Closure of 4 London A&Es Will Have Devastating Impact

Assembly member says those left wll have to cover additional 120,000 patients each

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The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will face questions this week on the future of London’s threatened Accident and Emergency departments.

In North West London there are currently 9 A&Es but four have agreed to axe their casualty units under plans to create five “super hospitals” in west London.

Despite fierce opposition Ealing, Hammersmith, Charing Cross and Central Middlesex are set to lose their accident and emergency departments over the next three years.

New analysis shows that closure of some of the capital’s A&Es will mean the rest will have to cater for an extra 120,000 residents each.

London Assembly member Murad Qureshi says there is already growing pressure on care with many more patients waiting longer then four hours in A&E - at its highest point since 2004/5.

He has pointed to increased trolley waits in A&E, longer waiting times for operations  and pressure from emergency admissions.

Over 4,000 nurses have been lost in the NHS since the coalition government took over.

Londoners, he continues, also face increased demand on other emergency services:

  • London Ambulance Service will lose £53million (19%) of it’s budget by 2015/16, resulting in 890 job cuts, of which 560 will be frontline staff
  • The London Fire Brigade is likely facing the loss of up to 30 stations, 30 appliances and hundreds of firefighters in light of £65million of cuts it must make this year and next year
  • The Metropolitan Police have already lost 1,777 police officers and 1,800 PCSOs in the past two years. With a £540million budget black-hole this will increase

Murad Qureshi AM, said:

 “We face unprecedented cuts to the provision of our health care in North West London. The closure of these A&Es will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on the A&E departments that will remain open and it will stretch resources and staff especially when the capital’s population is increasing. This will mean that by 2020 the remaining A&Es will have to cover an extra 120,000 residents each. This is yet more evidence of how patients are paying the price for the Government’s mismanagement of our NHS.

“This is not about politics, but about ensuring that we are preserving the NHS as an institution to pass on to the next generation. Londoners face being caught in a pincer of far fewer A&Es and a shrunken ambulance service. Across London we are seeing local residents campaign against these proposals, yet the Mayor of London is nowhere to be seen. He says that it’s nothing to do with him, but that hasn’t stopped him repeatedly campaigning to reduce the top rate of tax for the very richest.”


October 18, 2012