Hospitals Downgrade to Be Forensically Examined

Council preparing official response to controversial NHS plans

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Tim Rideout

Tim Rideout

Hospital Closures are 'Matter of Life and Death'

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A former NHS chief executive has been employed by Ealing Council to scrutinise controversial plans for local health services.

Timothy Rideout, has already produced a scathing report for Hammersmith & Fulham Council on the NHS proposals which, if agreed, will see four out of nine A&Es in the area close and Ealing Hospital downgraded to a ‘local hospital’, stripping it of nine of the 11 major types of service.

Mr Rideout has worked in a variety of senior health roles, both at the Department of Health and more recently as chief executive of a primary care trust. He is working alongside other experts who will forensically examine the NHS’s business case used to support these proposals.

The independent report will be delivered at the beginning of October and will form part of the council’s official response to the NHS consultation which is set to close on 8 October.

Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for health and adult services, said: “If these plans go ahead our local hospital services will be annihilated. Mr Rideout is a highly-respected health professional and the work he and his team are doing will enable the council to properly scrutinise the NHS’s proposals and respond to the consultation on behalf of our residents.

“From speaking to people I know, many have been put off filling in the NHS consultation document because it is long, jargon-ridden and forces people to answer leading questions designed to support the proposal. If this was a true consultation people should have been given the opportunity to answer ‘none of the above’.”

People interested in finding out more about the proposals and what they mean for local health services are invited to attend a debate between NHS North West London and the Save Our Hospitals campaign. The event will be held at Ealing Town Hall on Wednesday 26 September at 7pm.

All political parties on Ealing Council oppose the proposals and councillors are urging anyone who lives or works in the borough to get behind the campaign to Save Our Hospitals by signing a petition and responding to the NHS consultation.

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19th September 2012