Local Community Hospitals

15.11Community Hospitals in parliament.bmp

16 November 2005

Boris Johnson MP steps up campaign to save local Community Hospitals

Boris Johnson MP, attending yesterdays Westminster launch of the Community Hospitals Acting Nationally Together (CHANT) group , denounced the Government’s failure to investigate and halt what now appears to be a nationwide programme of community hospital closures. As Vice-Chairman of the group, Boris Johnson MP called on all those present to work together, along cross-party lines, to co-ordinate efforts at a national level to better fight the closure of community hospitals throughout the country.

At a meeting held beforehand and chaired by the Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley MP, to discuss the problems facing community hospitals, Boris Johnson MP lambasted the current lack of accountability of regional ‘health quangocrats’ to the needs and views of local people:

‘It is utterly infamous that the views of local communities are being ignored. In almost all these cases the move towards care in the community is being driven not by best practice or clinical need but by the desire to balance the books and write down Primary Care and Strategic Health Authority deficits. Community hospitals are at the front line of these cost cutting drives despite the fact they play a vital intermediate care and step-down role. Local people want them, District Hospitals need them, yet nationwide over 80 of these community hospitals are being threatened with closure. Worse, no-one is taking any responsibility for these decisions. Government passes the buck to the Health Authorities who in turn pass it to the Primary Care Trusts who then pass it right back to the Government. At the end of the day though, the Government appointed these unelected quangocrats to their posts and the Government must now explain their actions’.

6 thoughts on “Local Community Hospitals”

  1. We need to give more autonomy to schools and stop setting so many targets miles away in London. More power should be given to those who actually run the schools on the ground because it is these individuals who know how best to spend the money.

  2. Take That!

    This has nothing to do with technology but plenty to do with fundraising. Although if Paul Goggins had a blog, I’d be pinging the hell out of him right now. Perhaps some of his Westminster colleagues will pass the message

  3. Psimon and David raise an interesting conundrum between them. Surely the point is that the governement via the state should provide a direction for education. This is not to be confused with social engineering where the gorvernment takes on itself the role of deciding how society will. Rather it is to address practical problems.

    Lack of education is a practical problem and has been grossly exarcebated by the Stalinist egalitarianism exemplified by the spirit of ‘closing every ******* grammar school’. There was a problem then and the 11+ was crude but instead of an attempt to address that problem we had a whole new ideological framework imposed on education.

    I heard Fiona someone or other who is the partner of Alistair someone or other, both important in New Labour, on the Home program yesterday saying how governement needs to control schools so they don’t select. This is a woman who is clearly not worried about intellectually inclined children not being able to study Paradise Lost or practically minded children not being able to become plumbers. As long as they all get the same non-intellectually challenging, practically useless pap then the plan has been achieved.

    Anyway I suspect that the school with the super duper wipeboards (I’ve used them – they are rubbish!) is more intent of ticking some boxes about having the latest IT rather than achieving education. That doesn’t seem like autonomy. Autonomy would be if they were allowed to pursue their primary purpose which is, ideally, to provide a suitable education to each child which meets their abilities and needs within the context of the wider society. It is not to provide the same ‘education’ to each child in order to make them model citizens of an rabidly egalitarian society.

    For that good head teachers, not apparatchik bean counters are needed. Who would be a head teacher now? And boards of governors who manage to get their heads out of the Guardian from time to time and look at what’s really going on. A governor at a local school was bemoaning the fact that there were no Asians on the board. I enquired how many had stood for election and the answer was none. My friend seemed to think this was (a) due to racism on the part of white parents and (b) one of the most important issues facing the governors. I begged to disagree on both counts.

    And next time Boris sees Charles Clarke he can tell him from me, a technologist, that I think medieval history is just as important as computing or plaumbing and all three are infinitely more important that media studies. (I know he’s doing a different job now but Big Ears put up my blood pressure with that remark!).

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