Labour leader Ed Miliband reaffirmed his determination to stop the NHS reform bill during his visit, along with shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, to Homerton Hospital in Hackney yesterday.
Miliband and Burnham had a two-hour-visit in the hospital to hear concerns of patients and health professionals who would be affected most under the bill.
During the tour they were shown around the A&E unit and children’s ward. Both spoke to a number of staff and patients including young children in the Starlight Children’s ward.
The leader of the opposition later spoke at a meeting where Hackney MPs Meg Hillier and Diane Abbott were also present. A Q&A session was also held where around 50 doctors and nurses conveyed their worries on the reforms.
Miliband said the NHS reform summit, which was taking place in Downing Street at the same time, “excludes those from the medical profession who disagree with his Bill.”
“The decisions we have to take in the coming weeks are going to affect every patient, every doctor, and everyone who works in the NHS for years to come.”
He criticised Prime Minister David Cameron’s “bunker mentality” for his handling of the reform.
“David Cameron should drop his Bill and get round the table with everyone who cares about the future of the NHS, including those who work in the health service and other political parties,” Miliband declared.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said staff had been very pleased to meet Miliband and Burnham: “They listened to the comments made by out staff and answered a number of questions.”