Ealing Labour is calling on the Tory-led Government to immediately halt its plans to close the A&E department at Central Middlesex Hospital after the chief inspector of hospitals found the alternative A&E service at Northwick Park Hospital to be in need of improvement.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the A&E service at Central Middlesex was ‘good’ but found that Northwick Park Hospital ‘required improvement’.
The Tories plan to close the A&E services at both Central Middlesex Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital on 10 September as part of its cuts to services across North-West London. This will mean that people who previously used A&E services at these hospitals will transfer to other local hospitals, including Northwick Park.
The CQC report which reviewed services provided by North West London Hospitals NHS Trust identified a number of areas where Northwick Park Hospital needs to improve including ensuring that there are enough staff to deal with A&E patients. It also wants to see better systems in place to assess and monitor the quality of A&E services to make sure that they are safe.
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council said:
“The report makes it clear these closures will put patients at risk. Patients will be transferred from a good hospital to one that needs improvement.
The closures have been rejected overwhelmingly by local people at the ballot box, who kicked Tories out across Northwest London and voted for Labour who have opposed the process throughout. Residents have made it clear that they reject Tory cuts to our health service.
The fig leaf the Tory-led Government has been clinging to is that these changes were about safer care. These inspection results have blown that justification out of the water. Local people don’t want these closures and they will make the health service less safe. They cannot be allowed to proceed.”
In addition to the planned closure of the two A&Es next month there are longer term plans to provide fewer maternity units in the region, including at Ealing Hospital.
The CQC inspection report, found that maternity services at Northwick Park Hospital required improvement to ensure women received a safe service. Worryingly, the inspection team found that women in labour couldn’t always get the help they needed and that individual needs of some mothers were not being met. It also found the environment and equipment in paediatric services needed to be improved.
Labour Candidate for Ealing Central and Acton Dr Rupa Huq said:
“The CQC’s stark report shows what we’ve known for months - North West London’s A&Es are in crisis, they are over stretched and they cannot take extra pressure at this critical time for the NHS. The Tories’ answer to overcrowded hospitals and increasing waiting times is to cut even more services.
This does not make sense to our residents and it doesn’t make sense to the Labour Party who have campaigned tirelessly to prevent the closures. The government must change course or risk putting even more patient’s safety at risk.”
The CQC’s full reports are available from: http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RV8.
For further comment contact Dr Rupa Huq: 07761 075 879