A senior A&E doctor who helped spearhead a campaign to save the emergency department at Lewisham Hospital in London is to stand in the European elections in the capital.
Dr Chidi Ejimofo, a consultant in emergency medicine at University Hospital Lewisham, is the latest NHS employee to announce his candidacy for the National Health Action (NHA) Party – a new political movement which aims to alert people to privatisation and cuts in the NHS.
Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department came under threat last year after administrators were brought in to transform services in the area. The Court of Appeal ruled that the health Secretary Jeremy Hunt acted unlawfully in seeking to shut wards at the hospital, which was performing well.
Dr Ejimofo, who also appeared on television as part of an NHS choir in the BBC’s The Choir: Sing While You Work programme, said his decision to stand was driven by concern that the British public were “unaware of how close they are to losing” the NHS.
“I witnessed first-hand senior clinical colleagues from NHS England intent on driving through Government policies that had been shown to both destructive and lacking in clinical evidence,” he said. “I witnessed Department of Health appointees in partnership with private sector management experts dust off an abandoned and discredited reconfiguration scheme at a cost of millions of pounds, while forgetting to address key concerns such as children’s health, mental health and women’s health.”
The NHA Party was formed last year. Dr Ejimofo is the third candidate to stand for the party in London for May’s European elections, joining the comedian and actor Rufus Hound and the GP Dr Louise Irvine, who also campaigned to save Lewisham Hospital.
NHA leader and co-founder Dr Clive Peedell will stand against David Cameron in Witney at the 2015 General Election.