Redditch MP to meet health minister today over Hospital Closure Clause

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Redditch's Alexandra Hospital Redditch's Alexandra Hospital

REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley is set to meet Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health Dr Dan Poulter later today to discuss care bill clause 119, dubbed the Hospital Closure Clause by opponents.

Campaigners fighting to save the town's Alexandra Hospital delivered 35,000 leaflets to homes in town at the weekend calling for the MP to vote against the bill that they say would make it easier to close A&E departments without consultation.

The Save the Alex Campaign group, which has been fighting against proposals to downgrade the A&E department at the Alex since plans were mooted as a cost-saving measure in 2012, has joined forces with national campaign group 38 Degrees.

If the clause passes through parliament the groups say decisions on closing hospitals could be made in just 40 days with little or no consultation, regardless of local support and rob the public of their right to protest.

Save The Alex chairman Neal Stote appeared on BBC WM this morning and urged Mrs Lumley to vote against the bill, saying he was worried about future health care.

Speaking on the programme the MP, currently in London, said she would make her decision after speaking to the minister at 1pm.

She said if she doesn't get the answers she wants, or the answers that the people of Redditch want, that she will "think very carefully" about what to do.

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