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Give residents the chance to save their local A&E - Teather

July 2, 2012 12:58 PM

Sarah Teather has said that the plans to close the A&E department at Central Middlesex Hospital are flawed and has called for the proposals to be completely rewritten. The proposals will be put to the public in a consultation launched today, 2nd July.

The consultation calls for the downgrading of the hospital despite a redevelopment project which saw Central Middlesex completely rebuilt to the tune of over £80 million. This sum included £62.5 million used to build the Brent Emergency Care and Diagnostic Centre which houses the current A&E. The new buildings were only finished in 2007 but since then the hospital has been downgraded time and time again with opening hours cut and vital lifesaving services moved elsewhere despite the massive investment.

The consultation is being carried out by NHS North West London who are asking for the public to give their views on three sets of possible proposals. However, all three options would mean the closure of the A&E at Central Middlesex Hospital, leading to calls that the consultation process is flawed.

If the A&E is closed, this would mean that local residents would have to get to Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow or Saint Mary's Hospital, Paddington, to receive emergency treatment. This would mean lengthy journeys for many locals, especially those in Harlesden who face a 40 minute journey using three different types of transport. Central Middlesex Hospital, by comparison, is just a 15 minute bus ride away.

The area surrounding Central Middlesex Hospital is amongst the most deprived in London, with men living in Harlesden having a life expectancy 13 years lower than those in Queensbury just a few miles north in Brent. Additionally, Central Middlesex Hospital serves a diverse local population with high numbers of children under 16 as well as people over 60. Both of these groups are amongst the most frequent users of A&E services.

The consultation has sparked fears that with more and more services no longer being provided at Central Middlesex, the hospital might become an empty shell and eventually close.

Commenting, Lib Dem MP Teather said: Sarah Teather MP

"The situation we are now in is the inevitable consequence of successive decisions by Brent health bosses over a 10 year period. I warned about this years ago and was accused of scaremongering."

"All along I have been given promises that the A&E at Central Middlesex would not close. Now despite these assurances many of my constituents face their local A&E being closed."

"Central Middlesex Hospital serves a lot of young and elderly local residents but they will now be expected to travel much further in an emergency. The hospital has received millions of pounds investment and yet this money is being allowed to go to waste. Local residents need the health services they deserve, not empty, shiny buildings.

"I am calling on NHS North West London to look at their proposals again and halt this flawed consultation. Local residents must be given the chance to save their A&E, something they are denied under the current plans."