The care bill receives its second reading in the Commons next Monday. It’s an important bill that aims to bring up to date the legal framework underpinning the care system. While it needs improvement, it’s a real opportunity to address our care crisis. It is therefore disappointing that the government is using it as a vehicle to change the law after Jeremy Hunt‘s embarrassing legal failure over cuts to A&E and maternity services at Lewisham hospital. Instead of admitting defeat, ministers passed a Lords amendment to the care bill – now clause 118. It’s an attempt to sneak through a fundamental shift in the way decisions are made about hospital closures, giving new powers to special administrators to make changes to services without the inconvenience of the kind of local scrutiny and democracy that saved Lewisham. Strong cross-party opposition to this clause is building in parliament. My early day motion exposes and opposes this stealthy attempt to change the law to allow the closure of successful services that communities want and need. I hope MPs will sign it before clause 118 comes to the Commons.