Secretary of State the Rt Hon. Andrew Lansley MP has announced he will not intervene in the decision to close Burnley’s Deerplay children’s ward and sick children who need to stay in hospital overnight will still have to travel to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Commenting, the Lib-Dems’ Coun. Darren Reynolds, who has been closely involved in the A&E and Children’s Ward campaigns, said: “This is a complete failure of the democratic process and I’m ashamed to be involved in it.
“The voters, the taxpayers, the patients, the staff and everyone else in Burnley wants the Children’s Ward re-opened.
“Lib Dem party policy is for direct elections so ordinary people can take over the running of the PCT and make these decisions themselves. A watered-down version of that even made it into the Coalition Agreement.
“But Andrew Lansley has torn this up and is attempting to impose his own personal policy of washing his hands of any decisions and leaving it all to GPs to reconsider in two or three years’ time.
“That is simply not good enough. Burnley’s MP needs to insist Nick Clegg intervenes now and he needs to resign his Government posting as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to show he means business.
“All Lib Dem MPs need to make sure they oppose Lansley’s reforms as was demanded by their party conference. Lansley’s plans are back-door privatisation of the NHS and do nothing to deal with the democratic deficit. The NHS will fail to listen to the people who work in it, pay for it and depend on it, until there are direct elections and the public are put in charge.”