David Cameron was challenged over the abrupt closure of Bootham Park Hospital in the Commons on Wednesday (May 4).
York Central MP Rachael Maskell called on him to change the law at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Cameron responded by suggesting that the mental health hospital was right to be closed so quickly because it was “not fit for purpose”.
Ms Maskell told the PM:
She added: “A Healthwatch report showed that harm has occurred because life has been lost.
“Will the Prime Minister now accept that, because of the serious risk that has been created, the 2012 Act has to change in line with NHS England’s recommendations?”
Mr Cameron said he would look carefully at what Ms Maskell said.
But he added:
I am pleased that action was taken. Bootham Park was not fit for purpose.
The Care Quality Commission identified serious and life-threatening issues on patient safety, which were not put right. As a result, there was a decision to close and then subsequently reopen the facility after changes.
‘Failed to protect patients’
Labour’s Ms Maskell said the government had a lot to answer for “in their ideological restructuring of the NHS which cost £3bn and has failed to protect patients from safety risks”.
“Today the Prime Minister has failed to accept that the chaos created by his Health Act that led to the perfect storm and Bootham Park Hospital’s closure and refuses to acknowledge the need for transparency and to learn from mistakes that have occurred.
“No one has yet accepted responsibility for the delays in finding solutions to the risks at Bootham Park Hospital and ultimately service users across York have suffered as a consequence.”
She also criticised Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for his handling of the NHS.
It is very telling of the Government’s approach when it cannot be bothered to come to York and listen to the voices of those who use and work in the service.