GUEST COLUMN: the fight is on for long-term future of our hospital

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Staff at Bassetlaw Hospital have reportedly been told not to voice their concerns at changes, including the shifting of breast cancer treatment out of the area.

I am liaising with the unions to uncover exactly what the situation is and will hold a big public meeting later this year.

There is no question that the fight is on for the long-term future of our hospital.

The model for closing local services is always the same – we saw it with the closure of the courts.

The responsibilities of the service are reduced and transferred out of the area whilst denials are issued that it will never be closed.

This is the stage we are at now with Bassetlaw Hospital.

Then more and more is removed from the area until the Government can claim that it makes financial sense to close the service altogether.

I feel that was the exact process used to close local courts up and down the country, including in Bassetlaw.

And if we let them get away with it they will do the same to our hospital.

Make no mistake, we have had to fight off attempts by King’s Mill and Nottingham hospitals to use our funding, and any lessening of the services provided locally will make it harder to keep them at bay.

A huge number of local people have already joined my campaign to keep breast cancer treatment services based at Bassetlaw .

Please contact me at mannj@parliament.uk or 01909 506200 if you want to help with the campaign or add your name to the petition.

I am not opposed to all change in our local health service – for example the new funding for the children’s ward is something that I have called for and there may be some positive changes to the ambulance service that could be made.

But the claims of staff being silenced and services being moved out of the area do not bode well.

The hospital trust board needs be to standing up for the hospital and ensure that services are maintained at their current level.

Sacking Sam Allardyce as England manager was the right decision by the FA.

We have wider problems in our football culture that need to be dealt with.

One step in the right direction would be to reduce the power of football agents.

The Bosman ruling from Europe in the mid-1990s led to a massive decrease in the power that clubs have and the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest paid the price.

Their top players were able to walk away from them to sign lucrative new deals, negotiated in secret by agents with clubs kept in the dark.

I have therefore written to the Sports Minister and Secretary of State for Brexit urging them to ditch the Bosman ruling when we leave the EU and are no longer under the jurisdiction of the European Court.