|A+E Closures - A Conservative Response|
'Stop the party politicking' and concentrate on the services
The London Assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon. Dr Onkah Sahota, has written about the closures of the two local A+E units.
Here, Cllr Gregory Stafford, leader of the Conservatives on Ealing Council says its time to stop the party politics and focus on actual health provision.
''I have always said it is highly regrettable that any of our local A&Es are being closed by NHS North West London’s ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ plan and clearly many people will be disappointed by the closure of central Middlesex and Hammersmith A&Es this week.
''Dr Sahota is being unduly negative when he refers to Northwick Park Hospital A&E as being ill-equipped to offer an alternative service.
''As a GP in Ealing he is well aware of the local NHS plans for North West London which will see Northwick Park opening a brand new A&E this Autumn having invested £21milion on a new facility there – details of which are already online on Get West London. It is disappointing that he continues to devalue all our reasonable concerns about the reconfiguration process with his partial and party political pronouncements.
''Furthermore, both Central Middlesex and Hammersmith hospitals will continue to offer an Urgent Care service, both 24 hours a day. So while it is true we are losing 2 A&Es, albeit Central Middlesex was only open during daytime hours, there are some positive developments such as the brand new £21 million A&E at Northwick Park Hospital. The local NHS is confident that this new A&E will provide an excellent service to all who need access to an A&E.
''However, I do criticise the timing – why couldn’t the NHS have ensured this was open before the closure of the 2 A&Es?
''This question is not for the Secretary of State or the Mayor of London but for the local GPs who voted in favour of and are in charge of the reconfiguration process. Rather than attacking those who have actually intervened to save two of our A&Es (as Jeremy Hunt did for Ealing and Charing Cross) he should focus his attentions on his own local NHS (of which he is a key member) to make sure their plans for implementation are appropriate for the area and protect the people of Ealing.
''Dr Sahota's continued party-politicking around this issue is unbecoming of a professional and does a disservice to his constituents who deserve to know the full facts from their elected politicians.''
Cllr Gregory Stafford
12th September 2014