§ Mr. Peter Shore (Bethnal Green and Stepney)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 20, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,the announcement of £4 million cuts involving up to 600 redundancies at the Royal London hospital trust.It is a specific matter affecting the reduction of hospital services in the borough of Tower Hamlets. Six hundred jobs, including those of doctors, nurses and ancillary staff, are to go—about 12 per cent. of those employed at the Royal London hospital.
The matter is important both to those who work in the health service and to the community they serve. It comes on top of the decisions made only last month to close the accident and emergency department at the Mile End hospital and to reduce and rationalise other hospital services in the borough.
In Tower Hamlets, with our above average health needs, we are not over-provided with health services; we are seriously under-provided. The cuts will only lengthen the long waiting lists which now exist.
Last Friday's announcement was made without first informing, let alone consulting, either the health authority or the community health council. The immediate cause of the problem is that the Royal London hospital has been unable to sell £4 million-worth of its much needed services and now, one third of the way through the current financial year, has to make emergency cuts to balance the books.
Short-term financial pressures, not a serious study of the needs of the people of Tower Hamlets, have dictated the decisions. It is urgent, therefore, that the Government now provide extra funds to prevent large and unplanned cuts in hospital services, not only at the Royal London hospital, but elsewhere in London, at least until the Tomlinson report has been completed and until sensible decisions based on its findings have been taken.
§ Madam Speaker
I have listened carefully to what the right hon. Gentleman has said. As he knows, I have to give my decision without giving any reasons. I am afraid that I do not consider that the matter he has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 20. I therefore cannot submit the application to the House.