Sandwell stitches up City hospital

Press Statement
For immediate release
Local residents are shocked at the announcement by Health Minister Alan Johnson that he would uphold the decision to close the Accident and Emergency Ward in City Hospital.
How dare Alan Johnson claim “I am satisfied that the proposals are in the interests of the local health services and users.”
Let him come to Birmingham and ask the public what we think. The public meeting held by the Evening Mail clearly showed the opinion of the public, as did the thousands of signatures collected against the closure.
One of the campaign organisers, Raghib Ahsan, says “we should be able to expect our Labour government to listen to the people in our area, not turn their backs on us. We will continue to campaign to save the A&E ward.”
Campaigners have called a protest for 2pm on Tuesday 1st January 2008.
Raghib says “we have called the protest on New Year’s day to make it clear we will campaign every day of the year if necessary to stop this closure”.
For more information call
Raghib Ahsan on 07941 284 617
John Tyrrell on 0121 241 7896
Pete Jackson on 07977 057 902
As an early Christmas present Alan Johnson has announced that Birmingham’s City Road Hospital’s A & E department will move to Sandwell. This is a prelude to the closure of both hospitals to build a new single hospital in Sandwell. Actually it’s not likely to please Sandwell constituents either since the proposed site is well away from the centre of the borough.
All this is in spite of public meetings where there has been massive opposition from Birmingham residents and hospital staff. One meeting I went to, when the joint trust board decided on the move, members of the board just sat there without saying anything. It appears to be dominated by Sandwell. And who should come into the room late but Bill Thomas, Leader of Sandwell Council, who turned out to be a board member too. He promptly fell asleep. There is no representative from Birmingham City Council as far as I’m aware. Trying to get information through the “freedom of information” on the trust’s website is like trying to get blood out of a stone. Looking for details in the glossy self-congratulatory Annual Report like finding a needle in a haystack. Transparent they’re not. This lot are paid, I think it was £5,000 a year last I heard. Doubtless it’s gone up by now. I get sweet FA for being a governor of a school which entails far more than sitting in on meetings once or twice a year and dozing. That’s New Labour.
There’s a group of people here who are influential in New Labour, some of them being members of the notorious “Labour First” that ganged up to support Khalid Mahmood as MP for Perry Barr.
Khalid was at another public meeting organised by Birmingham Post and Mail. He was asked directly what his position was to which he replied “I will do whatever my constituents decide”. So what will he do now. Over to you Khalid!

The so-called merger of City and Sandwell hospital is a HOSPITAL CLOSURE. When this happened in Kidderminster it affected the election to the extent that a member of parliament was elected. So let’s expect to see action on the streets.

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