Rethink the A&E closure

Labour Councillors are calling for the suspension of the closure of Central Mid A&E. Many have also protested against the closure more generally, which I continue to feel is very reasonable.

There is no government mandate for the changes, they are bad for care quality and ease of access, jobs are wrongly at stake, and nowhere near enough consideration has been given to transport.

While the Tories and Lib Dems press ahead, Northwick Park is in a right old state.

The recent results of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of Northwick Park Hospital – which is set to become the borough’s main A&E hub when the Central Middlesex unit closes – have been very poor. They certainly do not indicated that the A&E unit is ready to bear the load.

Northwick Park is expected to have to cater for many more patients from September 10 when the A&E unit at Central Mid (which currently treats 10,000 Brent patients) is due to close.

Northwick Park’s overall performance ‘required improvement’ and that its critical care service was deemed ‘inadequate’.

The council is now demanding urgent assurances from The North West London Hospital Trust that they will carry out the recommendations as set out in the CQC report to improve Northwick Park Hospital as a matter of urgency or else delay the closure of the A&E unit.

NHS bosses have also been summoned to a Brent Council scrutiny committee on September 9 to face questions from councillors over the findings in the watchdog’s report.

In the critical report, North West London Hospitals Trust were told by the CQC that the Northwick Park A&E service did not have enough staff to provide safe care, was unable to meet the 4-hour waiting time target and did not have sufficient protocols in place.

Not good enough. At the very least, closure must be delayed.

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