Sunday 10 March 2013

Action needed to save Central Middlesex A&E

It is sometimes thought that only the residents in the south of Brent and neighbouring areas of Ealing are concerned about the closure of Central Middlesex Hospital. However residents in the north of the borough, served by Northwick Park Hospital A&E are also affected as this Guest Blog shows:
I hear that Ealing Council's scrutiny panel has voted unanimously to refer a decision to downgrade A&E departments in north-west London to an independent panel and wonder what you think about the decision to close the A & E departments?

If Central Middlesex, Ealing, Charing Cross and Hammersmith A & E departments are to close what impact is this going to have on the whole of densely populated and hugely congested West London????

Ealing Council are campaigning hard against this decision and so far I can only see Navin Shah, London Assembly member for Brent and Harrow (see this LINK) campaigning against the closures I can’t understand why the local councillors and our MP Barry Gardiner* are not campaigning against the closures too?
Navin Shah's press release LINK said:
A&Es will be forced to cater for an extra 120,000 residents on average each. In 2010 there were 32 A&E departments in London, but only 24 would remain under these plans."

"The 32 A&E’s served a population of 8.17million Londoners, an average of 255,000 people each. Reducing to 24 A&Es will mean they have to cover 340,000 each, with London’s population due to rise to 9million by 2020. This will increase the number of people each A&E is due to cover to 375,000 residents - an increase of 120,000 for each A&E. This assumes that no further closures take place.
As you know in recent years every single bit of space in Wembley has had flats built on it, bringing more and more residents to Wembley and more and more traffic congestion.  Add to this the new designer outlet and French school coming to Wembley Park - these will both bring more people and more traffic to the area.

What about Wembley Stadium with 90,000 capacity plus staff and Wembley Arena with 12,500 capacity plus staff, these bring another 102,500 plus people to the area when both venues are holding events - should there be a major incident when both venues are full to capacity how would Northwick Park A & E cope???  How would emergency vehicles cope with getting people through Wembley to Northwick Park or through to the other remaining A & E departments???  When the stadium was opened traffic schemes were put in place to get people away from the stadium to the North Circular to try and stop the congestion in Wembley so would it not make sense to keep Central Middlesex A & E open???? 

Also we hear that Central Middlesex A & E will close this June well before the new larger A & E is supposed to open at Northwick Park – how can this be allowed to happen when it clearly says that the A & E departments will close in the next 2-3 years after the new larger A & E departments are open???

My friend recently broke his toe and went to Northwick Park A & E at 10.00pm on a Monday night and was told he would have to wait 5-6 hours before he was seen – he decided not to wait and went back the next day and had to wait 4 hours to be seen.  How will Northwick Park A & E cope when everyone has to go there?  Will the hospitals be reducing parking charges for people that have to wait for hours and hours in the A & E departments to be seen??? Will there be improved public transport - if you have to go there in the middle of the night there will be no public transport available.

What impact will all the extra traffic have on the area with people having to travel further for treatment - not very good for the environment!

*Barry Gardiner says Central Middlesex A & E is not in his constituency but a lot of the people who will be affected by its closure are his constituents!!!
 Since this guess posting was sent to me Cllr Lincoln Beswick  (Labour, Harlesden) has written in the Brent and Kilburn Times regarding the closure of Central Middlesex A&E and other Coalition policies::
All these areas that this affects must stand up, be more forceful, challenge nationally elected members and jointly have a march for freedom from this atrocious, blatant, obvious and odious decision. Those elected and in opposition should not stay silent on these issues.

This requires joint action by all those who are affected - elected politicians, health service, trade unionists, general community and media services
A first practical action will be if Brent Council decides to refer back the decision to close Central Middlesex A&E at the meeting of the Health Partnerships Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on Tuesday March 19th 7pm Brent Town Hall. LINK

The public can request to speak at the meeting. The contact is: 

Lisa Weaver, Democratic Services Officer  (020) 8937 1358 Email:

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