The Conservative candidate for Croydon North has admitted for the first time that he’s learnt from ‘people who are in the current government’ that a hospital in south London will close, confirming fears that Croydon University Hospital is at risk.
Samuel Kasumu made the revelation during an election debate at St Joseph’s College on Friday 19 May. Up until now, Croydon Conservatives – including candidates in the borough’s two other parliamentary constituencies – have denied any hospital was under threat despite an NHS consultation document stating that one will close.
During a discussion about the future of Croydon University Hospital, Mr Kasumu admitted: ‘As somebody who knows people who are in the current government, Mayday Hospital is not going to be shut…. Steve and I both know which hospital is going to close.’
When asked to clarify, Mr Kasumu refused to confirm which hospital he was referring to or which ministers he had spoken to. He also failed to deny Croydon University Hospital will face downgrading as services are closed or removed even if the hospital survives.
Labour is calling on the Tory candidate to reveal what he knows from his secret discussions with Government ministers, and why he refuses to back Steve Reed’s call for Croydon University Hospital to be given the same protected status as St George’s in Tooting.
The South West London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), drawn up by NHS managers in response to severe underfunding from the Conservative Government, states that Croydon University Hospital is one option being considered for closure or downgrading. St George’s in Tooting is given protected status, but Croydon University Hospital is not.
Steve Reed, Labour’s candidate for Croydon North, said:
“Finally the mask has slipped and the Tories have admitted that Government ministers have drawn up secret hospital closure plans.
“Under the published plans St George’s is protected but the Mayday is not. Whichever hospital closes in South West London, all the others will be pushed over capacity leading to even longer waiting times and beds in corridors.
“The Tories have finally admitted what is already stated clearly in the consultation – Croydon University Hospital is an option for closure or downgrading. Only a vote for Labour will save it.”