Closure of Hospital Units 'Scandalous and Indefensible'

Open letter from Save our NHS Campaign

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Protestors plan to demonstrate outside Central Middlesex Hospital and Hammersmith on September 10th - the day the Accident and Emergency Departments are scheduled for closure.

Oliver Day, Chair of Ealing's TUC Save Our NHS Campaign, writes:

It’s hard to think of anything worse - local A&E Departments are about to close without proper replacement services. It‘s a scandal and totally indefensible.
Insulting our intelligence, residents in most parts of Ealing have had letters claiming that A&E closures “are part of a wider programme of improvements to healthcare”.

The reality is that A&Es are being closed to save money at the expense of local people, and in the context of massive privatisation of health services. There are no suitable alternative services.

The letter also say that “there will be improved access to GP and community services near your home.” The letter fails to back it up because it’s not true. The reality is that GP services are under ever increasing pressure, their funding is under threat in some cases and on top of that GPs are expected to somehow become specialists in paediatrics and mental health, because of cuts in those areas.

The NHS managers still want to go ahead and close the much needed A&E Units at Central Middlesex and Hammersmith Hospitals, with Cuts at Ealing and Charing Cross to follow. The letters to residents tell us to go to neighbouring hospitals, starting with Northwick Park.

But no sooner that these ridiculous letters been delivered to our homes last week than the Government’s Care Quality Commission issued a report on the failures of Northwick Park A&E, while praising Central Middlesex A&E.

The Care Quality report says: “ Patient flow through Northwick Park was having an impact on people waiting in A&E, and pressure on the critical care units was so great that some people were being discharged too early and subsequently re-admitted”
How can NHS bosses pretend that this A&E is ready to take many thousands of A&E patients? The truth is it will not be able to cope.
The cuts to A&Es should be stopped. The Government and the NHS have always said they would not cut our hospitals until there were replacement services ready. There are no replacement services and people will suffer terrible consequences.

Oliver New,

Chair, Ealing TUC Save Our NHS Campaign




25th August 2014