Hospital closure clause - the campaign continues!

The campaign to stop the 'hospital closure clause' reaches its critical stages over the next month or so - here's how to help.

Louise Irvine
20 December 2013

Opposition is mounting to the “draconian” nature of clause 118 of the Care Bill - "the hospital closure clause".

Campaigners against the clause handed in a petition – over 140,000 signatures – to the Department of Health on Monday 16th, the day of the second reading of the Care Bill in the House of Commons.

An early opposition motion was defeated. But this is just the start of the campaign which will gather momentum in the New Year. The Care Bill now goes to committee stage where it could be amended and then goes back to the Commons where further amendments can be voted on, before the final vote in February.

Speaking in the Commons debate this week, shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the hospital closure clause was an “affront to democracy” which “paves the way for a new round of financially driven hospital closures” which “should send a shiver through every community”.

Campaigners plan to step up the campaign in January with intensive lobbying of MPs, letter writing and public events to highlight the dangers of this clause. Look out for further updates after the New Year about what you can do locally to help defeat this dangerous legislation.

Anyone can submit evidence to the committee examining the bill - see details here.

And check out the letter which the OurNHS editor has sent already to her local newspapers in Gloucestershire. Could you send a similar letter to your own local paper?

Campaigners also continue to collect signatures for the petition and are aiming for quarter of a million signatures – so please forward it to friends and colleagues.

In the meantime, on a festive note, the Lewisham NHS choir single “Bridge Over You” has been doing well having reached number 15 in the independent single charts and no 4 on Amazon download charts but we are still hoping it will get into the Xmas top 10 – it needs lots of downloads this week to do so. With its accompanying video celebrating the caring ethos of the NHS, it would be a tremendous boost for NHS staff morale if this single got into the top 10. All proceeds go to charity including 50% to the MacMillan cancer charity.

Here’s to an enjoyable festive season and continued working together to save our NHS in 2014.


Like this piece? Please donate to OurNHS here to support our campaigning journalism to protect the NHS. Thank you. 


Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData