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Saturday 24th August 2019

A&E closure plans 'flawed'

14th September 2012

An independent report has said proposals to close four of north-west London’s nine emergency units are flawed.

The document concluded there was a “lack of regard” for the impact the plans - which involve shutting A&E services at hospitals including Hammersmith, Ealing, Central Middlesex and Charing Cross hospitals - would have on residents as 40% of inpatient admissions and 23% of A&E admissions would be affected.

The NHS says changes have to be made to fill a £332m gap in finances by 2014/15 but the report found there was no independent verification of hospitals’ finances.

It added that no changes should be made until there was adequate alternative capacity within primary and community care in place.

However, Dr Mark Spencer from NHS North West London said: “There’s very good evidence that if you centralise some services onto fewer sites you get better outcomes.

“We’ve already shown that in stroke, in heart attack, in major trauma; where people travel further for better care, they get better outcomes.”

However, Tory-controlled Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which commissioned the report, said its residents would have to leave the borough to reach the nearest A&E department.

Leader Nick Botterill said he believed health chiefs had come up with the wrong option as a result of flawed consultation process.

He added: “We’re not going to let this rest; we’re going to make sure that this whole decision is called in, and that the matter is referred to the secretary of state. The impact of these changes will have a profoundly adverse impact on our residents.”


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