Guest columnist: Hospital board must go in wake of children’s ward closure

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Last week, I wrote that if the board of Bassetlaw Hospital allows the children’s ward to be closed to new admissions overnight and at weekends, the members should resign.

It has now been officially announced that the ward will be closed to new patients after 8pm from the end of the month.

Unless they reverse this decision, the board should go ahead and quit in my view.

Regular readers of this paper will recall the situation faced by local boy Zac, a blind and non-verbal three year-old who was born with cerebral palsy, chronic chest disease and hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid on the brain.

Being able to access his local hospital whenever he is ill, with staff who know him well, is hugely important to Zac and his family.

Now they face having to travel to Doncaster A&E where they will have a four-hour wait to be seen, before then making their own way back home.

More and more parents are now coming forward with similar stories.

I am therefore organising a meeting with families who are directly affected by this at my Worksop office on Stanley Street in the town on Thursday, January 26 at 6pm .

If you would like to attend please contact me in advance on 01909 506200 or email mannj@parliament.uk

It is completely unacceptable that the wellbeing of children like Zac is not being prioritised.

As his mother has explained to me, the effects of this change on local children is extremely dangerous.

A longer journey with added waiting times and having to deal with new people is the last thing that Zac and other local children need.

The impact of this decision is already having a huge impact on children’s lives and we need to stand together to get this disastrous decision overturned.

We need a hospital leadership focused on the health of local people.

We are fortunate in our area to live so close to the land that produces our food and drink which means we place a high value on protecting our countryside.

I have always championed our local produce.

Last year, for example, I hosted Bassetlaw Day in Parliament, which saw local businesses from our area go down to London and showcase their products to MPs, Government ministers and the national media.

Of particular importance nationally are the local fields and farmers who provide the ingredients for millions of pints of beer.

There is one local farm, for example, which produces the malting barley for four million pints of Carlsberg every year.

I will continue to stand up for local farmers and pubs, who have faced a very tough time in recent years.

Pubs employ more than 1,000 people in our area and remain an important part of our local community and economy.