Sunday, October 07, 2018

Public Letter from Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Consultants

Over recent weeks there has been a determined campaign by some Telford based politicians to undermine the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust. Driving this campaign has been an attempt to stop a proposed and desperately needed reform of the hospital services based at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital at Telford, because it was not the reform they wanted. In my view, this campaign has been a disgrace, which has caused real damage (through delay) to the interests and welfare of patients. I also think the way in which the BBC has allowed itself to perform the role of ‘useful idiot’ in this campaign is a disgrace as well.
Today 37 consultants working at the two major hospitals have released the public statement below. I’ve not know anything like this to happen before. It’s clear the clinicians have had more than enough of political shenanigans. They have waited for NHS reform for many years and are asking that patient interests be given priority. I couldn’t agree more.


We would like to thank the local people of Telford, Wrekin, Shropshire and Mid Wales for the overwhelming support that they have given recently to our staff. Both our staff and the local public have been distressed and concerned by recent national headlines. We would like to reassure our patients that their safe care is our priority. We welcome the independent review of our maternity department which will help us to learn from past events. Our Accident and Emergency Depts are under enormous pressure, with doctors, nurses and all the staff doing their best despite overwhelming demand.
We now have a clear vision for the future of our hospitals. This year we have appointed many new consultants to the Trust who want to make their home here and help us realise this vision.
We will continue to work with and support our managers and members of the Board to bring this to fruition. Safe and effective care in Telford, Wrekin, Shropshire and Mid Wales requires stable leadership. Any major change in the leadership team would be a misguided and unnecessary distraction at this key time.
Thank you for continuing to support your local hospitals.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Second EU Referendum. NO.NO. NO

Having a few emails and letters from constituents asking me to back a second EU Referendum. Most of them describe this second EU Referendum as a ‘People’s Vote’ as if this renaming would make it more acceptable. Not to me it won’t. I’m not just a bit against it. I am totally 100% against it. And it’s not going to happen anyway. It’s a very very unwise idea.
I’m grateful to Lord (William) Hague for using his Telegraph column today to give order to the reasons that have underpinned my implacable opposition. I defy anyone to argue that this second EU Referendum is a ‘goer’ after reading my or Lord Hague’s laying out of the reasons why not.
Firstly, it would take getting on for a year to arrange. A special EU Referendum Act would have to be passed by both Houses of Parliament. There would be unlimited potential for dispute over its terms. There would then have to be time allowed for campaigns. It would not happen until the autumn of 2019. And the ghost of UKIP would burst out from its grave like a mighty colossus.
We have no idea what the question would be. Some want it be whether to accept whatever deal is agreed between the UK and the EU. Some want it only if we cannot agree a deal. And some want a straightforward re-run with a Remain option. And some even want a multiple choice. Unlimited potential for rows over this as well. Next autumn is ambitious!
Thirdly, a second vote would not settle the matter. What would happen next. I have no idea, without knowing the new referendum question.
Fourthly, the UK could well be torn asunder. The debates would be bitter. Far more bitter than last time. So bitter that Scotland and perhaps Northern Ireland would be estranged from England and Wales for ever. And London estranged from the rest of England and Wales.
Fifthly, I cannot see the Conservative Government surviving the bitter warfare which would be involved. There would be chaos, probably leading to a Corbyn led Gov’t which would be an outcome so damaging to the future of  Britain that I simply cannot find the words.
And sixthly, a decision to hold a referendum would lead to the EU doing all it could to avoid a deal. We already have some who want to Leave, and most who want to remain doing all they can to undermine the Prime Minister’s negotiating strength. A decision to hold a second referendum would make further negotiation pointless. The interests of the EU would be for the negotiations to fail.
At Saltzberg, a few days ago, the leaders of the EU27 set out to humiliate the Prime Minister and humiliate Britain. If we decided to hold a second referendum, we would be humiliating ourselves.