From Navin Shah Labour Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow
New figures have revealed the increasing strain London’s Accident and Emergency departments are facing. The increased pressure on A&Es follows the closure of wards across the capital. In the past year 199,693 people were forced to wait more than four hours at an A&E in London, this is an increase of 18% on the previous year when 168,604 people waited more than four hours.
The local A&E unit at Central Middlesex Hospital in Brent now operates at reduced hours with more suspected cuts to follow. Northwick Park Hospital in Brent, which is on the boundary of Harrow is the nearest A&E unit that is open for a twenty-four hour service. This will put so much pressure on Northwick Park Hospital with people waiting much longer hours at the A&E Department. Both Central Middlesex Hospital and Northwick Park Hospital fall under North West London, which has seen 12,778 people wait more than four hours over the past year.
Overall, two A&E units in London have been closed, two are to be “downgraded”, three are set to be closed and a further three are under threat of closure. In the past year all but one of London’s Hospital Trusts with A&Es failed to meet the key waiting time target of 95% of patients seen with 4 hours. In 15 out of 22 trusts this target was missed for over half of the last year. Navin Shah, local Labour London Assembly Member, is calling on the Health Secretary to urgently review the situation, and for the Mayor to lobby government for the resources that London’s NHS needs.
Navin Shah, local Labour London Assembly Member, said:
We were told that closing A&Es wouldn’t lead to longer waiting times, but the evidence shows that Londoners are waiting longer to be seen. In the past 12 months nearly 200,000 people across London and 12,778 people in North West London have been forced to wait for more than four hours at A&E. These figures are a damning indictment of the failure to properly plan our NHS services. 15 out of 22 Hospital Trusts have failed to meet this key target.Last year we all celebrated the NHS’ 65th Birthday, one year on the government’s botched top down reorganisation is putting severe pressure on our local services. Continuing to either close or downgrade London’s A&Es will make the situation even worse. NHS staff work hard to look after us all when we are at our most vulnerable, but they need the resources to be able to deliver the service we all expect. Central Middlesex Hospital now operates an 11 hour A&E service, which adds further pressure to Northwick Park Hospital’s A&E service. I am deeply worried that following these A&E closures, waiting times will continue to be high and Londoners will continue to suffer as a result.
1. Navin Shah is the Labour London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow.