NHS NW London Consultation booklet and questions can be found here.
Ealing Hospital SOS has produced a detailed consultation response guide as well as a summary consultation guide to help people understand that the consultation does not cover all options and is designed to get support for the NWL preference to close 4 A&E departments and restrict the availability to their preferred hospitals.
We would encourage all to participate in the consultation period.
A massive – and until now unreported – programme of closures of accident and emergency departments will leave millions forced to use so-called ‘urgent care centres’ that in reality cannot provide urgent care, a Mail on Sunday investigation has found.
Along with Ealing TU Council, we are protesting outside the NHS NWL Roadshow at the Dominion Centre, Southall, this Saturday 21st July. We are gathering at midday. Come and join us.
For the background to this see the BBC News story Four north-west London A&E departments face closure
Ealing Hospital SOS
Despite continued denials by health officials over potential Accident and Emergency department closures, Ealing Hospital could be stripped of major services under drastic measures being considered by NHS London.
According to a recent report, Ealing Hospital is set to lose its A&E and if this goes ahead the likelihood is that it will then lose its maternity unit and children’s services in increasingly desperate efforts to save money by healthcare mandarins in NHS London. All of these changes have been rushed through as a result of the coalition government’s Health Bill just recently signed into law which aims to knock 20 billion off the bill for paying for the NHS.
With more than 100,000 people each year being admitted to Ealing A&E, and surrounding acute services stretched beyond their capacity, health campaigners claim this will have a catastrophic effect on patients in the Borough. Two other local A&E units are also set to close, these will most likely be those at Hammersmith and Charing Cross, as Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust struggles to pay off its £40m debt. The irony is that Ealing is one of the very few financially viable trusts, yet it will be destroyed by these plans.
Explaining the changes to the BBC , Mark Spencer, medical director at North West London NHS, said: “The plan we had, and we looked at this very hard, is we need to concentrate some of our services on to fewer sites so we can produce higher quality care.
“That means we are intending to concentrate accident and emergency departments with the emergency surgery units behind those on to five sites from the current nine sites we have at the moment.”
These plans are due to go out for public consultation in June and pit hospital against hospital leading to a fight for services and a massive reduction in access to good local care for Southall and Ealing residents. Local people have no trust in NHS London anyway as a leaked report from the increasingly desperate healthcare managers in 2010 suggested that it was necessary to strip A&E, Maternity and Children’s services from Ealing hospital so that surrounding hospitals could survive.
This report was denied at the time with NHS London stating, on the record, “All London’s major acute hospitals – those that provide specialist care – and Local Hospitals – those that provide a wide range of all but the most complex emergency hospital services – will have 24/7 A&E departments. “ Clearly now the real truth can be seen.
The NHS London public consultation too is very likely to make no difference either, as in 2010 when Ealing Hospital lost its stroke unit (despite an overwhelming public vote that it should keep the unit) the changes still went ahead.
The most recent plans which have been drawn up by NHS London acting under the command of the coalition government have sparked outrage, controversy and mass denial and now a community campaign has been relaunched to help ‘Save Our Services, SOS’ urging everyone in the borough to fight for Ealing Hospital.
Colin Standfield, Chair of the Ealing SOS campaign, said:
“We should be getting improved services offering high quality locally-based care that everyone can get to easily, not cutting back. NHS London have deliberately kept their plans under wraps till now. The 2010 consultation on the stroke unit completely ignored what the local population wanted. We will go through this sham all over again as they seek to take away decent healthcare from Southall and the surrounding area. There is no way the other hospitals will cope. NHS London just hope people won’t notice. Well, they will be dying for lack of fast access to care, no doubt about it. It’s simply not true they are doing it to get higher quality care. The only” need” they are satisfying is the” need” to save money, not lives, and in doing so they will deny local people the rapid access to local care they really need.
“Sitting here in pain with a broken foot and two fractured vertebrae, I cannot believe that I would have had to travel more than three times the distance to A&E if any of these plans had already been implemented. Even with gas and air and 10ml of morphine, it was not a journey I’d wish on anybody. I was glad to get to Ealing Hospital and the excellent care it gave me.
“So I am especially annoyed to find that the people of Ealing and Southall are about to be betrayed by NHS London and the Tory Government, taking us back to the grim past when there was no hospital on the Ealing site and people had to travel miles for decent treatment. David Cameron came to Ealing to announce his flagship plan, and the first act after the Health and Social Care Bill, it seems, is that the very hospital he visited is stripped of its services!
“Almost 2 years ago, in May 2010, Andrew Lansley scrapped the plans for downgrading London’s A&E departments that he had inherited from the Labour administration. His view then, on the record, was that Ealing A&E should not close because of the huge numbers it treated; well, we are still here. Presumably Mark Spencer and NHS London think that we are all going to disappear overnight; well, we are still here. And it looks like we shall be denied the first-class local treatment we need and deserve.”
The Save Our Services at Ealing Hospital campaign group is calling on everyone in the Borough to sign a petition and make their voices heard in opposition to these proposals. A rally to save these services will take place within the next month (please sign up to the Ealing SOS campaign for further details) and politicians taking part in the current Mayoral elections will be lobbied so that it’s clear what their views on these proposals are. Local people will then have the clear choice to see who will be helping to stop a health catastrophe in NW London and be able to vote accordingly in an increasingly tight Mayoral race where every vote will count.
Ealing SOS, which has thousands of supporters, will be organising a series of public meetings, liaising with politicians to challenge the proposals and will be launching an information campaign via their website and Facebook. Local councillors will also be involved.
