Sunday 15 December 2013

Alternative uses proposed for Central Middlesex Hospital after A&E closure

The Central Middlesex Accident and Emergency facility is still set to close despite extensive local opposition.  However the hospital is still being paid for through a Private Finance Initiative scheme so North West London NHS has to find ways of using the building to the maximum once the A&E is closed. It is claimed that just having an elective hospital there would result in an £11m recurring deficit.

At a Shaping a Healthier Future (SaHF) meeting on Thursday the initial plans were unveiled.  SaHF said that they want to make changes as 'soon as practicably possible' but also need to consider whether neighbouring A&Es are ready for transition and whether Central Middlesex and Hammersmith Urgent Care Centres are operating according to North West London wide specifications.

Options of using Central Middlesex as just an Elective Hospital (pre-arranged treatment) and the closure of the site were rejected. Instead SaHF opted for an option in which a 'Bundle of Services from multiple providers' would operate on the Central Middlesex site. After reducing an initial 'long list'  of possibilities their 'optimised proposal' is:
HUB PLUS FOR BRENT - A major hub for primary care and community services including additional out-patient clinics and relocation and expansion of community rehabilitation beds from Willesden Community Hospital.

ELECTIVE ORTHOPAEDIC CENTRE - A joint venture for local providers delivering modern elective orthopaedic services.

BRENT'S MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES - Transferred from Park Royal Centre for Mental Health.

REGIONAL GENETICS SERVICE - Relocated from Northwick Park Hospital.
These are in addition to a 24/7 Urgent Care Centre at Central Middlesex. The changes would necessitate considerable investment in the site.
In answer to my question SAHF  said Sickle Cell services would continue from Central Middlesex. They argued that the Hub Plus option would mean more primary care and community services available on site, direct access to diagnostic services, more out-patient clinics and that co-location would support integration.  Provision of community rehabilitation beds would have repercussions for the Willesden Community Hospital site with a possibility of other services moving there.including another GP service, or that some of it may be sold off.

SaHR said that dedicated planned/elective care would give the advantage of reduced length of stay and low infection and complication rates. It would be based on a 'proven model of care receiving high patient satisfaction' as provided by  the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre. It would be a joint venture between Northwick Park, Ealing, St Mary's and Charing Cross (Imperial) hospitals.

They claim that the transfer of Mental Health Services would mean better standards and a reduction in risk and the optimisation of care. Patients would benefit from a rebuilt mother and baby unit and moder pharmacy services that could also be used to support other services on the site.

The Regional Genetics Services provides outreach services across North West London and surrounding counties. It has two laboratories at Northwick Park which are independent of the general labs which are provided by a private provider. SaHF claim that moving it to Central Middlesex would 'allow profitable service lines to be developed' at Northwick Park.

It is proposed to hold an 'Options evaluation workshop with wide stakeholder audience' on the proposals on January 14th 2014.

Unfortunately the audience on Thursday was made up of people who were expert in the area, understood the jargon, and were on first name terms with the organisers. SAHF asked for ideas on how to engage more people, and apart from reducing the jargon, an idea that I put forward was for a special meeting about the proposals for the lead first aiders/welfare assistants of Brent schools  so that they can be briefed about the upcoming changes and can pass that knowledge on to parents of children who use those services.


Emma said...

Does anyone know whether consultation by the NHS over the last 2 years with the public on the future of CMH has made any difference to the outcome?

Anonymous said...

Where are all the people who used to be actively involved in health matters in Brent? If you are all fed up I can understand why: it all seems to be just one restructure after another and each time everything starts all over again, there is never any retained history to build on.

I would still urge you nonetheless to stay involved if only by joining Healthwatch Brent and keeping an eye on their e-mails informing us all of upcoming consultations being staged by either Brent Council or by Brent NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

Dear Martin,
I too, deplore the modern trend of addressing people you don't know personally, by their first names or even worse, by diminutives ("Mo" for Cllr Butt, leader of Brent Council for example). This starts with schools in my view who should encourage teaching staff to address each other formally by title and surname in front of pupils. Even at my advanced age, I am completely incapable of addressing my former teachers as anything other than Mr or Mrs Whatever. Hope you were not one of the trendy 'modernisers' in your time!!