More on Swire saving services at Royal Brompton Hospital, London

Owl says: hypocrisy isn’t a strong enough word!

” … Yesterday, 21 MPs [including Swire] issued a letter to Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt MP calling for him to block plans to decommission congenital heart disease (CHD) services at the Trust.

Eight of the MPs joined Dr Jan Till, consultant paediatric electrophysiologist and co-director of children’s services, and Hannah Gibson, mother of a child being treated for CHD at the Trust, in parliament yesterday with a giant reprint of the letter to help raise awareness of the issue.

The letter was sent as more than a thousand patients, staff and supporters prepare to join a demonstration against the plans on Saturday 18 March, organised by three charities that support the Trust and its patients.

The letter outlines how NHS England’s plans are not based on evidence, will destroy some of the world’s leading research teams, will cost the NHS millions of pounds, and will not just affect CHD services but a range of other heart and lung services too.

In the letter, MPs call on Jeremy Hunt to intervene to halt the proposals, as he did the last time Royal Brompton’s CHD services were under threat during the now notorious ‘Safe and Sustainable’ review in 2013.

The letter concludes by adding “Would you not agree that the closure could only be justified if it is clearly set out how this would lead to a better service for patients? To date NHS England has completely failed to demonstrate this”.

Victoria Borwick MP, who signed the letter, said: “MPs have come together from across the political divide to support Royal Brompton, showing that this is not a party political issue. This is a matter of simple common sense. Royal Brompton Hospital offers world leading services as one of the biggest and best heart disease hospitals and is also renowned for its cystic fibrosis care. It is entirely wrong to put this in jeopardy.”

Thanks, Mr Swire – at least we know what your priorities are.

As your second home is in mid-Devon, not East Devon, will you be fighting for community hospitals there? Though, of course, community hospitals ARE remaining in your bit of East Devon but now removed from Ottery St Mary, Honiton, Axminster and Seaton – so no worries for you on that score. That’s Parish’s problem. Though as he has HIS second home in Somerset – and successfully campaigned for HIS local district hospital to stay open there – maybe he’s not too worried either.