If you would like to make further comments and are interested in supporting the campaign please email
SOS campaign phone: 07713 009329
Information accessed via Facebook by clicking http://www.facebook.com/n/?group.php&gid=342085015609&mid=1e369b6G1f85103cG41a809a
Please take the time to register here. Your doing this will help us to build a contacts list for interested parties. Many thanks.
We are hoping that Andrew Lansley will help Ealing SOS to try and reverse this decision before it is too late.
You can help Ealing SOS save the stroke unit before July 19th this year (we can’t do it without you and we don’t have much time). The way to do this is to ask Robert Creighton (Chief Executive of Ealing PCT- ( Robert.Creighton@nhs.net ) – to review the decision and tell him why you think this is important. It can just be one line if you wish, but it’s important it comes from you as an individual. You can copy the email to Ruth Carnall at NHS London ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you wish as well as Andrew Lansley ( DHMail@dh.gsi.gov.uk ) so his office knows just how important this issue is to local people. *** Please scroll further re Andrew Lansley ***
Mr Andrew Lansley MP
Secretary of State for Health
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Re: The Stroke Unit at Ealing Hospital – Urgent reply needed
I am writing as Chair of Ealing Hospital SOS, the campaign to preserve acute services at the Hospital, and should first like to thank you for your early intervention to stop the closure of A&E units and your specific mention of Ealing Hospital in your announcement, as reported in The Evening Standard a month ago.
We are very concerned that, unless we can persuade you to intervene, the Stroke Unit at Ealing will close on the 19th July 2010. We are asking for your intervention for the following reasons:
1) The goalposts have moved & the consultation has been ignored: : The original proposal by Healthcare for London have changed and treatment and transfer now will be dependent on what time after the stroke the patient comes to hospital and other medical factors. In Ealing, the consultation by Healthcare for London was widely and unanimously rejected by both local healthcare professionals and residents, not least because our local stroke unit was rated in the top 25% nationally on overall performance. This was ignored by health bosses at Healthcare for London.
2) The proposal puts stroke patients at greater risk: We have real concerns that anyone who is not immediately diagnosed with a stroke in the community and presents to Ealing Hospital more than 24 hours after it has happened will then be subject to the lottery of a transit lounge. London Ambulance Service will not automatically take these patients to Imperial and Northwick Park Hospitals. We are particularly concerned with those patients whose condition evolves into a severe stroke and who may be too clinically unstable to be moved, and the elderly who have often more complex social and medical needs.
3) Despite the advance of clot-busting therapy overall, the equity of stroke care for Ealing residents will be more adversely affected, risking a worse outcome overall. We fully support the presence of HASUs (Hyperacute Stroke Units offering clot busting stroke therapy) so that those appropriate patients from Ealing can have access to this treatment, but we are concerned for the greater number of stroke patients who will lose out on specialist care, if our local stroke unit closes.
4) Local people, councillors, MPs and healthcare professionals have rejected the decision by a clear majority. How can a decision which has been rejected by local people, local health professionals and local ELECTED councillors via a properly appointed scrutiny panel and the sitting MP still go ahead?
This decision is totally against your stated views that local healthcare professionals and residents should have the major say in what happens to local services. The closure of a unit which was actually out-performing many of the other units who have been left with stroke units makes absolutely no sense. We ask you to intervene directly, as we would like this decision carefully reviewed before it is too late. The 3,000 people who have signed up to our website will be a small percentage of those who, like myself, will be particularly grateful.
Chair, Ealing Hospital SOS
If we don’t stop them, NHS London are planning to downgrade Ealing Hospital so much they have plans to take away virtually all of its acute services and leave it to become an 8 am-8pm polyclinic. If this goes through unchallenged it will mean the loss of services such as Maternity, Pediatrics and A&E-accident and emergency). These services have not been lost from the hospital (yet) but we need your support to keep them.
Ealing Hospital is one of the highest performing hospitals in the North West London Sector and was given a 4/5 Patient Safety rating by drfosterhealth.co.uk.. In April 2010 Ealing Hospital is set to become one of the first Integrated Care Organisation (ICO) in the country and apply for a FOundation status. Staff were looking forward to the new challenges this opportunity will offer before the recent leaked reports to the BBC (see NWLP Sector Report and NHS London Response). These reports have shown what NHS London was really up to although currently they are saying that none of these plans have been fully decided and that a consultation will take place in the autumn. The fact that this takes place after the upcoming general election won’t have escaped anyone’s notice. Also the majority of local residents, staff and GPs all voted to keep Ealing Hospital Stroke unit last year….but it is due to be closed on the 6th April 2010, so ealinghospitalSOS have no confidence that they will listen when these plans are challenged. It is only a smokescreen for cuts for the people of Ealing, Southall and beyond and we all know it.
NHS London have tried to hide these proposals by saying they will roll out a load polyclinics but what they are proposing is likely to be more expensive (ie yet further wasting of tax payers money) and polyclinics simply won’t be able to deal with many of the complex needs acutely unwell patients have. This is a betrayal and will lead to local people being denied access to the services they need in their area and having to travel miles and miles to get them. It has been disguised as a “service improvement” but it’s actually about trying save millions of pounds (which in all probability, it won’t at all) at the expense of the local community.
Please join the vital community campaign to stop these proposed plans and ensure that the services local people most need stay at Ealing. Join the EalinghospitalSOS campaign. This site is non political and is run by those who live and work in the area. Your views will be greatly appreciated and we will update this site regularly with campaign details and any public meetings as it will be the local community who will put a stop to this.”
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