MPs fight for hospitals

Shaun Woodward with Spike's owners
Shaun Woodward with Spike's owners

BOTH St Helens MPs are set to join hospital anti-privatisation campaigners at Downing Street next month to deliver a petition to Number 10.

Dave Watts and Shaun Woodward will join health professionals, union leaders and local residents in Westminster to put across their case.

The Save Whiston and St Helens Hospitals (SWASH) campaign group was formed earlier this year after a leaked document revealed a proposal to privatise to help bridge a budget shortfall. Although the Government has dismissed the suggestion that the two hospitals could be privatised, Mr Watts and Mr Woodward claim the coalition is considering the options for the hospitals behind closed doors.

In a joint statement, the local MPs said: “It is clear that the Government is unwilling to be open and transparent in the way they are addressing this budget problem and we are very worried that the hospital management still have no idea how they are going to bridge the budget gap.

“Until the Government comes clean on the way that they intend to proceed, the public will still continue to be concerned about the Government’s plans for the hospitals.

“It’s also very worrying that the Government do not seem to consider the handing over of the hospital to private management as privatisation.

“Privatisation of the management would change the whole ethos and values of the hospital management and make it less focused on the patient and more focused on profit.”

To sign the SWASH group’s petition before it is presented to Prime Minister David Cameron in September, go online at:

Alternatively, you can go to or follow the campaign on Twitter at: