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Labour Candidate Pledges Support for ST Helier Campaign


Friday 14 March 2014


At a public meeting attended by around 100 residents at Merton Civic Centre last night, Emily Brothers, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam in opposition to Lib Dem’s Paul Burstow, pledged to work with local campaigners. The meeting which was poorly attended by Lib Dems and Tories, Ms Brothers said:
“I do not simply want to protect the status quo, but build on the excellent services provided at ST Helier Hospital.
“It isn’t just about stopping closure or bringing back the lost £219M, but recognising DR Howard’s advice (BMA) that some specialist services may need to be located at centres of clinical excellent, whilst ensuring the 2012 development funds are inflation proofed, with A&E, maternity and paediatric services retained.
“Just because St Helier may be the smallest of the four hospitals in the region, it doesn’t make it a less valuable service – quite the contrary, as it is closer to the local community; so picking on the smallest and under-resourced is simply the tactic of a playground bully, Mr Hunt.
Ms Brothers went on to say:
“I want to help create an enduring solution for local people.
“I want to contribute to the broad alliance that could shape a sustainable future, to address the needs and aspirations of local people and clinicians, mindful of changing demographics and medical advances – ST Helier as a beacon within six years with the sharpness and clarity of 20/20 vision.
“I will endeavour to get Labour’s action here in Sutton and Cheam to complement the great work being done by the campaign group.
“As part of this, I will strive to bring about the repeal of Clause 119, that aids centralised power to close hospitals and which Paul Burstow is developing guidance on how best to achieve the Government’s bidding.
Ms Brothers also said:
“Actively voting for Clause 119, alongside Tom Brake, was bad enough; but then to withdraw his amendment to ameliorate the worst parts, in return for a concession to Mr Burstow to Chair a group to develop standards for implementing that very same hospital closure clause – proofed to be quite a spectacular turn-around.
“I’m sad by the level of cynicism expressed last night in politicians, but I should not be so surprised when Coalition choreography results in yet more self-interest – not committed to health, but instead Mr Burstow steeped in the politics of stealth.”

 

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