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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Ealing Council Discusses Possible Local Hospital Downgrades

At tonight's Cabinet meeting in Ealing Town Hall, the main items that was was on the agenda was undoubtedly about the possible downgrades of many local hospitals in West London.

See a previous post I wrote about the rally that took place at the weekend. You can see photos of the day as well as a You Tube clip of my speech to the large crowd.

Campaigners against hospital downgrades
At the meeting tonight Tim Rideout, who is writing Ealing Council's consultation response to the proposals by NHS North West London to downgrade four local hospitals, gave his initial views on the proposals. They are not encouraging...

  • Consultation methodology is flawed (as the process is too short, does not engage residents adequately and contains many leading questions)
  • Evidence that centralising (shutting) Accident and Emergency wards is a good move is not proven. I think people's lives are at risk from forcing ambulances to travel further afield. Only for cases like heart attacks or strokes is their real evidence sending patients to a specialist ward is beneficial.
  • There appears to be no account of the higher than average population and birthrate in Ealing. The planning is not based on populations and so will always be out of date before it was published!
  • There are no alternatives in the document. It only allows you to essentially agree to their proposal and suggest which hospital you either want to save or have downgraded. To say the least this is a form of consultation that is more leading than any biased market research survey I have seen before. 
  • Many of the arguments used are based on theoretical arguments and not on hard facts.

That is just a flavour for some of the reasons why the proposals are bad news for us all.

The Cabinet agreed to hold a special meeting to discuss the final report which will take place on Friday 5th October.

Tweet your comments about the proposals to downgrade our hospitals via @CllrGaryMalcolm

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