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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Say No to Hospital X-Factor

At the rally earlier on today, approximately 5000 people attended, to show their presence to stop local hospital downgrades. Some had come via Acton and a larger set of residents from Southall.

Myself and fellow ward Councillor Andrew Steed were lucky enough to lead the march, holding the banner at the front as we travelled from Acton Park to Ealing Common.

Andrew Steed and Gary Malcolm marching from Acton Park
Rare is it that Councillors of all Ealing’s political parties, join together. Today was one of those rare occasions. I was lucky to speak to show why the Liberal Democrats in Ealing are against some of the NHS North West proposals such as downgrading 4 or our 8 local hospitals.

Check out these two posts on my blog about the consultation process and a recent stall we set up in Hanwell to raise the profile of this important issue.

There are many reasons why downgrading our local hospitals is a bad move:
  • There are more people in Ealing and the surrounding area now so cutting heath care provision is not sensible
  • I am a diabetic and have been to Ealing Hospital many times for treatment. Ealing Hospital and other local hospitals provide a lot of good services.
  • Closing hospital wards will mean people will be forced to travel larger distances to get treatment or to visit loved ones or friends.
  • A small share of hospital spend is spent on Accident and Emergency services.
Acton march arrives at Ealing Common
We arrived at Ealing Common and there were hundreds of people waiting for us. A good atmosphere was with us and we had picked up lots of people on the way from Acton.

When the Southall march arrived the number of people had swelled, hugely. Fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Nigel Bakhai was present with his banner and supporters.

Hanwell Councillor Nigel Bakhai (left)

I see the plan of NHS North West London as a type of Hospital X Factor, where the four with the most votes survives.

This isn't the way to consult on major changes about our health service, pitting each area against each other.

The consultation does not properly look at the likely need of Ealing in the next ten or twenty years’ of time. It also makes statements that are not backed up by facts.

Others will say this is step one where we downgrade half our hospitals and then close them later in part two.

Myself and a range of speakers from different political parties gave our views on the hospital downgrade plans. The view from the stage really showed us how many people are now behind the cause...

Some of crowd at the rally
When I spoke I said these plans to take away our Accident and Emergency wards are "bonkers". With a growing population our hospitals need improving not being cut.

See a You Tube clip that was taken of my speech.

When I mentioned that I was diabetic and used Ealing hospital I think people understood that as a patient things will worsen if we get rid or our A&E or maternity wards.

Gary Malcolm speaking at the rally
It is amazing that so many people have signed the online or paper petitions but we need more. We also need more people to fill in the consultation document, despite it's length to say they want no downgrades in any of our local hopsitals.

If you have signed the petition, thank you, but please get your neighbours to sign the petition. We need to double the number of petition signatures and we can only do this by hard work.

I say No to hopsital downgrades and No to Hospital X Factor !!!

1 comment:

  1. Good step by liberal demarcate councilors, for arrange this event. I hope better result come against this protest. Knee Replacement Surgery