|New Emergency Unit for Ealing Hospital|
but fears that new department could lead to job losses
Unions fear that a minor injuries unit run by a private company at Ealing Hospital will mean job losses in the NHS.
The newly opened urgent care centre (UCC) - which operates alongside the A&E - is open 24 hours a day to treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries that require urgent and immediate attention.
It's been commissioned by NHS Ealing, and is run by private firm Care UK, which also runs the Brent urgent care centre at Central Middlesex Hospital.
In a letter informing staff at the hospital about the changes, Borough Director of NHS EALING, Ursula Gallagher, said:" Throughout the commissioning and development of the new urgent centre, NHS Ealing has worked closely with local GPs, Ealing Hospital and Care UK to ensure that the centre will provide an excellent service to people in Ealing.''
However Unions are worried that the move could lead fewer staff.
Eddie Jaggers, UNISON Regional Organiser for Ealing Hospital says: ''Unfortunately, the Urgent Care Centre was tendered out by Ealing Commissioners and the private company Care UK were successful.
''The Urgent Care Centre is not the Emergency Department (ED) which is still run by the NHS. The Urgent Care Centre acts as a Gate keeper for the ED dealing with walking cases that would normally be treated by a GP, all other cases are referred to the ED.
''Experience tells us that this may lead to the reduction of throughput in the ED that in time may lead to a reduction of NHS staff including doctors and very skilled nursing staff.
13th July 2011