Leaked Document Reveals Potential A&E Closures

Ealing Hospital, Central Middlesex and West Middlesex at risk

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Accident and Emergency units in Ealing, Central and West Middlesex hospitals are under threat of closure according to a leaked report.

The document - disclosed by the Evening Standard - claims up to three-quarters of the eight A&E units in north-west London could be shut or downgraded.

NHS London has written to local officials warning that keeping even three major acute hospital sites is “clinically and financially unsustainable”.

The future of another five acute units out of a total of 31 in the capital is under discussion.

Growing demand for health services means NHS London faces a predicted funding shortfall of £5 billion over the next few years and has ordered trusts to make massive efficiency savings.

But health campaigners said the plans represented “a secret carve up”.

Geoff Martin, of London Health Emergency, said:

“It's a scandal the future of up to a third of A&E departments is being decided in secret meetings despite the fact that they are life-or-death services paid for by Londoners in taxes.”

Officials working in each of the five health zones covering London have had to draw up cost-saving plans. Most are unlikely to be finalised until this September when the proposals go out to public consultation.

NHS London today said there were “no firm plans” to make any closures and that any changes would be made after consultation with the public.

February 12, 2010