At Tuesday evening’s Ealing council meeting Ealing Conservatives refused to condemn the closure of local hospitals.
Councillors were debating a Labour motion condemning the Tory-led Government’s decision to close accident and emergency units at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex Hospitals. The motion also condemned the decision to downgrade A&Es at Ealing and Charing Cross Hospitals which will effectively mean they are also closed and replaced with rebranded urgent care centres.
The Conservative Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt announced the changes in October after a local campaign to reverse the proposals led to an independent review. Despite a petition signed by thousands of residents and marches through the borough the Tory-led Government has decided to push through the closures, which are the biggest programme of hospital closures in NHS history.
The local Conservative group on Ealing council have now distanced themselves from the campaign to save hospitals by refusing to condemn their own Secretary of State’s decision. During the debate Labour members criticised the Government’s decision with Tory councillors hailing the closure of A&E departments as a victory.
Ealing Labour council leader Cllr Julian Bell said:
“It is breath-taking that the Conservative group have abandoned local people like this. At the last general election the Conservatives promised there would be no more A&E closures. During our campaign to save the hospitals the Ealing Conservatives said they would support local people.
However now that the Conservative secretary of State has betrayed his promise the local Conservative group have decided to do the same. They even have the cheek to say that we should count the decision to close local A&Es as some kind of victory for Ealing. It just goes to show you can’t trust the Tories on the NHS.”