What we need is more transparency

Public meeting with MP John Mann to discuss Bassetlaw Hospital clinical services review information. Mr Mann at the meeting. (w110115-1c)
Public meeting with MP John Mann to discuss Bassetlaw Hospital clinical services review information. Mr Mann at the meeting. (w110115-1c)

At last the Hillsborough disaster papers are being made public.

How can it ever be the case that such documents are locked away from the victims’ families? In all walks of life we expect the right to know and for people to be held accountable.

We had Bassetlaw people involved at the heart of this tragedy and terrible mistakes were made. A coach driver can misjudge a road and overturn a coach full of children. It has happened. All of us make mistakes. But covering them up means that justice can never be done and necessary changes are less likely to be made. Government, national and local, and public services need to be more accountable and the public has a right to know.

Where I draw the line is suing for mistakes. There should be a properly constructed compensation schemes in place but money does not remedy injustice. Most of all we politicians need to champion the public’s right to know and not allow weasel words that delay and block the truth.

Remember the consultation on the future of our ambulance stations by East Midlands Ambulance Service - they said it would be on their website in September, but strangely we are still waiting. They are a public body which needs to be open and honest with the facts. This Friday evening I am meeting ambulance staff to hear what they have to say.

What I have already found out is that the so called super-ambulance service which has been held up as the future model in order to support the proposals on the ambulance station closures is itself a disaster in Staffordshire, which is probably the worst county in England for health provision at the moment. Of course their ambulances now have one less place to go to because today there is a huge sign outside Stafford Hospital which says “Accident and Emergency closed from 10pm to 8am”. You can see where the highly paid health bosses want the service to go. I will be talking to Staffordshire MPs about their experience of the ambulance service, to ensure that nobody has the wool pulled over their eyes in East Midlands and Bassetlaw.

To sign the ambulance petition to keep our ambulance stations open you can visit www.johnmannmp.com, or call into my office on Carlton Road.

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