Royal Bolton Hospital would be 'at risk' of closure under proposed new law, warns MP

The Bolton News: Leigh MP Andy Burnham Leigh MP Andy Burnham

LEIGH MP Andy Burnham has warned Royal Bolton Hospital could be at risk if MPs agree to give ministers sweeping powers to close hospitals.

Mr Burnham, who is the shadow health secretary, said clause 119 of the Care Bill — set to be voted on today — would enable the government to shut the cash-strapped Farnworth hospital despite the views of local residents.

Royal Bolton Hospital has been highlighted as one of 30 trusts across the country that Labour are arguing would be ‘at risk’ if it is made easier to rationalise services.

The clause 119 amendment would enable the Department of Health to appoint a ‘trust special administrator’, who would be able to recommend changes to services across England and close or downgrade services within 40 days.

Ahead of today’s House of Commons vote Mr Burnham urged Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs to rebel and help block the clause.

He said: “This Government used to say it wanted to put patients and doctors in charge of the local NHS.

“Now health secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to ride roughshod over local communities and have carte blanche to break up the NHS without anyone else having a say. He must be stopped.

”With more and more hospitals in financial difficulty, this move could hit every community in the land and leave them voiceless in the face of changes to their services.

”Labour is clear: changes to hospitals should be driven by clinical, not financial, reasons with local people involved every step of the way. That is why we believe these plans are dangerous and wrong.

“It is time for parliament to stop an arrogant secretary of state from overstepping the mark."

Heather Edwards, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust's head of communications, dismissed Mr Burnham's claims.

She said: “Far from being 'at risk', this trust has a very positive future ahead of it.

"We have robust plans for our finances in the years ahead which have been approved by Monitor, we have one of the busiest and most successful A&Es in the area and, in partnership with other local health, social care and patient organisations, have ambitious plans to bring continuous improvements for the people we serve.”

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:00pm Tue 11 Mar 14

boltonchap says...

This from the man who tried to cover up the mid-staffs disaster? He should be out of a job. Of course he's a labour man so his failure will be rewarded. Ignore his lies and deceptions.
This from the man who tried to cover up the mid-staffs disaster? He should be out of a job. Of course he's a labour man so his failure will be rewarded. Ignore his lies and deceptions. boltonchap
  • Score: 15

12:27pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Tim Burr says...

So Andy Burnham would prefer a failing hospital to continue failing?
I'd much rather see a Hospital with problems downgraded in order for problems to be addressed which is surely beneficial and safer for patients or do they not matter?

It's true, Burnham did vote against an inquiry into Mid Staffs - a Hospital that failed catastrophically under his stewardship as Health Secretary.
Leave our Hospital and staff alone Burnham, you're a walking disaster. .
So Andy Burnham would prefer a failing hospital to continue failing? I'd much rather see a Hospital with problems downgraded in order for problems to be addressed which is surely beneficial and safer for patients or do they not matter? It's true, Burnham did vote against an inquiry into Mid Staffs - a Hospital that failed catastrophically under his stewardship as Health Secretary. Leave our Hospital and staff alone Burnham, you're a walking disaster. . Tim Burr
  • Score: 20

1:51pm Tue 11 Mar 14

paulrich says...

Please remind me - Who was in charge when the RBH started having financial problems?? Do I recall £3.8m going walkabout?
Please remind me - Who was in charge when the RBH started having financial problems?? Do I recall £3.8m going walkabout? paulrich
  • Score: 18

3:00pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Sexybum123 says...

Read it they are not talking about downgrading but it shuting down they are destroying the N.H.S in front of your eyes get real and see what's happening before it's to late every day in the news it's a different hospital in trouble according to these a---s it's a total disgrace what they are doing and getting away with you would have something to moan about if you had no bloody hospital but by then it will be to late to do anything
Read it they are not talking about downgrading but it shuting down they are destroying the N.H.S in front of your eyes get real and see what's happening before it's to late every day in the news it's a different hospital in trouble according to these a---s it's a total disgrace what they are doing and getting away with you would have something to moan about if you had no bloody hospital but by then it will be to late to do anything Sexybum123
  • Score: 11

3:48pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Rememberscarborough says...

paulrich wrote:
Please remind me - Who was in charge when the RBH started having financial problems?? Do I recall £3.8m going walkabout?
Clearly you don't mean fraud but I suspect you're right about gross incompetence of not knowing that your accounts are out by such a huge sum. I suspect this financial incompetence is matched by such medical ones but we'll have no idea because we're not allowed to see the true figures.
[quote][p][bold]paulrich[/bold] wrote: Please remind me - Who was in charge when the RBH started having financial problems?? Do I recall £3.8m going walkabout?[/p][/quote]Clearly you don't mean fraud but I suspect you're right about gross incompetence of not knowing that your accounts are out by such a huge sum. I suspect this financial incompetence is matched by such medical ones but we'll have no idea because we're not allowed to see the true figures. Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Hulton Park says...

Who was, until he found an even cushier berth at the Greater Manchester Health & Wellbeing quango ("influence", but no needto get theri hands dirty actually running anything) in charge of the Royal Bolton Trust?

Didn't he leave just before the proverbial hit the fan?
Who was, until he found an even cushier berth at the Greater Manchester Health & Wellbeing quango ("influence", but no needto get theri hands dirty actually running anything) in charge of the Royal Bolton Trust? Didn't he leave just before the proverbial hit the fan? Hulton Park
  • Score: 14

4:25pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Tim Burr says...

Sexybum123 wrote:
Read it they are not talking about downgrading but it shuting down they are destroying the N.H.S in front of your eyes get real and see what's happening before it's to late every day in the news it's a different hospital in trouble according to these a---s it's a total disgrace what they are doing and getting away with you would have something to moan about if you had no bloody hospital but by then it will be to late to do anything
Andy Bunkham would love you.
Why don't you tell us what 'they' are doing that affects RBH.
[quote][p][bold]Sexybum123[/bold] wrote: Read it they are not talking about downgrading but it shuting down they are destroying the N.H.S in front of your eyes get real and see what's happening before it's to late every day in the news it's a different hospital in trouble according to these a---s it's a total disgrace what they are doing and getting away with you would have something to moan about if you had no bloody hospital but by then it will be to late to do anything[/p][/quote]Andy Bunkham would love you. Why don't you tell us what 'they' are doing that affects RBH. Tim Burr
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree