|'A Disaster For The Community' Say Campaigners|
Another blow for Ealing Hospital as maternity unit faces closure
Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group (ECCG) is to press ahead with the early closure of Ealing Hospital Maternity Unit despite furious opposition.
The unit could shut in March next year, in the latest stage of a move to provide maternity services at six so called “super hospitals” in north and west London.
The ECCG endorsed the 'Shaping A Healthier Future' report which claimed a shortage of consultant cover at Ealing means expectant mothers do not receive the same quality of care as at neighbouring hospitals.
"This is a dreadful decision from the point of view of women in Ealing. The proposed replacement maternity services will be a total mish mash compared to the fantastic service which we have now, with it's brand new birthing unit being scrapped at huge cost.
'' The only reason to close Ealing Maternity is to press ahead with the plans to close the A&E at Ealing Hospital, which will be followed by demolition of the current building, sale of the site to developers and replacement of a much needed hospital with a glorified clinic."
Chair of Ealing Save Our NHS, Oliver New added:
'' The reality of all this is that Ealing Hospital, which in particular services the Asian and Somali community in Southall, is facing the axe as part of Government cuts. Other local hospitals will be unfamiliar with the healthcare and cultural needs of the local community, as all hospitals grow organically around the areas in which they are based.
''There are no bus routes from Southall to the remaining hospitals, leaving women, often with children in tow to make long journeys. Choice of hospitals in which to give birth willo be undermined. Continuity of care, particularly between pre-natal and antenatal will be undermined. Paediatric services will also be closed, along with gynecological services - all in all a disaster for our community.
Dr Mohini Parmar, Ealing GP and Ealing CCG Chair, said: '' These plans are about improving care for women across north west London and we can do this by increasing consultant cover and investing in six maternity units rather than the current seven.
“It is important to note that no decision on the timing of these changes has been made. The final decision will only be made when we have full assurance from all the Trusts, which will look after Ealing mothers and children in the future.''
9th October 2014