The NHS plans to demote four hospitals in North West
London. The proposals recommend the closure of Accident and Emergency
departments at Ealing, Central Middlesex, Hammersmith and Charing Cross
This would mean Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and
Ealing will be without A&E departments, and will affect the
provision of health care in North West London. Other departments at risk
in the affected hospitals include intensive care, emergency surgery,
paediatrics and maternity units.
Neither closing A&E at Central Middlesex
Hospital, nor restricting its opening hours makes any sense. From
personal experience I can vouch for how overwhelmed and over-stretched
the A&E at Northwick Park Hospital is.
Since the very restricted opening of Alexandra
Polytechnic the demand on A&E at Northwick Park Hospital has greatly
increased. It is absurd to expect residents from the Southern parts of
Brent like Harlesden to use Northwick Park Hospital given the, very poor
public transport links. I would like this ill conceived closure
proposal to be withdrawn, until this happens I am committed to fighting
the closure plans to save local health services for the local community.
It's impossible for any UK politician, of any party, to avoid publicly opposing A&E closures. But that is not always the right thing to do.
We should expand facilities at some A&Es in London, and close the rest, replacing them with 24-hour injury clinics, for walk-in patients.
With better hospitals for ambulance cases, more of us Londoners would stay alive.
Let's have investment in community services, including health and social care and transport, before closing chunks of hospital provision. There is no evidence that anyone is ensuring a direct bus service between CMH and alternative A&E provision eg Northwick Park. It would cost £12 each way to get from CMH to Northwick Park - a hefty cost for even those in decently paid jobs and impossible for those who are not.
What about longer waiting times in remaining A&E? I don't see waiting times being reduced as a result of A&E closures.
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