19 hospitals facing closure as NHS is "downgraded behind closed doors"
Nineteen hospitals are facing closure, including five acute hospitals, according to an analysis of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) by the i newspaper.
Other findings of the investigation include the planned closure of 2,000 beds in acute and community hospitals and the loss of nearly 3,000 NHS jobs.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented:
"Hospital closures and reduced access to care are an inevitable consequence of this government's chronic underfunding of the NHS.
"We are seeing the gradual downgrading of our health service taking place behind closed doors.
"There needs to be an honest debate that fully involves the public. Many people now agree that to secure the long-term future of the NHS and care, we may all have to pay a little more in tax.
"It's time for a national convention on the NHS and care that brings the public and political parties together to come up with bold solutions to this crisis."