Update on lobbying party leaders for their support for the Whittington

March 25, 2010

Those of you who follow this blog regularly will know that the Chair of my local Residents Association (Noel Park North Area) has written to all three main party leaders and asked them for their committment to halt the current process to close the Whittington.

I have e-mailed my MP Lynne Featherstone about it and asked her if she could personally raise the issue with Nick Clegg.

She told me that: “Our Health Shadow Sec of State, Norman Lamb, has already said if we are in power we will stop this process dead in its tracks. In fact – it couldn’t happen under our proposals as we don’t accept these unelected quangos who are putting forward these proposals and who will make the decisions. We would have democratically elected and accountable health boards – who I cannot imagine proposing such dreadful measures. If they did – they wouldn’t be in office long!”

This is of course brilliant news and Norman Lamb’s committment is clear. Much clearer than what we’ve so far heard from Mike O’Brien (Labour) or Andrew Lansley (Conservative).  Both of them have promised to look into the issue (review, evidence gathering…whatever they have called it) post-election. Ha ! Ha ! Ha ! Who are you trying to kid? We need a firm committment BEFORE the election. It is difficult enough to trust politicians as it is. Some kind of vague promise to look into an issue after an election is not going to fly with us.

So all credit for Norman Lamb for speaking out so clearly. BUT I still think this is not going far enough. Cabinet positions can be easily lost and what role will Norman Lamb play in a hung parliament..mmh..maybe not a very significant one…So if we want to rest assured that the Lib Dems are firmly on our side the only way is to hear it from the man himself: Nick Clegg !

So I wrote back to Lynne and asked her again to raise the issue with him in person. To be honest I can’t imagine any reason why Clegg wouldn’t want to back up the statement of his Shadow Health Minister in public…it would put the minds of so many local residents (including pregnant mummies like me) at rest. So let’s see what Lynne says. I’ll let you know.

If you want to hear it too click here to e-mail Nick.

When hanging out on mumsnet I saw that Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party is going to be live on mumsnet.

When? Tomorrow (Friday) at 1 pm

Where? Here

I know that  the Greens are only a small party and that the statement “should your party form the next government” is purely hypothetical but being live on mumsnet is the most accessible I have seen any party leader in the last few weeks.

So I posted my Whittington question to her (see below). I really hope she will answer it…I’ll be on mumsnet tomorrow lunchtime. Will you?

Hi Caroline,

What is your position on the proposed closure of the A&E and maternity services at the Whittington hospital in North London ?

If you oppose it would you be prepared to give us a firm commitment – if the Greens were to form the next government –

to halt with immediate effect the current process to close the Whittington A&E and maternity and ensure that all future plans are evidence-based, transparent, made publicly available and subject to extensive and meaningful public consultation

not to close any A&E and maternity unit in North London until alternatives are firmly in place, have been sufficiently tested and proven by independent analysis not to have any adverse effect on the treatment of patients

So far no party leader has signed up to this publicly. I hope you will lead the way !


One Response to “Update on lobbying party leaders for their support for the Whittington”

  1. […] 26, 2010 As I mentioned yesterday Caroline Lucas will be live on mumsnet today at 1 […]

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