending out is “resonating”. In an article in The Times (£), Corbyn has brushed off the idea that his policies are “extreme”, which has been suggested by some Labour […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit