Published: 24 April 2014
• DEFEND the Whittington Hospital Coalition was surprised and rather appalled to see that Lynne Featherstone MP, on election propaganda, is claiming that she helped to stop the sell-off of the Whittington Hospital.
She was not at all involved in our massive and successful campaign that halted the plans to sell off nearly half of our hospital’s buildings.
She contributed nothing, although we do understand that she was under an umbrella on our march.
The root of the problems at the Whittington Hospital lies in the hands of the coalition government, of which she is a part, and because of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which she wholeheartedly supported and voted for.
This act forces all hospitals to become foundation trusts; that is, separate business entities that can be sold off as private concerns.
It allows NHS services to be privatised, and for 49 per cent of the current hospital beds to be used by private patients.
Worst of all it removed the responsibility on the Secretary of State for Health for the provision of an NHS to meet our health needs, so there is no accountability when these needs are not met.
The Whittington Hospital is facing serious cuts to its budget relating to the government underfunding of health.
When your readers are considering who to vote for in the forthcoming elections, they can consider what each party is doing for the NHS and mental health services.
Nationally mental health, already seriously underfunded, is facing a further 20 per cent cut.
Will they restore the NHS budget to one that meets the range of our health and mental health needs and stop the privatisation agenda which is further reducing our NHS, while putting much needed funds for health into the pockets of shareholders?
Clearly the coalition partners do not have this commitment.
Chair, Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition