From the parliamentary debate on A&E waiting times:
Stephen Pound (Ealing North, Labour)I am grateful to my hon. Friend and neighbour for giving way. In view of what he has just said, does he think that the best possible prescription is that currently recommended by the Government whereby the existing A and E departments at Ealing, Park Royal, Hammersmith and Charing Cross all close? Does he think that will improve waiting times in A and E departments?
Gareth Thomas (Harrow West, Labour)My hon. Friend, as ever, is ahead of me. He makes the perfectly reasonable point that if the Northwick Park and Central Middlesex A and E departments are not achieving the 95% target now, how can our constituents have any more confidence about reaching that target should the Central Middlesex and Ealing hospitals close?
Barry Gardiner (Brent North, Labour)As my hon. Friend knows, Northwick Park is just in my constituency and we share that border. Does he agree that whatever the future configuration of hospitals in north-west London, it is absolutely essential that the A and E unit at Northwick Park is expanded to cope and that that should happen before any reconfiguration?
Gareth Thomas (Harrow West, Labour)I share the view of my neighbour and hon. Friend Barry Gardiner. We need that expansion to go ahead, and to go ahead soon.