At a meeting on 27 June, members unanimously called on Ed Miliband, all MPs in the Trust area, together with unions and organisations representing staff, to combine with the Secretary of State and his Labour Shadow Andy Burnham in a campaign to protect the health service from privatisation, cutbacks and closures threatened by the prospect of being placed in administration – better known as bankruptcy.
Nigel de Gruchy, Secretary of the Orpington Labour Party said:
We fear privatisation will be brought in to reduce the debt through the usual means of cutbacks in staff and deteriorations in their pay and conditions which inevitably lead to lower morale and inferior service standards.
We also believe strongly that neither should patients be penalised for all the undoubted mistakes associated with financial mismanagement and the absurdities of Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs). They were introduced under a Conservative Government but continued by New Labour to finance (amongst other things) the building of new hospitals in the area and elsewhere.
There is no reasonable alternative other than for the National Exchequer to write off the debt. Such a measure cannot be taken lightly but massive sums many times greater than the reported Trust’s £150m debt have been used to bail out the banking industry.