Last week, Rachael Maskell MP questioned David Cameron at Prime Minister's Question time over the closure of Bootham Park Hospital referring to the recently released NHS England and Healthwatch’s reports that highlighted the failures in the government’s Health and Social Care Act (2012) and the authorities and jurisdictions of partner organisations in securing a safe services.
Rachael pressed the Prime Minister to act urgently in line with both the recommendations made by NHS England and the Healthwatch report that shows harm occurred and that lives have subsequently been lost. Rachael first highlighted the risk associated with Bootham Park Hospital in her Maiden Speech in Parliament. Despite Rachael repeatedly raising these issues with Ministers, no action was taken until the Care Quality Commission (CQC) determined the hospital should be closed on 30 September 2015, over a period of just 3 working days. She led a debate in Parliament earlier this year to highlight the avoidable risks that led to the closure of Bootham and pointed out these could occur anywhere in the country.
Now that it has been established that the governments Health and Social Care Act (2012) has failed, Rachael has organised a public meeting in June and invited the Minister and the bodies involved in writing the reports to give constituents a chance to ask their questions directly.
Rachael Maskell says:
“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. Since the hospital closed, I have written countless letters, held meetings with all the major organisations involved and have held public meetings to address some of the issues which were raised. I have also spoken in debates in Parliament and asked Parliamentary Questions.
"The government now needs to address the failures within the Health and Social Care Act to ensure that people in other parts of the country are not failed by the structure of the NHS as some patients from Bootham have been. This government has a lot to answer for in their ideological restructuring of the NHS, which cost £3bn and has failed to protect patients from safety risks.
"Serious questions are now being asked of the Government following the closure of Bootham Park Hospital, and the tragic deaths at the Southern Trust. Jeremy Hunt’s narrative on patient safety is no more than words tossed into the air. 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.
"I will continue to highlight these failings and keep pushing this Government until I get the answers the people of York deserve.”
Ms Maskell is calling for a new modern, fit for purpose mental health hospital to be constructed on the Bootham Park site, stating that it is crucial to allow accessibility for patients and connectivity with York Teaching Hospital. She will be speaking at the March for Mental Health in St. Helen’s Square at 12.00pm on the 14th of May.