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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Ealing Liberal Democrats submit response to hospital consultation

Ealing Liberal Democrats have submitted their formal response to NHS North West as part of their hospital consultation to downgrade a number of local hospitals.

The Liberal Democrats have been very active and took part in the march on Ealing Common two weeks ago, where I spoke to the thousands of people who had gathered to share their opposition to the proposed closure of many local Accident and Emergency wards.

Councillor Nigel Bakhai on Ealing Common at the rally
Councillor Nigel Bakhai sent in the Liberal Democrat's submission and said this to me about the issue: "There is a case for improving healthcare and hospitals across the area.

However, the case is not made for the specific proposals and how closing A&Es and other hospital services will deliver better health outcomes. We are concerned about the extra distances that patients and ambulances will have to travel in an emergency if you reduce the number of A&Es. There are poor transport links between Ealing and Northwick Park or West Middlesex, and more patients in the West of the borough are likely to go to Hillingdon than the consultation expects."

There is also result in more pressure on already over stretched GP practices and on the remaining hospitals which are left after the reconfiguration. The population of Ealing is growing as well as aging and we should be improving hospital services not reducing them.

Finally, much of the area around Southall is deprived, and as a result its population tends to have greater health needs and it therefore does not make sense that Ealing should be downgraded to be a “local hospital” which will effectively be little more than a polyclinic when there is so much local demand on existing health services.

This is only the start of the fight to protect these local heath facilities.

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